The J-Train is coming through and he’s got the dating advice you need!
From the long line of WWN advice columns (i.e. Dear Dotti, Ask a Chimp, etc) comes a new breed of intrepid advice giver. It’s Jared Freid aka J-Train. A frequent dater and lover…
Dude Dating with J-Train
Q. Train, I’ve been toying with the idea of signing up for an Internet dating site. I would do it but I have all of these preconceived notions about dating websites. Should I take the plunge? – Mama Fratelli, Astoria, OR
A. Mama, great question. The short answer is: ‘Yes. Sign up for a reputable dating website.’ As my Dad always says: ‘If you wanna get hit, you gotta play in traffic.’ And there’s no more man-traffic than on a dating site. The Internet offers a huge net for us to cast so it should be easier to catch the proverbial best ‘fish’ in the sea. So, if that’s the case, why doesn’t everyone sign up for one of the bajillion available dating sites? Excuses. That’s why. So let me discredit the excuses that I hear the most.
“Everyone is looking for sex”
What? Really? Lets not fool ourselves into believing that just because you met someone in person means that they aren’t looking for sex. Lets get one thing straight: if you’re a woman and you meet a guy, the first thing he thinks of is…Sex. No guy looks across a crowded bar at a girl and thinks ‘I can’t wait to hold her hand through the pain of labor.’ Hell, my first thought when the 80 year-old Chinese delivery lady hands me my Won-Ton Soup is, ‘Can I make this happen?’ The Internet didn’t invent sex it just made the weird stuff people do during sex more popular (I’m sure there weren’t “Furry” meet-ups before the Internet). So unless you meet on ‘casual encounters,’ you’re probably OK to go on a harmless date or two.
“Internet dating is for losers”
There are losers everywhere. The Internet has this stigma as a place where fat video game nerds sit around and play with themselves all day. While this Kevin Smith contingent certainly still exists, this isn’t 1994 anymore. Literally everyone is on it. Your grandmother just super-poked you. And I understand the argument that if someone was really that cool, they wouldn’t need to find love online. But let me dispel that argument here and now: YOU probably think you’re pretty cool, RIGHT? – But here you are, reading a dating column, boyfriend-less. Guess what? Sometimes you can’t find love in a bar, or in that pottery class you signed up for. So stop sitting there, knitting Victorian-era dresses for your cat and get a Match.com account.
I agree Internet dating is creepy. This is why it’s so good. What do I mean by that? Let’s remember this isn’t ‘To Catch a Predator.’ You are never going to get on a site, start talking to “hugedong69”, and then meet him without ever seeing a picture or learning anything about this person. Meeting someone on the Internet should be treated with the same caution as meeting someone at a bar. You need to exchange names, what you do for work, what you like to do for fun. All of the sites offer email or chat services. Yes, meeting someone at the bar will give you a chance to immediately check the person out in real life. But here is the thing the bar doesn’t offer you: hours of time to decide. Chances are, you’ll go out tonight and meet a guy in a bar, shout at each other over the music for a half hour in a drunken haze and then exchange numbers. All of a sudden, the next morning you’re trying to remember what his personality was like, what he looked like, why he ordered a drink that had a cherry in it, etc. That’s a lot to remember after one half hour chance encounter. However, on the Internet, you can learn everything about the person you need to know on your own time, on your own terms. If the information on the dating site wasn’t enough to make a decision to get a drink then become Facebook friends. Now you can check them out. Do you have friends in common? Does he have friends? What does he look like in the pictures that others tagged of him? It’s all there, in glorious high resolution. Is this creepy? Of course it is. You just learned everything about this person without ever meeting. This is the point though – you can go out for a first date and know that you actually want to be there. Or, you can get drunk at a bar, meet some creep and maybe end up in a body bag…or worse – go back to his parents’ basement to bang. Your call.
I’m not saying relationships don’t spring up organically anymore through friends, work, intramural sports leagues, etc. What Internet dating provides is another piece of the “finding a lover pie”. If our parents had the option when they were in their swinging days a good percentage would have met in this exact way. Listen, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan found them some love on the Internet and they didn’t even have Facebook, wireless laptops, blackberries, or a high-speed connection. The script for “You’ve Got Mail” was conceivable enough in 1998 to make a multi-million dollar movie and now the Internet is a lot cozier then it was then. So it’s time to stop the excuses, get (virtually) out there, and give it a shot.
Do you have dating questions for J-Train? … Email me!