Archive for the 'online dating' Category

i will reject you if #2

You are looking for a simple girl. Why would anyone want a simple girl? What is a simple girl? Do you want a non-materialistic girl? Do you want an eco-conscious anti-consumer girl? Do you want a slightly below-average-intelligence girl? I am a person. I am complicated. You are complicated. So why should I be simple? Is there actually such a thing as a simple girl? Do you know one of these? What is she like? Do you maybe mean sweet? Do you maybe mean compliant? Also, I am not a girl.

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i will reject you if #1

You state that you are a blend of east and west, or a mix of west and east, or the best of the east and west, or a combination of the traditional east and the modern west, or that you embody eastern and western values, or, or, or.

lessons learned #1

Meet. Meet. Meet right away. Meet as soon as possible. Please meet. If you can’t, approximate meeting using the wonders of free technology available on the computer you clearly have. As a veteran (but not a graduate, so make of that what you will, grain of salt and all that) of online dating, I urge you with all my heart to meet. I know that people have amazing long-term long-distance internet relationships for years and they meet and it’s just perfect (I know about this because I googled it to see how possible it was). And I know that’s it’s really hard to believe that you could click with someone so completely on the phone and on email and IM and not click with them in person. But I am here to tell you that it is incredibly possible.

Serious Prospect #2 was a guy I talked with for six months online (on and off) and two months on the phone and then flew East to meet, with the singular nervous jitters of maybe this is really the last time I’ll ever have to meet someone I might marry. I have to backtrack and say that if there were worlds in which relationships were confined to the internet, ours would have been ideal. We talked all the time, and he was funny, and we were funny together, which is much harder to find than people think, and it felt good and it felt right and it felt easy. And it took me 10 seconds after getting off the plane to realize that it was a no-go. And I feel betrayed, a little bit, by the internet that tricked me into believing it was just like not-the-internet, but it’s not.

Emailing back and forth is great. But after the “forth”, don’t stick around for another “back”. Just meet. Because no matter how awkward it is or how forward it is, the point of all of this is not to make a terrific internet friend. And stringing out meeting in person is wasting your time. This was hard for me to understand. I think I felt like emailing was building a foundation onto which in-person communication could be added. This is not real. This is not true. It’s a relationship. If anything other than in-person communication is the foundation, you are screwed. Email is a great set of hardwood floors or crown molding, and in many long-distance relationships, as essential as heat or central air. But you gotta have a house to heat and cool.

So my new rule is that I should feel good about communicating via two out of three of email/IM, phone, and in-person. But one of those MUST be in-person, and it MUST feel the best. Give up the pen-pal-ships and do please meet. Yesterday.

5 ways not to be rejected off the bat (indian edition)

Let’s say you’re a lovely young fellow from Southern India looking for a spouse, or you’re the parents of said lovely young fellow. You log onto the internet, where you can find literally hundreds of thousands of potential spouses. Some of these spouses are born and raised in America, which raises your eyebrows a little, but then pushes them back down because that certainly wouldn’t be the worst train to get on. So as you hover over the express interest button, let me give you some tips to keep you out of the immediate reject pile.

1. Shave. I can’t be the only one who uses the presence of a bushy mustache as a heuristic for your Indianness. I actually like this one a lot because it’s still not uncool to have a bushy mustache in Southern India (given the facial hair of the otherwise modern young fellows my cousins are marrying) but falls almost immediately out of fashion about 0.2 generations into emigration. This sucks for you, but this is my shorthand. If you have that under your nose, we have many a cultural barrier to cross and I’m really not worth all the changes you’re going to have to make.

2. Proofread. wHn U rT n CRzY txTsPk…lol wOt spAcz n lts o’ comAZ qT, I will not accept you. Proper spelling and grammar are preferred, but proper capitalization is essential. In general, the first letter of the first word in every sentence is capitalized and none of the others are. Here’s a tip. If you fail to capitalize all the words, but otherwise punctuate correctly, you’re much more like to get through than any other combination of capitalization and punctuation, excepting of course the actual proper one.

“I really like your profile. I would like to get to you know better.”

>>

“i really like your profile. i would like to get to know you better.”

>>

“i really like ur profile…i wud like to, get to know you better…”

>>

“I rly Like Ur profile QT…dear, wud Luv 2 know U, more…”

>>

“u R profile s qT,… SMS me now – K bai Qt…”

3. Question the use of “homely”. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. For the last time, asking for a homely girl, intending one who is domestically adept, will only work if your intended skips to definition #4. The common accepted usage of homely is unattractive. So think twice. And specify. Or really, just get rid of it.

4. Eliminate skin shade provisos. The insistence on a “fair” spouse is off-putting, even to “fair” prospects. At least make a range acceptable, for instance, from “very fair” to “wheatish” (an actual available complexion choice on shaadi.com).

5. Write something. In my experience, profiles of those born and brought up in India are extremely sparse. I don’t know if this is because your parents are writing for you, and they’ve only had 15 words to play with in the matrimonial papers in offline searches, or because you feel that the rest of your qualifications will speak for you, or you are just really a man of very few words. It’s a profile. For the love of God, profile yourself, just a bit. No one really wants to be on shaadi.com. It would awesome if the world was such that romances happened more organically or less artificially. But we’re all there, so dive in.

shaadi.com success stories

Sometimes I read the shaadi.com success stories. Supposedly, they’ve matched 1.3 million couples. That is 2.6 million people. Seriously? SIx hundred thousand people would have had to have lied about being matched to even reduce that number to two million.

Anyway, confusion of the day. Every once in a while, and really too often to be a total fluke, there’s an Indian marrying a White person on shaadi.com. This is so fine to me, but what the hell? Why did the White person choose shaadi.com as their online dating site? Why did the Indian person choose the White person while on shaadi.com? It’s a conundrum made so much more interesting by the fact that no one ever notes it as odd in the least.

Like Shiva and DeAnna. Or Kristian and Flavia. Jim and Asha. Sarah and Manish. Or Michael and Bint, who are seriously adorable. Uwe and Susmita, who do actually mention their different backgrounds, and are also super cute together. Philomena and Ray is probably one of my top ten favorite success stories, because Philomena totally looks like an aunty of mine. Thomas and Hutoxi – who has a gorgeous smile – mention that Thomas’s profile was unique on shaadi.com, and I love the last sentence in their success story. Azib and Melissa also give their roots a mention, while Chris and Sheba don’t.

There’s a chance that at least a few of these people I’ve pegged as White are Indian, since we all know Indians are the original Caucasians. But other than that, I remain befuddled. Note that I really am happy for all of these couples, at least as happy as I am for every other shaadi.com success story, and only slightly less jealous. But doesn’t anyone else wonder about this?


sec·ond-gen·er·a·tion (sknd-jn-rshn)

adj. 1. Of or relating to a person or persons whose parents are immigrants.

n.b.: arranged marriage

When I use "arranged marriage" here, I'm talking a very specific type of marriage, in which one (often a second generation immigrant) is socialized and pressured by their community to marry someone from within that community as part of a way to bind two families together. It's often accompanied by a cultural prohibition against dating, especially serial dating, such that there is typically a short timeline from meeting to marriage. In the United States, where I am, and in other diasporas, an arranged marriage isn't necessarily arranged anymore, although parents and grandparents shoulder much of the responsibility in networking and making introductions. The bride-to-be and groom-to-be yield veto power at all times and their happiness and consent are among the most critical criteria in proceeding. In general, the kind of arranged marriage that I know is enforced only by family and community approval and disapproval (although let's not underestimate how powerful these are). At no point am I talking about a truly arranged marriage in which there's no options, no veto, and enforcement by violence or restriction of liberty. I don't pretend that I know anything about living that kind of truth or that anything I experience is comparable to that kind of future.