Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Yeah, It Must Be Hard to Meet People When You're Breathing Their Sweat

Internet dating is not a world I have ever dabbled into. Nor has anybody I know. Anybody I know, that is, outside of New York. For some reason, every friend I have with a 917 cell phone number has told me something along the lines of “Dude, you gotta get on friendster. I’ve been getting soooo much ass this way.” Seriously? Friendster? I don’t think I’ve gone on friendster for any other reason than to see how fat the “hot” girls I knew in High School have gotten. Not to mention the oft-obsessed over craigslist which, while useful in finding apartments, has never struck me as a place I’d like to meet anyone other than a prospective landlord. So when I ask my Big Apple-dwelling friends why they are so insistent on internet dating, they all give me the same answer “In this city, it’s really hard to meet people.”

Excuse me? Hard to meet people? No, in South Dakota it’s hard to meet people. In New York, you essentially live in a chicken coop for humans. How the fuck are you NOT meeting people? There are so many goddamn people in that city you commute in layers, for chirssake. You’ve got a bridge and a tunnel. Even an act as simple as going to your place of employment finds you physically pressed up against dozens and dozens of other people. I’m not saying they are all people you’d want to meet, necessarily, but they are human. They have a pulse, they speak some sort of language, they’re people. And yet, still, the moaning cry coming from the young and single in New York; “God, it’s hard to meet people.”

I could maybe understand not being able to meet people in a sprawling modern city like LA or Miami or Phoenix where everyone lives half an hour away form everyone else. Internet dating being big in these modern, spread out, leave-me-the-fuck-alone-I’m-in-my-car metropolii would almost make sense. But New York? When you literally have someone living under you, on both sides of you, and on top of you, you’d be hard pressed to avoid meeting them.

Would someone care to explain this to me? Next to Tokyo and Mexico City, you live in one of the most crowded, populous cities on Earth. Every day you probably interact with dozens upon dozens of other human beings. How is meeting them a problem? Are you just shy? Are other New Yorkers really that frightening? I thought the Big Apple was a center of great personalities, artists, thinkers, and intellectuals. Have you become so bitter that you are convinced all of them suck?

“Hard to meet people.” Shut your whining. One friend told me she “Didn’t want to meet anyone in bars.” Fair enough, as aside form my cousin Dana I don’t know anyone who has met their life partner in an establishment that served Old Crow. But what about all those great cultural events that New Yorkers love to tell you your city doesn’t have? Can’t you meet people there? Or the “museums” or the “art houses” or the “quaint little coffee shops?” All these things, apparently, only exist in New York, and yet you all still can’t meet people? Perhaps the problem is not New York. Perhaps the problem is you.

So enjoy your perusing of the “casual encounters” section, as you pretend you are doing it for your own entertainment (right, just like I used to watch wrestling to “laugh at it.”) and then immediately answer every ad as soon as your friends leave. Good luck finding that special someone via a friendster page. The rest of the country is managing to find dates despite the fact that we are only connected by roads beginning with the letter "I." Perhaps you New Yorkers could try this crazy thing called “eye contact’ and try “meeting’ each other in person once in a while.

56 Comments:

At 1:19 PM, Blogger MonkeyPants said...

What is this "eye contact" you speak of?

I get a lot of ass through myspace, personally. Friendster - bah!

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Betty said...

Don't judge me, Casual encounters is fun- I don't care what you say. I could laugh at penis pics for hours.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger Tara said...

I'm off of MySpace, Yahoo Personals, Matchmaker and all those others that ask the same type of personality questions. I decided a few weeks ago that I'd rather go back to trying to meet someone face-to-face. I am definitely shy and don't usually approach men, so this will take some time. I think people like the fact that they can stay at home and sift through tons of photos of people and decide if they want to run into them in person or not.

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Tara said...

And another thing! :D : when we say "It's hard to meet people", it's kind of like saying there's nothing to watch on TV when you have 100 channels.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Dabbler said...

Here's the irony: internet dating is actually much bigger in NYC than it is in LA, or at least among the people I know. Perhaps it's hard to "meet" people in New York because everyone is so packed in together that they have developed a conditioned response of not noticing each other. Think about it... during rush hour on the subway, you're crammed in that car like sardines, but everyone is in their own little world, doing their utmost not to have any interaction with anyone else. In fact, the closer you are to someone, the more actively you refuse to acknowledge them. In spread-out LA, I meet people at breakfast; I swear, the best singles scene here is my favorite diner.

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger spinachdip said...

I know "it's hard to meet people" comes off like a cop out in a city of 8 million, but it's a little bit, um, safer and less intimidating on the internet.

Internet gives a nice buffer - people drop their normal defenses, and if the other person turns out to be a psycho, you can slowly back away. Because New York has a lot of psychos.

And we tend to trap ourselves in our routine, like work, friends and neighborhood - the internet, opens things up. I think online dating works to an extent in NY because, not in spite, of the size. You could be living 20 feet from someone and never know that you share the same interests.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger angel, jr. said...

I have a friend who married a guy she met on the internet.
That's all, no story to go along with it.
I think they are happy. I attended the wedding, but haven't heard from them since.

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger MonkeyPants said...

And someone's myspace (or whatnot) page is quite insightful. I mean, it might take you more than 2 dates with someone you meet in real life to find out stuff like their hero is George Bush.

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

MPants - Yeah, I get the MySpace one a lot too. I've never been on there, so I kind of forgot it

Betty - Riiight. It's all about "entertainment."

Tara - Stay at home instead of go out and do it, huh? That friggin internet, does anybody leave the house anymore?

Dabbler - Yeah, LA would be a good singles scene if every girl there didn't ABSOLUTLEY SUCK

S-Dip - Thank you for the insight. I think that's pretty accurate.

Angel - Oh, I'm not saying it doesn't work. I'm just saying that I don't have any friends outside on NY trhat do it

MPants - You know, I know a lot of Republicans. And even amongst their ranks, I don't know ONE that would cite G-Dub as their hero.

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger the belligerent intellectual said...

I harkens back to the days of high school where you would pass a note to a girl in math that read, "Can I see you naked?" and she would write back, "Die, douchbag." It just works better on MySpace for some reason.

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Betty said...

spinach dip pretty much says it all.

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Dabbler said...

WD: well, you do have me there.

I also actually do know some sick bastards who describe Dubya as a personal hero.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Andy said...

I live in New York.

1 other person works in my office. She is my 37 year old boss with a 15 year old son (who acts like she sits next to him in Algebra and often cries about her boyfriend).

But you're right. It just takes balls (really? Okay, one iota of courage) to meet someone in person.

The nice thing about the internet is it doesn't cost you the price of a drink to get to talk to someone. And if they turn out crappy, you know you haven't wasted any alcohol money on anyone. I'm sure you can appreciate that.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Andy said...

Oh and Betty, you look fairly attractive. Let's go drink beer.

 
At 4:13 PM, Anonymous rumandpopcorn said...

It's not that 'it's hard to meet people'. I find it rather easy. But I manage to meet nothing but crazy people like Betty. Look how that's worked out for me.

That's why New Yorkers keep their guard up.

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Betty said...

Oh God Rum and Popcorn, Trends just called and left me a voicemail. I only meet crazy in this city! Help!

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

Dan - Does MySpace feature "Check Yes or No" notes too?

Betty - Asians seem to comment extremely well for some reason. And underrated positive stereotype lost in the shuffle of violin playing and math

Dabbler - They all live in Orange County, though, right?

Andy - Would Jack Bauer ask Betty out like that? I think not.

RP - Yeah. you all should start sayig "New York is a great place to meet people if you want to have fully-clothed platonic sleepovers.

Betty - Glad to see you can use my comments box to communicate with Ali.

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous rumandpopcorn said...

You gave that guy your real number, Betty?! Yikes...Betty was going to catch me sometime, I've been ducking Google Chat.

Actually, WD, I think I should start an escort service specializing in fully-clothed platonic sleepovers. The motto: "When you just want to be held--or not pick up cheesy rappers and give them your phone number."

 
At 8:18 PM, Anonymous nicole said...

Okay, I'm gonna stop reading at your second paragraph because I lived in NYC for almost 10 years and lemme tell ya? It was not the plethora of playas you might think it is. There's a lotta people there but that doesn't mean you're gonna find one that won't send you screaming in the opposite direction.

You don't even wanna get me started on the parade of losers I'VE met up there...

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger mrshife said...

Fuggedabouit.

 
At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe it's just because people get lazy. just a thought...

MV trailer trash

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Meeting people is way overrated...I prefer to masturbate on camera and send the tapes to the Library of Congress.

 
At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Johnson said...

One of my friends here swears by E-Harmony, but I guess the dating pool in C'Ville is a tad shallower than in NYC. I've only been to NYC once and that was when I was 12, but I think I would tend to agree with the one poster who said that the closer you're packed in with someone, the more you want to ignore them. Plus, when you're commuting or going down a busy street, you're not really looking for love so much as probably trying to avoid getting mugged or being late for work.

And myspace and friendster are great work time wasters. I usually read or browse most of the blogs you have linked here everyday at some point but nothing passes time like filling out a good old myspace survey.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Dabbler said...

Oh my god, Ace, that was you?! Fantastic cinematography! Call me, we'll set you up with a 3-picture deal.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous poor Greek Girl said...

Internet dating is a common North American phenomenon. European males use the internet to surf disturbing internet porn, like man intended.

European male sees girl, approaches her askes her out.

American male sees girl makes eye contact MANY TIMES, runs away, calls his friend for advice on the possibility of asking her out, ponders it for a week,

European male steps right in, sees girl, asks her out.

See, no hands ma.

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

RP - If you do that, let me know, I may want a Miami franchise.

Nicole - YOu always stop reading so early. I know you have 748 comments to answer, but sometimes the end is the best art

Shife - That poston the Sopranos was like 10 days ago

Amy - INternet dating is sooooo Mission Viejo

Ace - Do you have the catalog numbers for those?

Johnson - Swears by E-harmony? Really? I tohught they were all about "serious romance/" You can get random tail on there too? Hmmmm....

GG - The part you forgot was "Guy asks her out, girl is not hung up on sex and does not obsess over her body image so she is more willing to do more interesting things." It works both ways. Unfortunately, I still LOVE American girls.

 
At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

Dade, you're right: NYers are full of it. When I first moved to NYC I tried a couple internet dates (didn't know anybody), and was thoroughly displeased with the experience.

The only thing that's "hard" about meeting people in NYC is having the sack to say hello to a stranger. I've found that to be a much better way to have a satisfying dating life.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger The Assimilated Negro said...

WD - I've been impressed by your eloquence of late, though I didn't read all the sterger drama. But I liked your guest spot on feisty, and this.

have you been to NYC? you have a good read on things from a distance.

Hi monkeypants.

Hi Betty. I'm calling my emcee friends to rap(e) and freestyle on your ass.

Hi Ali.

this commenting on other people's blogs thing is fun ...

oh, and on the topic. I've never gotten love via myspace or friendster. I have stalked one person via myspace which was probably short of being called a "success" ...

 
At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Caroline said...

I'm a New Yorker, and I met my boyfriend the old fashioned way--at a party my friend threw. I do have a ton of friends who internet date, and guess what? They either meet people they have no interest in, or they meet people they date for a few weeks and then combusts in their face. No one has ever had a lasting relationship from it. Not that it can't happen, I'm sure it does, but it usually ends up better if you met the person before you e-mailed them and sparked a connection. Also, the chances of getting raped are a lot less for the ladies.

 
At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look us New Yorkers all think we're all that and deserve someone who's even hotter than we are. Even if we are a 300 lb. 4'5" fat woman. So, yes, if you can't throw around a lotta cash, or look real good, you're staying home. It doesn't help NY'ers that they rarely acknowledge each other either. I lived next to a guy for 13 yars and still don't know his name. Last week, in Florida, where I'm moving in 5 weeks, people pass you on the street, smile and say hello. It's gonna take a while to get used to that

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger Betty said...

Being the one who said, "I don't want to meet guys in bars", look at what I met this weekend. GUYS IN KILTS AND RAPPERS. I can't say I like the internet as a second choice. Look how that's turned out so far. So let's all make an effort to meet people at coffee shops. Seriously, I love Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope, I would most likely be flattered if a guy chatted me up there. Maybe I will try it this weekend as a social experiment and write about it.

 
At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have friend who married a guy she met on the internet and he doesn't speak. he literally doesn't speak. not that he's mute. he just doesn't talk to anyone but her. presumably this is why he had trouble meeting women in the first place. anyway, between that and the experience i personally had with the freaks on nerve.com, i am back to meeting people in person. after 8 years of being a chicken shit, i've recently kissed three men in three weeks. not bad. i think everyone in nyc is afraid of each other. a lot of self-absorbed neurosis. but cute as hell.

 
At 5:55 PM, Anonymous A. said...

NYC attracts a disproportionate amount of goodlooking assholes, neurotics, psychos, workaholics, cold fish, actors, trust funders, etc., all of whom reject 99.999% of people they meet because they believe they can do better, whether or not it's true.

Most people in Typical City USA would be happy to hook up with a cute guy or a fatty girl that puts out. What is considered a "good catch" doesn't even register on the radar in NYC. You make 6 figures? Well, thousands of men make that much on wall street... in bonus. You were Ms. Ohio? Cool, there are thousands of models here that are prettier, bustier, and skinnier.

The internet in NYC is a waste of time because it allows an even higher proportion of nuts to hide behind the computer. You waste time emailing, calling, and meeting someone on a date just to find out in 2 minutes that they're psycho. If you were to meet people the old fashioned way, face to face, you'd save time and can quickly determine if someone is even worth a date.

 
At 6:17 PM, Blogger p_is_for_payj said...

PoorGreekgirl - I'd agree with you, although I'd leave British men out of your straightforward "European Male" theory.

NYC is definitely a magnet for narcissistic assholes - and such unstable narcissistic assholes! Most of my single NY friends vascillate between loathing themselves and thinking they are god's gift to mankind.

Ego ego everywhere, and not a drop to drink... or something like that.

 
At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, there are jerks and weirdos everywhere. Look at some of the angry responses above, in fact.

I go to parties and I have enough friends, but I haven't met anyone new in a while that I was excited about. I'm a normal 29-year-old girl, not a lot of drama, not fat, fairly intelligent, not into the bar scene. The internet is just another way to seek out someone great. It's not the best way to meet someone, but it's just another option.

I have tried talking to guys at events or the subway but people in NY tend to think it's freakish if you do that though. And then the person gets off the subway and you haven't had the chance to really talk. Plus, you don't know whether they're single or not. On the internet, you do.

So for people who just haven't had good luck dating, the internet makes it a little easier to weed out things you really don't want, and increase the proportion of things you do.

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Sal said...

Everything in this city in temporary. Relationships rarely last. Everyone is always looking for bigger and better. When we complain about having a hard time meeting people, we are really complaining that it's hard to meet anyone who will last. Maybe I just fuck it up fast.

 
At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

White Dade, you gotta point there. I know several people in MV and South OC who have met and married as a result of internet dating.

MV Trailer trash

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NYC dating is hard because once you are bored with the bar scene, many in their 20's and 30's spend their time working 60 hours a week. And once you have your set group of friends, you get comfortable. Plus, with so many people, we "condition" ourselves not to notice eachother and to think its weird if someone starts talking to you. I was hit on the other day in Madison Park, and I thought it was quite bizarre (well, I'm also engaged so yeah....) Most people I know date "a friend of a friend from work" type of thing.

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous e dot p said...

While I understand where you're coming from here, this is why I think you're wrong: I live in NYC, and I am surrounded by people all of the time. But, trust me, the last thing I want to do when I am avoiding eye contact with the homeless man who is pleasuring himself on the 6 train is meet my future spouse. I am having a hard enough time trying to hold the bar with two fingers so that I don't get too many germs on my hands, and trying not to fall into said homeless man.

It's not that it's hard to meet people. It's just that, all too often, I don't want to meet someone while I am walking down a dark street or staring at someone's pit stains on the subway. Call me crazy.

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Johnson said...

"Swears by E-harmony? Really? I thought they were all about "serious romance/" You can get random tail on there too? Hmmmm...."

Well, she swears by it in that she got a couple of good dates out of it and has a serious b/f b/c of it now. I don't know how good it is for random Craig's List-esque casual encounters. She did say it was a pretty lengthy process to fill everything out on the site and to match with someone you have to fill out a questionaire everytime or something. I guess it would be a good way to cut down on the number of potential shitty dates you'd go on. However, you have to pay for it.

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WoW!!
you had alot to say on this topic..but are you from New york? Do you know what happens on some of these city trains? I know a lot of lonely women out there.. and I'd have to say Trust has to be the main problem, Women feel that all men are players and sometimes rather not deal. By: themodel

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger Queen of the Quarter Life Crisis said...

http://theonlycure-quarterlifecrisis.blogspot.com/

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger Dan...ish said...

What do you mean no one outside of NY uses it? ("It" of course being online dating.) The most ironic part of your blog is that you've attacted the attention of several current and ex South Dakota residents. Try applying your argument to small midwestern towns, assuming you've ever been to one, as a homosexual. Online is much more desireable than being beat with a bat by a closeted red neck. And as far as New York goes, I know that they never gave me the time of day, but I was just a visitor. Do they even make eye contact with each other if there's not a crime involved?

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Maulleigh said...

Live and let live. Why does it bother you? Next you'll get mad that people go to a "synagogue" to find "god." Why should they do that? Isn't he everywhere? Even in the toilet?

 
At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Q... said...

I'm glad you mentioned that maulleigh...cause I too am pissed off that people actually go to Synagogues to find "God"...It bothers me that grown men and women who base the meaning of their life arond a bunch of fairy tails are allowed to hold jobs and walk amongst the rest of rational society...They put individuals in mental institutions for hearing a voice or or believing in ghosts, but it's perfectly acceptable if you get together with your friends and do it...Let me grow my sideburns in curls, where 150 degree clothing, slice my child's penis, and wear a hat that's too small for my head...All in the name of "GOD"!!!!...Not too mention their "mental institutions" are usually in really nice areas that take up acres of perfectly good space for homes for families, schools, or even gyms....you know, the things that you really should believe in for your well being....but I guess they really do teach good values and all, thats why when the Jew writing this blog gets back from Synagogue he can proudly go out and shamelessly fuck fat low self esteemed girls, discrimanate against his neighbors, snort some cocaine, and judge others for how they choose to innocently run THEIR own lives....all in the name of God of course....

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger White Dade said...

I do not live in New York, for all those who asked. I have been there a number of times. And my impression was that it was crowded. Very crowded. But, again, a lot of peopel have made soem good points.

I have also been to SOuth Dakota. The peoepl were much nicer and more approachable than they were in New york. But, aside form the four guys on the mountain, they were VERY spread out.

And Q....I will take your anti-semetic rant in the same vain as you should take my posts. I'm not trying to pass legislatin against online dating here, just stating my opinion.

 
At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Q said...

...with the exception that my thoughts are rational, and your "beliefs" and blog are not, of course....

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger eyerish said...

Speaking from a New Yorker turned Floridian turned New Yorker... It is VERY hard to meet people in NYC. I have been back in NY from Tampa area for 5 years now and have hardly "met" anyone. In Tampa it was never a problem. I can honestly say I don't try internet dating, but I am also tired of meeting people in bars and no, for some reason I don't meet people at "cultural events." I hate Florida, but I might have to move back just to find a date.

 
At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eyerish, how do you meet people in florida, and why don't the same methods work in nyc? just wondering (for real!)

 
At 1:35 AM, Blogger dianne_lone said...

I dont see anything wrong in internet dating. infact, I met most of my dates through webdate.. I also met many friends through this sites.. I dont find anything wrong with it.. Though its really kinda hard to meet people online because its hard to trust them, but its just a matter of trying..

 
At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe it's because you're an over emotional loser...and unattractive.

 
At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i live in LA - i have no comment about NYC - but it is hard to meet people. In such big, fast paced cities, people work longer, commute longer, generally are going from one place to the next, and it can be hard to meet nice people in a big, intimidating city. Esp., people in your age group that you can relate to. The best way is to get involved in something after work, a class, a sports team whatever - once i started getting involved, i met lots of really sweet people.

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people go on dates with strangers anyway. All these serial daters, and on-line daters seem to go on hundreds of dates, and really never find what they're looking for. The problem isn't where you're looking or where you live. It's the fantasy world you've invented for yourself that tells you that somewhere in your future, you're going to find the guy with the perfect height, job, finances, penis and family.

You'll be surprised how often lasting relationships started from friendships. Perhaps your prince isn't online somewhere. Perhaps he or she is already in your circle or separated by six degrees. All you gotta do is look up. Turn off your computer and smile at somebody. It still works.

 
At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, as a person who has lived and worked in South Dakota for a year after graduating from a college out of state and moving here for the first time, it really IS hard to meet people in South Dakota. Wtf?

 
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