Internet Dating Karma

December 30, 2008 · 1 comment

I believe in karma.  Not long ago, I posted the Gatha of Atonement under the heading “Act of Contrition”.  I suppose I’m still a little iffy on the whole reincarnation concept, but I belive in the general principle of “what goes around comes around.”

In the internet dating world, this means that I don’t send nasty messages to people who have something to say in their profile that I don’t particulary like – I just move on to the next one that catches my eye.  What I really should be saying is that I don’t do this any more.  I did send one not-so-nice message one day when I was in a foul and misogynistic mood (which are, belive it or not, rare for me).  I felt horrible for the next couple of weeks, and I deserved it.

This also means that I don’t stalk: I don’t send multiple messages to a girl in an attempt to get her attention.  If I don’t do so on the first try, that’s it, I move on.  These are pro-active “do-nots” for me.

On the flip side, I struggle philosophically with the right responses to initiated contact.  That is, if a girl sends me a message and I’m not interested, what do I say?  Because I believe in karma, I usually respond and say so – it’s just tough figuring out how to “let her down easy” without being patronizing or sounding arrogant. 

At this point, I don’t generally expect a response when I email a girl – maybe some day I’ll get out the calculator and set down my stats, but I’m gonna have to guess that I get a response to about one in 20-25 messages.  Yeah, why that is is definitely the subject of a whole ‘nother post. 

But I digress.  When I receive a message from someone I’m not interested in, I try to put some thought into my response.  In this day and age of “click-yes” and “click-no”, it’s easy to forget that there’s an actual person on the other side of the message.  I’ve been doing this internet dating thing for a few years now, and I know how hard it can be to work up the gumption to message someone I’ve never met before.  Especially on low self-esteem days.  And let’s face it, while I try not to flip through the personals when I’m feeling depressed, sometimes I do.  That thing in the back of my head that says “you’re not good enough; she’d never go for you” really loves confirmation (via a non-response).

While it might not be the greatest feeling in the world to read a message from a girl I found attractive and worthy of pursuit that says “thanks for your message but you’re too far away/I’m not interested/I don’t think we click”, it’s nice to know that the girl took the time to actually respond to my message.  It reminds me that there actually is someone on the other end of the line and helps keep those aforementioned misogynistic moods and little ill-speak voices in check.

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Tom January 2, 2009 at 12:30

All of these internet dating stories make me very glad I’m married and I don’t have to date. I’m sure it can be thrilling at times, but the constant self-analysis and rejection are things that I have no interest in experiencing again. But I suppose that’s the point of internet dating: finding someone you like so that you don’t have to do any more internet dating!


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