Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When Strangers Click & Creep

In an attempt to cure my Valentine's Day hangover, I decided to go with a hair of the dog remedy and watch the HBO special, When Strangers Click. The premise was simple and promising, a documentary that follows the journey of 5 couples who met online.

While I was hoping for stories about cute gays that met on GrindR and hipsters finding in each other in a sea of flannels and sending introductory emails exclaiming I'd shave my beard for you, what I got was very different. Instead of showing that online dating can be an honest way to connect for the 22% of couples that have reaped its benefits, it highlighted the freakish and awkward. From a couple that only contacted each other in second life to a woman who married a foreigner after knowing him for one day, these 5 stories reinforced the cliche that people who date online are living in an alternate reality, prolonging the inevitable disclosure of an epic deal breaker or lead a double life as a politician/sexual deviant(see story #2).

Even the stats and figures in the film seem some what archaic. My personal favorite: the number one concern for a woman meeting a man online is that he is a serial killer, the number one concern for a man meeting a woman online is that she is fat. Maybe it is the truth and it was just the AOL dial up modem in the background throwing me off. I never thought I would say this, but this sh*t makes me long for eHarmony commercials, you know the one where the pretty boutique owner doesn't have time for love untill that adorable scruffy guy swings her around in a field of dandelions?! Sorry I couldn't resist.


  1. True story: I personally have never tried on-line dating (not b/c I am opposed to it, I just think I come across better in person), but I have browsed through profiles on Match.Com once or twice out of curiosity. On one particular occasion I stumbled across the profile of a girl that I know. A girl that I've always secretly had a thing for but never initiated anything with because it never seemed like the appropriate time. Always in a relationship, or just getting out of one. But then, there she was. Single, and looking to meet someone. Contacted her, we went out... blah, blah, blah.

    This in my opinion is the real benefit of on-line dating. At least from a guy's perspective. It alleviates the pressure of not knowing what a girl is looking for. If she's looking for anything at all. The best advice I ever got about meeting women in NYC was this (and fellas pay attention because I am giving you a gem here): If you want to meet a girl, make a point of going out on a Saturday night when the weather is shit. If it's pouring down rain or there's a foot of snow on the ground, get to a bar, lounge, club, or restaurant. Anything. Why? Because the women who ARE out, are the women who are going out of their way to make it out. These are the women who are looking for a good time. Looking to meet guys. No girl goes to the trouble of dressing up and trying to maneuver around giant puddles while holding a shit $5 umbrella that she bought outside of Grand Central one rainy morning trying to keep her hair from frizzing if she didn't want to have fun and flirt. No girl will slosh through a snow storm that would make a sherpa blush in six inch stilettos and a pair of over priced mittens from Bloomingdale's if she didn't want to laugh and have someone buy her a drink. Any other time it's like interviewing for a job that you aren't even sure is available. But in this instance, the job of "boyfriend" is unoccupied and she's eagerly taking resumes. Submit your's, and hope you get an interview. Online dating sites are effectively modern day dating recruiting firms. A place for guys to browse which girls are hiring, and a place for girls to decide which candidates are qualified.


  2. VV! You make so much sense! True story: I found someone I liked on Match.com once, but we were dating at the time...Jerk.

    I think the parallel between dating and a career search is hysterical and accurate. I have a friend who gets tons of interviews and first dates but never lands the job or the girl. His "resume" is impeccable but something must be falling short. Might be his tendency to speak a few decibals above everyone else....but who knows?! I could go on and on with the dating/job parallels...this is a big idea! In fact next time I dump a guy, I'm telling him "You're Fired."

  3. Wah, this is disappointing. I'll skip this documentary for now.

  4. my motto is always judge for yourself, but honestly i found this more depressing than the ending of Catfish. xo