Back when I had the time, I used to offer some services to help people with their online dating profiles. The services I offered included helping the client choose the right photo and helping with online dating profile writing. I tried to keep things as close as possible to the client’s own words, seeing as the clients were the ones looking for dates and not me.
I see it as a way of showing people stuff about themselves that they may have missed, so that they could put this information in their profile. There’s nothing wrong with that, much in the same way someone could come in, look at your rather random employment history and make it look really good on a CV. After all, writing about yourself is not easy, even for very outgoing, eloquent people. I know I hate marketing myself, but writing about someone else is not a problem at all for me.
I’ve also seen some services offering to write some opening messages for you, which I think is borderline. On one hand, sending a first message is a daunting task for many, but once a conversation has started, they find it easier to relate. On the other hand…well, it feels a bit unethical and dishonest.
So recently, when someone showed me a wanted ad for a job involving running people’s complete online dating account for them, I was frankly quite shocked. It seems there’s actually work out there for people to not only write your dating profile for you but also to choose and message suitable women for you, flirt with them online and arrange dates for you. Once the date is set, you presumably turn up all briefed about the lady and the conversation you’ve supposedly had and take it from there. Seriously, guys? Really?
For one, any relationship starting like this would be built on a massive lie. You’re not going to tell your dream gal that the person who enchanted her online was some random student looking for some extra cash on the side, are you? Well, you might, but I doubt you’d get very far.
Also, looking at it from the lady’s point of view (I’m assuming it’s mostly guys using this service, but there’s nothing that says women can’t and aren’t using it too), if you’re too busy to bother trying to make your own connections or so bad at talking to women you need someone else to do it for you, what will you do when there’s an actual woman there?
It might seem like an efficient way of cutting through the dating numbers’ game if you’re a busy executive, but really, people don’t like being taken for a ride and if you’re not like the person who pretended to be you, it’s going to turn around and bite you in the ass.
From what I’ve seen, this is exactly what happens and such relationships don’t last. It’s easy to make a very shy, lost person look outgoing and confident online, but once you swap over to the real deal, the person on the other side is going to know something is off, or just lose interest.
“But it’s just like traditional matchmaking used to be, just updated for the digital age!” I hear some people cry. Well, actually, no it isn’t. People who go to a dating agency or a matchmaker know the score and they know someone else will be matching them with another person and arranging the dates. People on a dating site assume the person writing to them is the person they will meet later on.
If you can’t bring yourself to do your online dating “work” yourself, maybe dating online is not for you.
Why not use an actual matchmaking service (such as Coffee and Company in the UK) where someone does look for suitable dates instead of you and arrange your dates for you, but everything is above board?
Alternatively, you can let your personality shine at a speed dating or singles’ event.