Every issue we‘ll roadtest something a little bit different. This month Naomi Russo tries online dating.
Mission: To find true love online, for free! I’m cynical, but this is cheaper than heading to a bar, and I get to stay in my dressing gown. I don’t intend on going any dates; I just want to see what the internet has to offer, other than cats and ads.
SinglesWhoClick seemed fair enough at the start, aside from the stupid name. It was easy to sign up and the questions weren’t too intrusive. However once I started viewing matches, I became a little hesitant. Members favoured usernames that included the words “horny” or “2sexcy.” “Hello can I show you something” was a particularly alarming opening line by a ‘match’ whose chest was so shiny I had to turn down the brightness on my screen. My best match was a man who’d recently self-published a book but could not spell.
Hours wasted: 45 minutes (I was too depressed to stay on any longer)
Matches: 0 (Perhaps the older categories have more to offer, but the 20-30 range was less appealing than a Jersey Shore reunion)
ChatRandom has replaced ChatRoulette as the number one site to do just about everything your mother ever told you not to. Strict new rules have made ChatRoulette lamer than Myspace. Thankfully Chatrandom has saved the day. They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. On ChatRandom you just have to see a lot of old man penis before you see a face. And then they’ll probably ask to see your tits as well.
Hours wasted: 2 (It’s addictive like watching a friend’s incredibly public break-up)
Matches: 0 (Had a few good conversations, most of which did, however, end in requests for nudity)
RSVP seemed fairly innocuous as I signed up, asking me simple questions and leaving room for a little creative exposition about myself. I pulled a blank. There is almost nothing to be said in an opening line, or the following ones for that matter, that isn’t boring, cheesy or downright creepy. I went with “Hi.” Maybe I’d find a person equally as lazy. I learnt that RSVP thinks my perfect match is someone well read, tall and creative. Brilliant! Except apparently all my matches were around 60, bar one 22 year old who claimed he was looking for “sexc tal gurls” (sic). I felt sick.
Hours wasted: 3.5 (More eye candy than an old people’s home. I couldn’t look away).
Matches: Several silver foxes who I cannot contact for fear that my grandmother may be friends with them
OKCupid is the most thorough of all these sites. You can answer a plethora of questions that will allegedly find your perfect match. Some, such as those about children and religion, seemed legitimate. Others, such as “In a certain light, wouldn’t nuclear war be exciting?,” seemed concerning, as did the option to make it mandatory that any match agree to sex on the first date. My first message from a so-called match was short, and to the point, “Would you be interested in a contract marriage?” Not yet, buddy, not yet.
Hours spent: 3 (The questions were addictive)
Matches: 0, but 1 potential contract marriage if writing doesn’t work out
Result: In the end I struggled with the idea of a formulaic match. I don’t like it when people want a ‘boyfriend’ rather than wanting a specific person. That being said, I won’t be deleting my accounts— the creepy messages and ‘kisses’ do make a nice break from emails about work deadlines and penis enlargements.