Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy

Hey Big Daddy,
I’m sure I’m not alone in my griping about the Sacramento singles scene. The
desperate situation drove me to online dating. I know its commonplace now,
but I’m a bit nervous. I’ve just split with my longtime girlfriend, who I
met in high school, and just don’t have a lot of experience being single,
let alone with online dating. Got any pointers for me?

–Natomas Neophyte

Hey Neophyte,
The modern world is full of perils anew – from dirty bombs, to the 24-hour
news cycle to the phenomenon that was Barney the oversized, dancing purple
dinosaur. Some things, like that God-forsaken purple reptile, mercifully
pass with time. Others, like the labyrinth that is the world of online
dating, are here to stay.

Online dating is a lot like political fundraising. You’ve basically got to
swallow your pride and ask a lot of people you don’t know to do something
they basically don’t want to do. But as with fundraising, the trick is to
convince them they’ll actually get something out of it in return, while
keeping at least some of your dignity in tact.

It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Promise. And as with fundraising, the
more you do it, the easier it gets. So, here are a few tips as you begin the
humbling and humiliating world that is life as a single in Sacramento.

First, although online dating may suggest anonymity, forget it. Assume that
everyone is reading your ad. Trust me on this one — you’re not the only
person in the capital who’s taken to the superhighway of love. Other people
who you know, or who know you, can and will see your ad, and can and will
forward it to all of their friends, your friends, your enemies, the Capitol
Morning Report and anyone else who may or may not be interested in the ad.

So, be honest. Or at least don’t stretch so much that you open yourself to
more ridicule than you’re going to receive on the natural. If you have a
reputation for being someone who needs anger management classes, don’t try
to pass yourself off as a loveable teddy bear who likes to “cuddle.”

Also, when selecting a photo, a simple headshot will do. Avoid shots of you
and your dog, or mugging for the camera on the beach in Maui.

Also, don’t fall into the trap of online flirting with no follow-through.

Many online daters love the anonymity the computer provides, and get
addicted to the online flirting – the witty banter in all those e-mails and
instant messages. We all know you’re better in print than you are in person,
but so what? At some point, you’re going to have to take the plunge and meet
her. Plug yourself full of liquor first, if you have to, but hiding behind
the screen will only get you where you already are-firing off anonymous
e-mails to weekly newspapers looking for dating advice.

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