The Online Dating - Dail-up to Apps

The Online Dating – Dail-up to Apps

Back in 2004 when I started my search for Mr Right For Me it was the start of the online dating revolution.  For those under the age of about 25 reading this 2004 in Australia at least was still in the dinosaur times of plug in phone line and dial up modems.  I was lucky my top of the line laptop actually had a built in modem so I only needed to be somewhere in my unit where I could plug the phone line in and I had access to the world.

After the 3 breakup in a relatively short period of time and a slightly drunken night out at the pub with my girlfriends I decided to bite the bullet and investigate this “Online Dating” they were all raving about.  So while drinking coffee and nursing my hangover I did what any good researcher does I read everything I could find on Online Dating.  Mostly the reviews ranged from it’s all a scam to these sites are ok but avoid these one and there was some useful advice still relevant to todays online dating apps like:

  • never give out your personal details,
  • if meeting for a date do it at a very public place,
  • if you have kids don’t give details out about them,
  • verify the site is legit before giving any type of payment,
  • read the fine print about what they can do with your details
  • if someone gives you and e-mail address plug it into Google and see what comes up (this is really good way of quickly finding if the person you’re chatting to is a scammer, lier or just plan creepy)

In 2004 I was still working for Australian Dept of Defence and my job came with very very very high security clearance so I decided to make sure any sites I listed with were hosted out of Australia after all I was going to meet prince charming, date and marry him and that was going to mean he would need to be security cleared so someone from overseas would be complications I didn’t need.  The fact I was broke limited me to the sites that were free for basic membership.  Once I’d done all my research I narrowed it down to two sites I would list with both free, hosted in Australia and the reviews listed them as two of the better sites.  I don’t remember what the sites were called but they had detailed profiles to fill out, preference tick boxes for what you were looking for and a digital photo section, basically the same set up used by Relationship Firms and the modern online/mobile apps of today.

After filling in my profiles I was expecting instant contact from interested guys, yeah right didn’t happen. Cue the sound of crickets and time-lapse photography as the cobwebs slowly grew over my furniture and my unit started to look like Miss Havisham house as described by Dickens in Great Expectations as I waited despondently.  Actually after the first week of obsessively checking my profiles every night and deleting the odd-balls and figuring out how to BLOCK people I completely forgot about it all as I had to go away for 3 weeks for work and by the time I got back my unit really was starting to look like Miss Havishams as I’d left a window open and dust had crept in along with the over active spider.  Once I’d cleaned my house and cracked open my private e-mail I nearly died to find I had close to 300 e-mails sitting in the inbox unread.

It didn’t take lone to realise they were notifications from my Dating Sites to tell me I had messages so after deleting the e-mails I logged into Site A and boy oh boy oh boy did I get a shock.  Most of the messages had attached photos of the guys dick with requests to hook up.  Turns out Site A had morphed into the hook-up site for Melbourne for quickies, adulterous hubbies, weirdos and nut jobs.  So with a large amount of swearing and digging through their entire site I found out how to delete my profile and did.  Site B wasn’t so bad turns out they had a porn filter so guys and girls had to keep their profiles clean or get kicked off the site.  Most of them still seemed to be looking for random hook-ups but I did end up communicating with Mr Paranoid and actually going on a date with Mr Honey Man both of whom I’ll describe in detail next posts.

I stuck with the online dating thing until 2006 despite moving from Melbourne to RAAF Base Richmond and then to Canberra, where I finally got the shits with it and took up my then housemates suggestion of going with a Relationship Consultancy Firm.  Due to life events and a dieing laptop I didn’t venture back into the world of Online Dating till 2011 when I got an iPhone and my housemate at the time in Brisbane convinced me it would if nothing else be fun to compare the guys who hit on us since we were both in the Big & Beautiful category but where as I carry most of my weight in my ass she’s top heavy (code for amazingly big boobs).  As it turns out my housemate and I also had fundamentally different likes and dislikes and where as she is to put it nicely passive I’m a lot more dominant and if you tick me me off I’ll let you have it.  So she would end up with guys looking for a submissive mate and I ended up with mostly guys looking to be my submissive mate in the process gaining the nickname “Mistress” among my friends.

According to my “Purchasing History” on my iPhone I’ve at one time or another tried:

  • Singles Around Me
  • Cougar Life
  • Oasis
  • Zook
  • Skout
  • Hangouts
  • Tingle Online Dating for Mobile Singles
  • Tinder
  • UniformDating
  • eHarmony
  • Flurv
  • Baboo
  • Blendr
  • Meet by Moonlight
  • POF (stands for Plenty of Fish)
  • Australia Speed Flirt – it never actually worked
  • Dating DNA Free

I’ve never actually gone on a date with any person I’ve chatted to on these sites, so I’ve given up on the online yet again and am considering going down the path of something like Table For 6 or a group off Meet-Up.  First I have to get a new job and figure out where I’ll be living as it would be a tad stupid to sign up for a local events thing on the Sunshine Coast if I have to move to Brisbane or go back to working FIFO as I’ll never be here to go on any events.

Next post I’ll cover things to think about if your planning to go down the path of Online Dating including profile does and don’ts and online etiquette (heres a hint no I don’t want photos of you penis).