The online dating game: advice for freshers

Freshers: at university, you will find reams of rabid rapscallions. They will queue up just to get a morsel of you and taste your delicious nectar. They’ll gather in packs in nightclubs, in lectures, and even in your sleep. Yet, if this isn’t your idea of courtship, you can join a free dating website, where you will find a more sustained and desperate set of rabid rapscallions. There’s an important difference between online and live action dating: these people will have to woo you with words, rather than just subtle nuances of body language which only our ancestors really understood properly.

For that reason, the web really is worth a try. Over the summer I had a go, submerging myself into the wretched underworld of OkCupid. If I were to have LOVE, it would not be stirred by the beauty of a warm summer’s day, the lingering scent of petunia pulsating the gentle throb of my heart. No scenario from any film would happen to me (there’s something distinctly arrhythmic about “We’ll always have”). No, if I was to find love, it would be with the help of some faceless computer algorithm. I might as well prepare myself for our technological overlords now!

While I came close, I did not find my wearied Eurydice buried in that hellish website, her heart brimming with warmth after enduring the cold glare of grim shades. What I discovered, in fact, were some awful lessons about human interaction. So you don’t have to endure my fate, I will tell you what I learned.

Your dating profile will ask you some very basic questions about yourself. It all seems fairly reasonable. However, this is a ruse. Do not answer these questions in a way that provokes strangers to approach you and for conversations to spring up. Instead, experience has taught me that there are only two ways to fill in a dating profile.

The first method is a little difficult but rewarding. You may have been wondering whilst filling out this profile how, in the modern world of meta-narratives and the transvaluation of all values, we can talk about ourselves in an absolute way. Or, based on the fact that we all share consciousness and we can’t offload things on to one ego, man, how we even begin to talk about ourselves. Your profile should therefore embrace these confusions. Your dating profile should be used to deal a final blow to language, reason and sense. Let’s all be mysteries, enigmas; the equivalent of shady strangers in trench coats standing in the smoking area of Salvation. Indeed, as soon as I used dating websites to ask fundamental questions like, “Who AM I?”, I was so much more successful.

Copyright: Sam Hickford

Photo: Sam Hickford

Partners were swarming around me like data mosquitoes, sending me bytes of infectious love. Thanks to this method, I careen across hidden heaths, the mysterious aura of my data-profile-originated self forcing even sterile woodland to question its sensitive sempiternal patterns. I am dating while deconstructing all notions of who I am. Two in one stone! Oh yes!

However, this method is very time-consuming. You may profit more from the second method. You are a sagging, withering connection of loosely-bundled flesh. Why should you have to answer any questions at all? Don’t be elusive; just be a rather simple on-demand slab of meat, as we all effectively are. Kind of like real life, then! Fill out one or two questions half-heartedly, just to demonstrate that you are indeed a real person, albeit someone who has no sense of personality at all.

Copyright: Sam Hickford

Copyright: Sam Hickford

If anyone asks to meet up with you, talk little, and suppress any genuine expression of your selfhood. That way, people will mould you into what they want you to be, convenient bit of connective tissue that you are. While this approach is easier, it does necessitate the repression of any quirks, obsessions, intrigues, or thoughts that you might inconveniently possess as a member of the human race.

So there you have it, the techniques of internet courtship. Happy dating! What has the three-dimensional world of embodied, felt existence ever done for you anyway?


  1. While I think some of the presentation is a little juvenile it for hilight an important aspect of online dating: make your profile unique. If you say basically the same as the next guy, you’ll lose out to him with his six pack abs and mostly full set of teeth. If your profile stands out as something different, you’ll get some attention that you might otherwise miss out on and the next guy will lose out to the OTHER next guy with the same profile but six pack and, FULl set of teeth, and a fancy car or even the girl with the same profile but bi curious and a great rack. So b sure to be unique in your online dating forays.

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  2. 10 Sep ’14 at 12:10 pm

    Rabid Rapscallion


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  3. Jaunty writing… Get this guy a regular column!

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  4. 13 Sep ’14 at 12:58 pm

    The Real Harry Scoffin

    This is the most ridiculous tripe I’ve ever come across reading.

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  5. 15 Sep ’14 at 12:31 pm

    @The Real Harry Scoffin

    Sometimes I come across reading, sometimes I come backwards

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  6. Also rabbi hick ford, what’s your advice to those youths that simply want to enter into an affair with older married type?

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