The A(n)nals of Online Dating is a new weekly column about How We Date Now, from the proprietor of the website of the same name, showing the best of the worst internet dating has to offer.
In the real world, talking about marriage with a potential love interest is tricky territory. What you probably don’t do is walk up to a total stranger, tell them you want to get married, and then discuss your inevitable divorce. What you definitely don’t do is walk up to several total strangers, tell them all you want to get married, and then discuss your many inevitable divorces with all of them at the same time.
That’s the real world. Online dating is a different game, and there’s a whole creepy cohort of men out there who think it’s cute to propose marriage and divorce over OK Cupid. Because these men clearly have excellent judgment, they also send nearly identical marriage messages to dozens of women. Then I have the sad job of saying, “Girl, I’m sorry, I know this will come as a shock because you thought you were special and this internet proposal was real, but homeboy is cutting and pasting it all over town.”
Look at this guy, whose identical communiqué was submitted to A(n)nals by at least three different gals:
So… I messaged you just to chat but I’m kind of concerned. I mean, we could hit it off really well, end up having a few drinks, next thing you know you’re giving me your number because I’m too shy to ask for it, I finally get up the nerve to call and we take in a movie, have that dinner, I relax, you relax, we go out a few more times, get to know each other’s friends, spend a lot of time together, then finally get past this sexual tension and really develop this intense sex life that is truly incredible, decide our relationship is solid and stable, so we move in together for a while, then a few months later get married, I get a promotion, you get a promotion, we buy a bigger house. You really want kids, but I really want freedom, but we have a kid anyway, only to find that I am resentful, the sparks start to fade and to rekindle them we have two more lovely kids, but now I work too much to keep up with the bills, have no time for you, you’re stressed and stop taking really good care of yourself, so to get past our slow sex life and my declining self-confidence I turn to an outside affair for sexual gratification. You find out because I’m careless and a lousy liar, you throw me out (justifiably so) and we have to explain to the kids why mommy and daddy are splitting up. That’s just too sad. Think about the children. For God’s sake, if you chat with me and we hit it off, let’s just keep it sexual, because we both know where it’s going.
That’s a lot of words for a note that basically says, “let’s bang!”
But it’s still slightly better than this guy, with a beach house and multiple personalities:
After a rigorously brief overview of your profile, I wanted to let you know I have already married and divorced you in my mind. Thanks for all the wonderful imaginary memories… you will always have a special place in my heart. Your Ex-husband, - Amir p.s. You can keep the beach house in Florida as long as I can have the dog and my DVD’s back
After a rigorously brief overview of your profile I wanted to let you know that I have already officially married and divorced you in my mind. Thanks for all the wonderful imaginary memories… you will always have a special place in my heart. your ex-hubby, Justin P.S. You can keep the beach house in Florida as long as I can have the dog and my DVD’s back :)
Dear my beautiful wife ,
After a rigorously brief overview of your profile, I wanted to let you know I have already married and divorced you in my mind. Thanks for all the wonderful imaginary memories. you will always have a special place in my heart.
ps. You can keep the house in hawaii, but I am going to need half our money according to our prenup.
Dear Miss After a rigorously brief overview of your profile, I wanted to let you know I have already married and divorced you in my mind. Thanks for all the wonderful imaginary memories…. You will always have a special place in my heart. Your ex-hubby ps. You can keep the beach house in Blackpool as long as I can have the dog and my cd’s back..
The only thing sadder than a mass marriage-message is a mass marriage-message that the author clearly re-types and lightly edits every time. You can see Amir / Justin / Eric’s thought process here as he tries a slightly different version of the previously-rejected message on new ladies: Is the problem my name? The location of the beach house? CDs vs. DVDs? Should I tell her she’s beautiful? Maybe I need a prenup?
Sadly, Amir / Justin / Eric isn’t the only gentleman making small changes before he moves on to another target. Mr. Neat also has big plans for your future together:
You’re neat. I think we should hang out so I can make you fall in love with me, break your heart, and use you for your friends. Don’t worry, you can do the same with mine. Then when we’re old and still single we can get married and have a mansion in California and smuggle drugs on a boat. The boat will be named “ImAFuckinPirate”. Anyway you seem like a pretty cool person, I’d love to get together sometime and let you cook for me.
You are neat, I think we should just get married right now. We’ll get a dog and name him Burt and make grilled cheese sandwiches. If you turn out to be crazy that’s ok, we will be filthy rich and you will go to therapy while I GTL everyday. Anyway you seem like a pretty cool person, I’d love to get together sometime and let you kiss me.
I don’t know who’s luckier, Girl 1 or Girl 2. Girl 1 gets a boat and gets the pleasure of making him dinner. But Girl 2 gets a dog and a grilled cheese.
This seems like a lot of effort, though, for messages that no woman in her right mind would ever respond to. These guys should take a hint from Craig, who doesn’t bother with time-sucks like “editing.” Craig doesn’t even worry about minor issues like capitalization, or accurate spelling and grammar, or punctuation anywhere in the universe of correct or even plausible. Craig just gets to the point. He thinks a thought and he lets it fly:
hello . craig is the name dont wear it out .. ok lame .. lets see how about .. hi . my name is craig . your very pretty . would you like to dance ? .. no ? hmm . ok .. i love you lets get married ??:)
I hope he went to Jared.
Illustration by Dan Blackman