Craig gazed at Susan sipping her latte. She looked back with curious expectation.
He had met her in a grocery store checkout line, and they’d immediately hit it off … so well, in fact that he’d suggested a “get acquainted” date at Starbucks.
“I’m really glad you came,” he said, “I brought something that will help you get to know me better.” He removed his resume from its manila folder and handed it to her
It was packed with information about himself: his height, weight, eye color, level of education, career choice, future goals, hobbies, sports, and likes and dislikes in movies and music. It sported an 8 x 10 glossy of himself leaning against his new Tundra.
“Oh, this looks good!” she said and handed him hers.
Craig read it over quickly and compared it with his own. Yes, they seemed to be compatible in almost every way. He glanced up at her. “Well this looks really good. What do you think? Should we start dating?”
She nodded. It looked like a very promising relationship…
PEOPLE DON’T DATE PAPER
If this scenario doesn’t sound silly to you it does to me. Whoever heard of a real life relationship (except employment) beginning with people handing each other resumes?
So, why should it be any different when you’re searching for a mate online? Why would it be any more effective in cyberspace to judge a person from a piece of paper, no matter how thorough the description of that person might be?
The traditional approach to online dating does exactly that: you post your picture and profile on a dating site, and search other profiles. If someone likes your profile they contact you if they think you’re compatible (and vice versa, of course).
THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT
The trouble is that even if we are really good at presenting ourselves in writing, we generally can’t get across one essential element, and that is OURSELVES. Even a short written blurb doesn’t do it.
And that can make online dating a frustrating experience. Usually we get very few “bites”, and the ones we do get are usually just not right.
Why? Because a piece of paper just isn’t the real you, it’s something ABOUT you. You, that is, your personality, usually doesn’t come across.
The person that is looking for you, the real you, may never come your way.
YOU WILL SEE A STRANGER…ACROSS A CROWDED ROOM
In the real world, you may walk into a room, whether it’s a bar, a dance floor, a classroom, or a church fellowship hall and … see her/him across the room. You ask around. Does anybody know her? Can somebody introduce you?
Or you just walk up to her and introduce yourself, shake her hand, buy her a drink, and get her email address or telephone number. This is what works.
YOU NEED TO SEE THEM
Chatting allows you to begin talking with someone online in your own personal style; the person you are chatting with immediately gets a feel for your personality.
I’ve been chatting for some time now, with MSN chat, Yahoo chat, and ICQ, and have made a few friends online, but the trouble with these traditional chats is that you can’t actually see and interact with other people the way you would in real life. (Some might argue about the cam, but that’s the subject of another article).
Enter the two dimensional (and lately, the three dimensional chat), which greatly increases your chance of actually getting to know somebody, and having them get to know you.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU — THE VISUAL CHATROOM
Visual chatting has been around since 1999, but has never been fully utilized as an online dating tool.
The visual chat I am most familiar with is The Palace, http://www.thepalace.com. The Palace is actually a potentially infinite collection of “palaces”: online chat rooms set up on hosting servers by computer savvy members.
These “palaces” consist of a main entrance gate and many “rooms”, comprised of living rooms with fireplaces, outdoor scenes, bedrooms, dining rooms, etc and etc. The theme of the palace is usually consistent with the interests of the owner. Many are adult-only and may not be areas you wish to enter.
A directory of palaces is located at the palace.com site. You may choose to read either brief or long descriptions. I recommend reading the full description before entering a palace.
With the palace software installed, you can click on the link found in the directory and find yourself in any palace you choose.
INSTALLING THE SOFTWARE
In order to install the software, click on the palace link, fill out the registration information, download and run it. A unique identification number will be assigned to you.
When you run the software after installation, you will be given a default “avatar”. Your first avatar is a yellow “Happy Face” and your default identity will be “New Friend”. You’ll want to give yourself a new name. Think of a positive sounding name that describes who you are.
When you enter a palace, ask to visit their “props” room. There you can find an avatar that most suits you. Try to pick one that looks as much like you as possible (or, at least, what you would like to look like).
Be ready to have fun! You have entered a new world, where you just might find the special person you’ve been looking for. Soon, even though you may be 3000 miles apart, you can still “sit together” or actually “dance” with them online.
From The Palace, it’s just one step to Yahoo Messenger, cam, and, if things work out…