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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Kingpin – 4/1/04

Dear Kingpin,

I have not been having any luck with dating in Boston. I can’t get a woman to be willing to take our relationship beyond the physical. I’m about ready to give up. What should I do?

Lonely Tony

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Dear Tony,

If Boston’s dating scene isn’t working for you, find another that is more to your liking. Maybe it’s time to take your search online. I know that online dating has gotten a bad rap, but that means next to nothing. After all, not only losers and the unattractive make use of the web. Everyone is online these days (name one person you know that doesn’t have an e-mail address).

Even though they won’t admit it, most people have checked out chat rooms or online dating services at least once in their lives. So, there is no reason why you shouldn’t make use of this dating goldmine simply because of some awful misconception.

When you do finally go online and see what it has to offer you, have a clear idea of what you want before you begin your first search. If you make a rough list of the qualities you are looking for in another person, you are more likely to find someone who will mesh well with you. (Is this person stunningly beautiful? Is she brilliant or of average intelligence? Does she live close to you or far away?) Include every possible contingency in your list.

Once you have found someone (or even a few people) whom you want to talk to, it is important that you treat each encounter with her (them) as an actual date. Don’t assume that just because you are online that you are not really interacting with someone else. Lots of times people are more themselves online than they are in person because they don’t have to fear judgments from on-lookers.

After spending a few conversations in a chat room or over instant messenger, you might want to consider swapping telephone numbers. I recommend going from the cyber world to the phone before you get together in person because tone and inflection are so important in the getting-to-know-you process. While the Internet has many wonderful gifts to offer potential lovers, it cannot let you fully sense the emotion behind a given response (how many times have you felt that someone was angry in an e-mail when they were merely being grammatically correct?).

Finally, after one or two phone conversations where you really feel that a connection has been made between you and this other person, perhaps it is time to suggest a face-to-face encounter. From there, you should just keep interacting with each other as you did online and on the phone. You already like each other’s personalities enough to get together. You’re ahead of the game!

Sincerely,The Kingpin