I am dating myself in more ways than one.
A child of the sixties, I grew up in the heyday of game shows. Before Match.dot.com, Cupid worked his magic on The Dating Game.
Three handsome, groovy guys sitting on stools behind a screen; one wide eyed young woman in mini-skirt and go-go boots; a list of cute questions written down on index cards.
Bachelor #1 “First date: burgers, barbecue, or beef bourguignon?”
Bachelor #2 “Which describes you best: knight in shining armor, handyman, or boy next door?”
Bachelor #3 “Tell me about a time when you were a bad, bad boy?”
Cue the fizzy pop music and the tick and the tock of the clock. Sixty seconds later, she chooses and its love at first sight.
From the technology of TV to the app on your phone, the dating business is still pretty much a game show.
So pick up your TV Guide, friends, and come along for the ride. I am filing my field report for the last seven days.
To Tell the Truth aired first in 1956. Remember? Three guys claim to be astronauts. Two are lying. One is not. Hmmmm, dating app, how do I tell the difference?
Well, read between the lines.
The profile says he lives in DC but he messages you from LA. FAKE.
The profile is erudite, witty, and well written but in his messages he can barely write a sentence. FAKE.
His profile picture appears to be clipped from a Calvin Klein ad in GQ. FAKE.
Will the real astronaut, please, stand up?
Uh, oh. Sorry, he never showed up. He was never really here at all. FAKE.
Queen for a Day was first a radio and then a TV show. One lucky lady gets flattered , and pampered, and showered with gifts. And we all know that flattery will get you ___________?
“Hey Beautiful. Hi Gorgeous. You look younger than your age. How is it possible that you are still single?”
“So you’ve looked at my picture, I see, but have not read my profile.”
“O yes I have and we have so much in common.”
And they respond with adjectives and generalities copied and pasted from a script somewhere.
They pledge their undying love after a text or two.
Flattery will get you NOWHERE.
The Gong Show was an amateur hour that first aired in 1976. Remember?
Contestants get up on stage and it starts out well. And then very, very quickly it goes south. Very, very quickly, the act gets really, really bad.
Attractive, well read, doctor guy goes from attractive to creepy to scary in just three texts. GONG! BLOCKED!
Middle school music teacher and bandleader turns out to be just a sleazy guy looking for sex. GONG! BLOCKED!
Soldier guy serving in Kabul is really a sixteen year old on his computer in his basement. GONG! BLOCKED!
As I said at the beginning, I am dating myself. Not just showing my age, but I am learning to know and value the datable me.
I am learning very quickly to weed out the scammers, to discern who is genuine and who is not. Sadly it seems that equates to practically everyone on these sites. You’re left pretty much left scraping the bottom of the barrel to discover anyone real at all.
The bar gets set very, very low.
This kabuki theater is not worth my time.
There is virtually no TRUTH here but the potential for dangerous CONSEQUENCES is very, very real – especially for romantic types in my demographic.
The Internet is full of “Digital Lotharios”. To learn this, you need only go the Internet and Google it.
“Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves,” scripture says.
Face the truth.
Avoid the consequences.
Love is not a game.
The Rev: Joani