E-Disharmony….

I think I need help with this one friends:

A friend of mine told me he contacted a woman on some dating website. She was attractive and only interested in white men so he jumped at the chance. Unfortunately though, before she agreed to meet him, she asked if he’d send her a picture of his teeth. He asked his friends for advice. What to do?

Many of our friends on Facebook chimed in, telling him the girl s0unded like a prudent “keeper” and that he ought to pony up his fangs ASAP. I, as is usually the case, disagreed with everyone and suggested he forget the girl entirely. “You don’t need superficial relationships in your life.”

The responses to my innocent opinion were quick and savage. I don’t have a woman, so apparently, according to the general wisdom, I ought not have any say in the discussion. Don’t listen to that Scott Terry guy, he’s not married!

Ok. They’ve got me there, but consider a bit of hard-earned philosophy:

I’m convinced we can’t know a person from their online presence alone – at least, we can’t get an idea of what someone is really like that way. There’s something about face to face meetings the internet will never be able to replicate; something about body language, tone of voice, eye contact, and the like. Subtle aspects of a person’s identity are communicated and observed by those in the room and such things can’t be easily transmitted through mail. Usually we’re not even aware we notice them or that we present them to others.

Dating websites then, at lest in my limited experience, abstract people from their “face to face” or “real life” context and present them in neat little gnostic packages for leisurely perusal. It’s like a superstore for mates. And the girl my buddy is tangled up with sounds like she’s shopping for her perfect little Ken doll.

How can she be of a serious mind? How can she possibly be a good helpmate for him? She’s interested in an abstracted notion of a man and couldn’t care less about the man behind the profile. Even if it’s an honorable website, one where people genuinely want relationships instead of quick modernist trysts, it’s still a process of abstraction and a denial of basic humanity.

What say you, readers?

Should my friend show the girl his teeth?

**EDIT**

I’ve anticipated a few questions:

1. Why are you only picking on the poor girl here?

Well, I’m giving my friend the benefit of the doubt because he’s my friend. I assume he has only the best of intentions and wouldn’t want to inadvertently abstract the poor girl from her life context.

2. Limited experience with dating websites? Come now Shotgun…be honest!

Back in my Navy days, we had to stand 12 hour security watches. If we lucked out and got assigned the duty-desk, we’d have access to a computer all night. To keep from falling asleep (and yes, because I was a little curious), I went to e-harmony’s website and spent the thirty minutes or so answering all their personality profile questions. I hit enter and the logarithm churned and crank, took a long time, and finally gave me a message saying something like: “…we’re sorry, according to our analysis, you’re one of the rare individuals who will never find a good match on e-harmony.”

…imagine my feelings at that point.

Now, I’ve since re-taken the test if only to see if I could replicate the results. They must have tweaked their analytics or either I’ve matured in how I answered the questions, but whatever the case, I passed with flying colors. I never went beyond that step though or looked through their database to see who all my “matches” were.

I don’t need some team of lab-coat-wearing pagans to tell me if I’m allowed to love a woman or not.

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13 Responses to E-Disharmony….

  1. Matt Parrott says:

    He should split the difference, sending her an image of her teeth while being on the lookout for a potential pattern of superficiality. Absolutes are for first principles, not character quirks…even very negative ones.

    Were it me, I’d go out and buy some loose chewing tobacco before taking the photo.

    • You’re not married so your opinion doesn’t matter – and if you disagree, I’ll delve into your background and drag up your character flaws for all the world to see.

      • Matt Parrott says:

        I spent less than six months attempting to court online within the relevant political circles.

        It’s been well over a year now, and I’m still the subject of vindictive rumor campaigns and personal attacks relating to that few weeks. I dindu nuffin to deserve all that negativity. Nothing. Save for parrying some truly egregious stuff like Roosh, I just pretend everybody on the Internet is a dude now and avoid any conversations relating to gender or courtship.

        I do fine with local girls. And even when it doesn’t work out, I don’t have the venom from both them and the other dudes fighting over them to contend with. There are worse things than dying alone, …and internet romance is among them.

      • First, I’m sorry all that happened to you, but that ought to teach you not to abandon me as your wing man.

        Secondly – I have had much the same experience. My attempts at reaching out to ladies through miles of wire, cable, and air-waves, have (in the few attempts I’ve made) gone terribly. I think it goes so terribly for the reason I’ve noted in this blog post: there’s something…gross…about abstracting humans from their local contexts. When I meet a girl, I want to know her mom and go fishing with her dad, and probably fight her brothers. I want her neighbors to know me and I want her to know mine.

        This is agrarianism 101 and the very people who ought to know better (the proud Southerners on my Facebook wall) are the ones attacking my personal character – saying I don’t know anything about women and that I’ll likely be a bachelor my entire life. Proof that all are born Yankees to the race of men, in this now too, the country of the damned.

  2. rogerunited says:

    I have been married for close to 20 years, so I think I can weight in here!

    Healthy teeth are a sign of general health. A man who takes care of his teeth is probably generally healthy, but not necessarily good looking, so your charge of superficiality may be incorrect. Of course you may be right and bad teeth are a turn off for her. My wife always notices peoples’ teeth, I almost never do.
    I would be more worried that she’s an ‘HBD’ adherent and is simply looking for a genetically ideal mate and not necessarily for a husband or father.

    Or she could simply be weeding out the meth addicts from the dating pool.

    If he’s going the online dating route, your friend should send a pic of his teeth in order to get to the in person meeting so he can find out. Then you can report back and we’ll all be wiser.

  3. Tim Harris says:

    Well I mean even the Army used to require that a man have 3 incisors up and 3 down, plus 3 grinders up and 3 down. And to add insult to injury, they had to be lined up such as to work in harmony!
    http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/dental/ch6.htm

  4. Hampton says:

    No pic. If its a mandatory request then she’s not a keeper. I suspect its a test that you fail by complying. At a minimum I’d reply first asking for a picture of her mother.

    • HAHAHA! Well played. I suggested he tell her she’d have to come find out herself, preferably by examining his teeth with her tongue…

      Most of my friends (even the ones I thought were my friends but who viciously attacked me due to my being a bachelor), have good hearts but little practical experience with all those online dating apps. I admit I have zero experience with them either, but I’m surrounded by guys who constantly use them and talk about them. The women who use those things aren’t looking for nice relationships; they’re looking for state-sponsored polygamy (they can sleep around all they’d like and have the men pay them for any children from a distance). My friends strike me as naive – thinking the girl was exercising her ancient right of the feminine prerogative. And were that the case, I’d heartily agree she has every right to see his teeth.

      …but here, in this context, it’s more like she’s examining him like she would a horse.

  5. Elle says:

    Hahaha! If she’s looking for a prized pony, you’d think she would inquire more about the pedigree. The only advantages I can think of, for online dating portals, is the easy avenue of finding people with similar values. Everything else, personality, compatibility, etc., has to be field tested.

    • …and by field tested, you mean, you can’t love someone until you’ve picked tomatoes with them? lol

      Your comment makes me think of something the Bible says: if we have not love, everything else is a resounding noise – or so much smoke in the air. And I’m naive enough to still believe in love at first sight.

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