I Don’t Date Packaging

First of all; let me confess that I am an on-off online dater. I’m that type of online dater who has an account on at least two free dating sites and who spends two months each season not actually using them, and one month using just one.

Except for this time. Spurred on by an article (which I appear to have lost) named ‘X Dating Apps that’ll actually lead to dates’ I found myself downloading every app available to 1) my Android phone, and 2) The UK, because goddammit the state of dating is dire here and the British need all the help they can get to date. Or maybe that’s just me.

ANYWAY; I downloaded this app called Coffee Meets Bagel because it seemed like magic and would solve all the issues I have with ‘traditional’ dating websites. That is, my friends, the overwhelming issue of trying to manage conversations with suitors while trying to continue doing the things that you do because it’s those things that you do that the suitors find interesting. I’d hope so anyway.

Management includes checking out the profile to work out which suitors I am interested in and might be worth the energy of messaging or replying to. I am an Ambivert – there’s only so much socialising I can do before I become too tired and decide I hate everyone. I never actually realise when this point is, but when getting a call from my parents is enough to cause me to sigh deeply, it’s too late. (But I love you mam and dad, really!)

Which is why I don’t respond to ‘packaging’ – a term that came to me a week after I left Coffee Meets Bagel after a disappointing string of…disappointing profiles.

What is Packaging? I hear you question, in your squishy brain. ‘Packaging’, is a profile that has photos, and a name, but no description about the person. It’s like being handed a packet of crisps with no flavour description and crisps. No substance – just the packaging.

So why do you care so much? Packaging is an issue for you and for me. Well let me illustrate with an analogy that isn’t about bagels, but is about crisps:

Imagine you’ve, for whatever reason, received a crate that is one giant variety crisp pack. You open the crate to see a bunch of mixed colour packets from various manufacturers. People, this truly is the most super of variety packs.

However, the designs of the different packets don’t always help you identify what flavour it is, so you decide to read what it says on the packet. Some of them are your favourite flavours, so you put them to the side. Most of them are not, so you put them to the other side. However, some of the packets only have the Manufacturer’s name on the front, and the design is a photo of crisps.

‘Okay’, you think, ‘I’ll just look inside and try one’. You open the packet. There is nothing inside except a note from the manufacturer.

Please call the manufacturer to receive your crisps!

So you just put it to the side for now. It must surely be a mistake, right? No manufacturer would give you an empty bag of crisps. How are you supposed to take a bite of delicious potato if there are no crisps? So you open another one of these mysterious crisp-picture packet but you find the same thing. So you open another, and another.

Eventually you really want to make sure you’ve picked out all the favourites, so you call a couple of the manufacturers. They tell you the crisps are Marmite flavoured, or pickle flavoured, or salad creme flavoured, but you don’t like any of those, so you feel like you are wasting time. In the meantime, you’re eating the crisps that you picked out earlier. Some of them are more delicious than others, but at least you know that you’re getting something and some of them you want to eat again.

You look in the crate again and realise that a good proportion of the crate are these mystery bags. You weigh up having to phone every one of the manufacturers to find out more vs continuing to eat the crisps that you know about. You are tired from sorting out the crisps. You choose to eat the crisps you have already picked out.

The issue for me is that these empty Packaging Profiles are a waste of my time and limited energy. The issue for you is that people who think and feel like me are going to pass you up because there are people who give us something to work with. Look, I’m not saying I’m the perfect catch or anything, but you’re going to have a better chance of finding someone you get along with if they feel inclined to send you a message!

Why would I pass you up? I don’t know anything about you, and you haven’t even given me a hook for a message more creative than ‘Hello, how are you? What do you like?’ (snoooooore)

I like to send messages that say ‘Hey, wow you seem really awesome I just HAD to message you. I too like [THING] and [THING]! What is [Thing I don’t know about] like?’

Do you know how many hobbies and interests there are in the world? THOUSANDS (probably)! If you happen to be Mr. ProPoolPlayer and you desire to be like someone on Jackass, we’re not going to get along, but I’ve just wasted the time it takes to write a message, and you to respond to find that out. I could have read that on your profile and not wasted anyone’s time.

Finally, do you know what kind of message you are sending out when you can’t even be bothered to write a paragraph or even a list about yourself? It screams at me that you are lazy, are not very self-aware, probably here for the sex, and will be someone I struggle to start a meaningful conversation with. It also shouts that you might not have any great selling points, so feel the need to fish for messages.

So I’m sorry. If I see ‘ask me’ or ‘…’ as your description, I’m not going to take the bait, because there are plenty of attractive people who don’t feel the need to beg for messages.

Does anyone else get annoyed by these empty packages, or is it just me?

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