The original version of this post was deleted because I realised it was way too cynical, even for me. Marginally less twisted (if disconnected) version below:
Online dating is fraught with pitfalls. Getting from the profile view stage to the meet-up stage to the ding-dong-buy-your-mother-a-hat-for-the-wedding stage, seems to require that an improbable number of things go right. You might as well take a bowl of pond water and a cattle prod and attempt to simulate the emergence of life.
Anyway, it could be that you’ve seen someone you like on the site, and are wondering what will come of it. Will this budding romance lead you on to new territory? Or will a surprise trip to A&E be on the cards? Follow this flowchart for a rundown of all possible outcomes.
NB – I know it’s not a real flowchart, but what’s a girl to do without a plug-in.
1) You see a profile you like the look of. The owner’s user name is devastatingly witty, but for the purposes of neutrality, let’s call him/her Bob.
You click on Bob’s ‘unacceptable match answers’. Which does Bob think is bigger, the Earth or the Sun?
a) The Earth – go back to START
b) The Sun – proceed to QUESTION 2
c) The Earth but you’re pretty sure this pre-Copernican faux-pas is meant as ‘ironic’ – proceed to QUESTION 2 … hesitantly
2) … and what about Bob’s stance on teeth-brushing?
a) Twice or more a day – proceed to QUESTION 3
b) Only on days he/she feels like it – go back to START
d) Rarely/never – go to the BLOCK BOB BUTTON
3) You and Bob exchange a few messages. They’re light, flirty, playful. Things seem to be going well.
What causes the message thread to be abandoned?
a) Their/there confusions – go back to START
b) Your/you’re confusions – go back to START
c) Boredom – go back to START
d) Offence taken at misfired sarcasm – go back to START
e) Bob’s penchant for wince-worthy middle-of-the-road stadium rock – go back to START
f) Your first date! – proceed to QUESTION 4
4) You made it to your first date! Against the odds, Bob looks like his/her profile pics, and when he/she opens her mouth the sound is not even remotely comparable to a laryngitic banshee stuck in an elevator shaft.
What’s the catch?
a) No spark – go back to START
b) Nothing to talk about – go back to START
c) No physical attraction – proceed to FRIEND ZONE
d) Dribbling – go back to START
e) None as yet! – proceed to QUESTION 5
5) So, how do you screw up?
a) Dribbling – go back to START
b) You turn into a less attractive, less charming, less personable, less amusing, generally more cretinous version of yourself. You get horribly drunk and launch into a half-hour anecdote about toadstools, forgetting the punchline and gesticulating wildly, whereupon you knock red wine into Bob’s lap, and when you go to the loos you realise you have curry on your chin – proceed to THERAPY
c) You don’t! – proceed to QUESTION 6
6) Sparks are flying and some way down the line, you and Bob have pulled off the coup of ending up in bed. Where does it all go wrong?
a) No sexual chemistry – proceed to FRIEND ZONE
b) Closet full of weird shit – go back to START
c) Bob is pre-op – venture into NEW TERRITORY
d) A&E – go back to START
e) Success! – proceed to QUESTION 7
f) Success! But you’re callous – go back to START
7) You and Bob have been seeing each other for some time now. So, where is this going?
a) Into the FRIEND ZONE – You were more like brother and sister than lovers. In fact, OkCupid being such a small community, you probably were brother and sister before being lovers.
b) a ROMANTIC BREAK IN PARIS – Tough shit if you claimed to prefer ‘kissing in a tent in the woods’.
c) a COLDPLAY GIG – Shame on you for cheating on question 3
d) to THERAPY – Shame on you for attending a Coldplay gig
e) to A GLOWING TESTIMONIAL IN OkCUPID’S SUCCESS STORIES SECTION – Preach it…
f) back to the START – You’re a heterosexual male? Why the eff are you dating somebody called Bob?