Saturday, 2 August 2008

How Not to Email a Guardian Soulmate

They say that money can’t buy happiness but where’s the empirical evidence for this? Strangely, then when I Googled ‘money can’t buy happiness’ it turns out that there are a number of scientific studies that appear to demonstrate just that. However, never one to be put off by evidence, fact, science or the truth I have decided that money will buy me happiness and have done it again. Subscribed to Guardian Soulmates.

But this time it’s going to be different. This time I’m not going to sit there and hope that my well-worded (or wordy anyway) profile and glamorous picture will bring the Soulmates flooding in. Or trickling in. Or thank you the person who emailed me last time. Nor am I going to believe that simply ticking ‘Any’ for all the boxes in ‘my ideal mate’ will attract Mr Right. Or that adding all the cute guys who are way out of my league to My Favourites will mysteriously make them in my league. This time I’m being proactive. I’m taking control. I’m actually emailing people.

I have a technique. This is what I do:

I find a man I fancy. Or a man.
I carefully read what he’s written.

I then craft a cunningly worded sentence or two to say how interesting and sexy they sound. Examples include:
‘You sound interesting.’
‘You look nice.’
‘I read your profile.’
And
‘I fancy you.’

I then craft a cunningly worded sentence or two that lets them know just how interesting and sexy I am. Examples include:
‘I have written a load of bollocks on my profile.’
‘I can catch a ping-pong ball on my nose.’
‘I know how to read.’
And
‘My shoulders match.’

Then, finally, and this is the important part, I craft a cunningly worded question so they can answer my email without the awkwardness of not knowing what to say. Examples include:
‘How do you come to be living in Iceland/London/The World?’
‘Why have you put up that appalling photograph?’
‘Can you direct me to the Caves of Redemption?’
And
‘How?’

So far three people have replied. One of them didn’t have a subscription yet, one of them had let their subscription lapse and the other was the man who emailed me last time. And they say money can’t buy happiness. Pah!

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is also exactly my experience of guardian soulmates. please could you direct me to a blog that explains how to write good emails?

Cathy said...

After a break of 10 months or so, I've decided that, unlike the last time, I'm now actually really ready for a relationship and so gave Guardian Soulmates another go... Hmmm, well a few of the same men are still on there with the same profiles and pictures ("member since 2006" type thing) so I guess I'll avoid them. Interesting profile came up under my matches so I added him to my faves and almost immediately got a response from him, thanking me for making him a favourite but it's come from another profile (!??!). In his mail he explained that GSM were offering free subscriptons so he created a new, fake profile to take advantage of this and that I should just ignore the new profile.... OK, I get that, but then why is he constantly updating the 'fake' profile with info that bears no relation to the original supposedly 'genuine' profile? Rats and smells come to mind...

Anonymous said...

it is a strange strange world.... where it's quite possible that nothing is as it seems. And could make Bridget Jones' of us all again - waiting for messages, waiting for responses to our emails... is there a way of being proactive? how many women actually ask men out - ? i.e. bypassing all the emailing, and just saying you look interesting, fancy a coffee?

Anonymous said...

it is a strange strange world.... where it's quite possible that nothing is as it seems. And could make Bridget Jones' of us all again - waiting for messages, waiting for responses to our emails... is there a way of being proactive? how many women actually ask men out - ? i.e. bypassing all the emailing, and just saying you look interesting, fancy a coffee?

Anonymous said...

So glad I'm not alone! As an exercise in afirming my cynicism Guardian soulmates worked perfectly.... why is it that men have the nerve to only consider women up to their own age, but not over? I'm 42, I found that most men my own age didn't want anyone over 40 or I was being e-mailed by men in the 50-60 bracket who put on their profile they wanted women up to the age of 44... maybe if someone is looking to breed, I understand the up to 40 thing, but come on... I got a few e-mails, but soon realised that as I would never have picked any of my former lovers if I'd had to choose from a photo first, that it was a pretty pointless exercise, for me. Great luck to everyone else, but, as the fridge magnet says, "the more I know about men, the more I like my dog." X G

Anonymous said...

But I'm exactly the same as the men!! I'm a woman but I find it reaaaally hard to summon up any enthusiasm for a soulmate profile any older than myself...honestly, I've yet to have any 'chat' with any guy older, all have been 3-4 years younger... And don;t even get me started on height...

Anonymous said...

and... (I'm anonymous from the earlier post in February) ... a couple of months on from my original foray into GSM, I see so many of the older men still there, logging in daily, updating their profiles ... it's depressing - what are they doing?!! do they never find anyone, or is it an addiction of some kind? btw I am 52...

Anonymous said...

Great blog, well written and amusing.... On the subject of GSM I have been 'favourited' by men up to 9 years older and 12 years younger than I - I'm 45 btw - not sure what that says.... It has resulted in some enjoyable and interesting (email) conversations on various topics. Not yet 'met' anyone though. However one thing I've observed is that men on internet dating sites consistently overrate their own level of attractiveness. Rather pointless really when these claims are juxtaposed with some dubious photographs. Oh well they say you have to kiss a lot of frogs......

Amorphous Blob said...

Curses, you stole my exact Guardian Soulmate technique. I knew I should have patented it.

Anonymous said...

Aaaargh! I'm ANOTHER GSM member with parallel experiences to Cecilia! Do you also entertain friends with your dating stories? Vicarious living HUH?! And the ones in relationships look on in awe or fear - in case...? But here we are : articulate, intelligent women who do not look so very terrible. It reminds me of the school line-up to get picked for the netball team - I was often third to last then too! My theory, for what it's worth is that too many people treat online dating in the same way as ordering up their perfect, custom-made pizza : thin base, three cheeses, no anchovies but extra olives, ham pepperoni AND spicy beef. Men are great but even the open-minded ones want what they want!! My membership is due to expire this week and I'm trying to decide what to do - the same faces are on Dating Direct and Match. Perhaps a datinf site should be set up - Remainders anyone?! Angela

Anonymous said...

Hi. I thought I'd chip in with a more positive experience. I joined GS last Feb. I adopted a really scattergun approach, I favourited anyone who looked or sounded vaguely tolerable (with the exception of anyone who suffered from size intolerance - I'm a size 14 and wasn't about to make a move on a man who said he was only interested in slim women). Then I sat back and waited - loads never responded in anyway but plenty either added me back or emailed me. I ignored the ones who just added me back and got stuck into several email correspondences. In total I think I talked to about 30-40 men - many conversations petered out very quickly as they just didn't interest me. I met 3 men in one weekend and I'm still seeing one of them now very happily. I'm sure I was lucky but I think being pretty indiscriminating at the beginning gives you a wide pool to be picky with as you get to know them. And if any one man doesn't respond to your advances, you barely even notice. :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last anonymous re technique. I think GSM is friendlier and more polite than other sites and the men are more my cup of tea (it would sound snobby if I explained that further). I tend to email alot of people (so that you can ignore those that never reply) with a short witty mail which relates to their profile and asks a question to which they respond. I've seen 3guys and had one three month relationship, and a couple of dates with another. I think I suggested meeting in two cases having got bored with emailing forever.

I am now taking a more stand back approach because it can get a bit obsessive and bridget jones-ish. But I have to say, even if they've not resulted in much, I've had some great fun conversations.

On the age front all of the above is true. Some of the guys who mail me and are much older and quite shocking and many men my age (mid 40s) just seem to want malleable younger babes - whether or not they are looking for a breeder.

Having said all that I'm trying other things beyond the internet to avoid the irritation that inevitably bubbles up now and again. Enjoy it but dont make it too important I'd say.

Anonymous said...

I'm a guy 34, heres my profile:

http://dating.guardian.co.uk/s/view/549101/

My email is
fishcakesforyou
@
hotmail.co.uk

I've been on that dating site Guardian soulmates for 6 weeks now and I've never subscribed and I see lots of women do the above scatter random approach and I can tell they're doing it and I usually delete them if they favorite me because I know they're timewasters.

Even though I've never subscribed (I'm actually still looking for someone a bit better, at the moment theres prob only 2 women that may interest me, but they just dont tick all the boxes, thats the problem, I know exactly what I'm looking for and no one fits, most of the women on that site don't even know what they want, its very difficult to pick anyone out, the blander the female profile, the more likely the guys are to only judge her on your photo/looks).

I can tell who is doing the scatter approach just by looking at their profile

1)If there are fundamental differences in terms of their ideal partner and my own profile. I.e if they state its important he's over a certain height, yet they still favorite me when I'm below that height. SCATTER TIMEWASTER = delete. Usually even when I know theyre doing it, I don't bother deleting them because I know they'll delete me anyway 4 days later. They also do it just to test if you have a subscription.

2) On the girls preferences in her ideal partner...almost every section is "ANY." SCATTER Timewaster = delete. The more non-descript you are, the more likely you are to get up the percentages. hence if everything is ANY even age is 18-80, then you're going to be 90% on every guys match.

3)However...the vaguer they are, the more non-descript they are, the more likely I am to delete them if they favorite them because I know theyre timewasters using the scatter approach.

4) Another indicator that they're timewasters or being bombed out by mail, is that when you favorite them, they don't even look at your profile. Under these circumstances, I delete them once I've favorited them.

As a male, I'm basically being played or having to compete against 100's of other guys, that I'm afraid is always an indicator of a woman who doesn't know what she wants and/or is a bit of a player. This is fine if you're a only looking for short term dating, but I'm looking for someone to settle down with, they have to sincere, genuine and know exactly what they want...such behaviour I'm afraid does not suggest they are. DELETE!

Oh yeah, before I had my age limit set for women at 39 as "moderately important" however, some women in their 40's 50's started favoriting me or looking at my profile. So I changed it to compulsory that shes 38 max. Since I changed that and also changed my smoking requirements to Compulsaory non-smoker, theres no doubt i've fallen down the match ratings because the percentages are going to be lower the pickier you become, so the numbers of women looking at my profile has fallen 3-fold, i'm down to only about 3 views per week, which is pathetic, but at least I dont have to waste time with these timewasters looking me up. FYI, the reason I set an age limit is because I want kids at some point and quite frankly women over 38 have fried eggs. Its another reason why its more acceptable for older guys to date younger women than vice versa. What is the point of a 45 year old woman dating a 29 year old guy? She can't have kids without IVF, he wont want to marry her, its a seedy relationship.

Anonymous said...

hmm..finding a dating site free of fake accounts are hard to find

Anonymous said...

Just came across this post and how true!! I've just started internet dating which has taken 4 years for me to build up to this point. I am surprised at how men actually don't read your profile. Both on GSM and Match I say please do not make me a fan/wink at me, and guess what - I get loads. I've stated clearly that the man has to be creative and I've been emailed by a labourer, dustman, town planner, H@S officer; one even said he'd looked the word creative up! (And I'm not a twentysomething who hasn't lived long enough to know who she finds attractive.)

I am astounded at men's egos that they would think that a labourer, dustman etc would be interesting to me who has two degrees, and is a highly creative and articulate professional.

So on the basis that they might read only the first line of my profile, I changed it to mention that I'm writing a book, and that I spend my time time looking at academic papers - it seems to be working! And I guess I have to resist my 1970's social conditioning that a woman doesn't ask a man out and contact them. However, I'm not sure I can be bothered!!

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Anonymous said...

The plain fact is that most of us are looking for someone we find interesting, whose company we enjoy and whom we wouldn't mind waking up next to for a least a few years. Great love affairs do not come from dating sites. Great love affairs come from meeting people and the site only helps you do that.

As a result many questions where we are supposed to have a 'Preference' are entirely irrelevant. 'Religion' ? What do I care ? I done't. Frankly, like any other form of dating, its a numbers game and you need to organize to meet lots of people to maximize your chances of meeting someone you get on with.

The problems with computer dating seem to be men who are players, men just looking for a one night stand and married men looking for a bit on the side. On the other side, women who think they are in Tesco and that all this box ticking stuff actually matters, women who think that size 18 is 'slim'/lie about their age - 3 years is the norm/lie about their education and those who are doing it as a virtual life to escape their own awful reality.

All I can say to women about it is that should try and think about as just another form of meeting people. There is little point in chasing after men 5 years younger than yourself. If you succeed you will probably find yourself on the end of an agenda you don't like (see above). Next you will be modifying your profile complaining about 'liars'. If you demand that men lie to you, you will find one that will.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, all of this stuff is exactly the same for men. I'm young, open about my age range, respond specifically to what people have placed in their profile based on my own characteristics...

I don't want to tell you how many times I've seen women say they want to meet someone creative and yet if you write a personal email saying you are a writer / artist / musician, asking them questions about themselves, trying to be sincere / witty / dry and yet have found that people are strangely reticent to respond.

I do okay with women in the real world; I've been single a long time but that's because I'm looking for something a little more than I'm finding. But online I find the process is actually far colder and far more discriminatory than any real encounters I've had. I'm actually lucky in that I'm average looking, average intelligence, average height so at most I could be disqualified for being a little bland but I feel for people who stand out a little more and who people pass over time and time again because of a single flaw.

Frankly I'm starting to think the whole thing doesn't work. Summarising yourself in black and white, rather than making it easier for someone to match with you, actually just makes it easier for someone to dismiss you because you checked a box they didn't like. In all honesty in the real world I know someone at least meets me and sees me in three dimensions, can weigh up whether I'm witty, whether I'm loyal or charming and I'm pretty happy that that will eventually win out.

Pretty sure I'm going to delete my account. It's not a valid use of my money; I'd rather try to connect with someone first hand rather than be virtually poked and prodded over like an overripe tomato.

Biotech said...

In my brief experience with GSM, I found most English men were unable to write, lied about their age, and were distinctly ugly (not attractive, or even acceptable). Of those who bothered to post a photo, they exercised the least amount of effort. Gentlemen--if you do not look acceptable in 2D, why would I ever want to meet you in 3D??? Most of these pathetic, balding men are simply trolling for sex on all of these sites. Sadly too often, there are young women who prefer to prostitute themselves than go out and make their own career.

Anonymous said...

Not here, or on ANY dating site. A waste of time for most. Success will happen for a tiny tiny minority. I'm in my fifties so, unlike many, I can recall a time when you didn't ``date'' but you ``asked someone out''. Very different. Something just happenend and 9 times out of 10, none of the boxes on height, weight, age, colour, etc, would have been ticked had you been asked. But, something clicked, and, more than once I can say, truly wonderful things followed. Dating sites are an invention for the consumer age. And the consumer age is about NEVER attaining what it is you desire. Frustration is guaranteed.