Please, No More Words
All this talking is hard. I’d blame it on being an introvert but that’s probably just a cover. Honestly, I just find conversation exhausting. And trying to keep up about 6 at a time is one heck of a trial.
Of all the messages I’ve received on Plenty of Fish thus far, several of them I have deemed unworthy of reply. Some have been comically average, and a few more have proved decent. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have the heart to ignore a good attempt. Even if the profile of the other person involved holds no interest for me, if there is nothing wrong with the message I can’t seem to delete it and move on. Because of this hamartia, I’ve gotten myself into an uncomfortable number of conversations.
As it is, I can’t hold a conversation in person to save my life. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe what all my literary eloquence (that was a joke by the way, though I am proficient in the written word), but I genuinely have a hard time holding conversation in face-to-face situations. I’m much more confident having a written conversation, and apparently it shows. In my inability to ignore a well-written – or even just a polite – message, I have had about three people tell me I make good conversation. But it’s so tiring. Not the remembering of each conversation, because I can go back and read previous messages as a reminder, but sounding positive and genuinely interested in each and every one.
So far I am in communication with Snappy, Bambi, Ben, James and, if he decides to reply, Hayden. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking to all of these people in order to find a relationship or anything, I’m simply responding accordingly to their initial messages. For example, Hayden and Ben asked me about my interest in anime, and I’ve had quite a decent chat (with Ben) about it. I’ve found out he has cosplayed more than once and even discovered from him that there was a Digimon film. So on that front, it’s a great conversation with no other intent than discussing anime. James sent a nice, albeit confusing, message, to which I replied quite literally (ie asking if his typo-d question was in fact a statement) and he has sent a message or two in reply. I feel maybe I was a little blunt, but hey, that’s just the way I decided to play that one. As for Snappy and Bambi, the tone is quite different, and the direction they are taking is also somewhat opposite.
Snappy’s first message consisted of two short sentences with smiley faces and a light, jokey tone. I picked up on that and reciprocated accordingly. Since then I, even as a novice, can tell he’s trying too hard to flirt. For example, have a look at his latest message:
It’s cool, I’d just like to talk to you a bit more, you’re one of the few girls who can hold a conversation and is cute as hell, winning combo right there! 😉 Looks like I’ll have to teach you how to use technology haha! I’ll hold you to that, I’ll teach you 🙂 It’s an American football one and Al Pacino is in it, I’ll show you it if you ever come over! 🙂
For some context, he had previously asked for my number so we could text, instead of his having to check his phone app for messages. I said no, as politely as I could. He also bragged about how he could teach the rules of American football to anybody, and went on to tell me he’d teach me too. In all honesty, I have no idea how to reply to this. The conversation started as a chat about cricket and ended with the above. I’m not interested that way, but it would be rude to either shut him down bluntly, or to ignore him from this point on. I just don’t like to disappoint people. Perhaps it’s just me who thinks he’s trying too hard, but regardless, you can hear the light tone, and can tell there is less pressure for perfect sentence structure. This is nice as it means I don’t have to try so hard to keep up my standard of writing. It’s a bit of a break. But it’s also a difficult situation to get myself out of, seeing the direction he might take the conversation.
On the other hand, Bambi has a much more serious feel to it. Not serious in the frowny, dreary sense, but serious in the way we both use proper grammar and use very minimal smileys. Even exclamation marks are used sparingly. But the quality of the conversation is far higher. Where Snappy talks about how he broke a rib playing American football, Bambi talks about how he appreciates a good job, and the importance of proper manners. I really do like talking to Bambi for this reason. It’s nice to be able to flex my literary skills. But it’s also one of the most exhausting conversations for that same reason. I feel that I need to keep up this standard of writing. I don’t know if he finds it as hard as me to do this, but he doesn’t seem to. Then again, maybe he thinks it’s natural for me too. Either way, with the length of our messages increasing steadily, and the number of comments about the quality of my conversational skills going up accordingly, I’m feeling the pressure.
As if it wasn’t hard enough to keep up a high standard with Bambi, I also have to switch between jokey, quietly polite, throwing caution to the wind and using more smileys and “haha’s” than is healthy, all to keep up with the various conversations I have going. I’m starting to regret signing up so lightly, but it makes for good research. I can instantly tell anyone looking to find someone using online dating, Plenty of Fish is by far the best site I have come across. There is no shortage of potential suitors, and with the range of conversational tones and topics, you will easily find someone suited to you.
I guess the moral of this post is this: don’t change the way you write/converse to fit the conversation. Always talk how you feel comfortable, how you normally would. I, myself, use too many smileys, like to add a ‘haha’ or a ‘lol’ every now and then, and – while I like good grammar – I don’t always talk like an eighteenth century gentleman. I do use abbreviations, I do use normal words, so why am I finding myself changing my sentence to fit around the use of the word “fascinating”? To anyone looking to explore online dating, this is the biggest tip I can give you. It is exhausting holding so many conversations, and it is made so much worse when you try and suit the tone. Whether you use ‘haha’ all the time, or prefer to use all the longest words in your arsenal, keep it consistent, and don’t change just to suit the individual on the other end of the internet.