Rebecca Traister recently wrote an article in Nerve about how blogging ruined her dating life. The premise of her essay is that people are revealing too much of themselves in their websites and then sharing them too soon, and as a result the thrill of discovering the mysteries of a new beau has been undermined by information overload.
I sympathize with Traister’s point and think it’s a valid one. I agree that your initial contact with a potential suitor is enhanced by an element of mystery. It’s hard to make small talk on a first date if you’ve already read their unabridged autobiography on livejournal.
Traister’s point is ultimately that if you’re going to bare your soul online, you should at the very least wait until the fifth date or so to share your URL with your new love interest. Wise words, indeed. Looking back on the time period during which my dating life overlapped with blogging, I think I practiced this policy with sufficient reserve. My first blog was a photoblog, so there was no TMI factor. It was more like a gallery of my artwork, and if I liked someone well enough I would eventually share it with them.
There was one incident in which I met a fellow through an online personals ad. We met and he was very kind and sweet but he just wasn’t my type. We maintained friendly contact for a while but I never encouraged any further developments in our interaction, and I never told him about my photoblog. Imagine my surprise when he sent me an email saying, “Hey, I found your photoblog and you are SO TALENTED!!!!” He apparently had been researching some obscure subject matter which overlapped with one of my photos, and Google brought him to my site. Never underestimate the power of Google! I wouldn’t have cared so much except his timing was terrible. I had been planning to post a photo that very day of a sexy yet tasteful nude self-portrait and now I had serious misgivings. I envisioned this guy returning to my site to see my glorious naked ass and getting all excited, maybe even hoping that I deliberately posted that photo to tempt and entice him, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
That was a minor glitch in my blogging experience and it blew over without any messy drama. I never dated anyone else who also had their own blog so I’ve never encountered the situations which Rebecca describes. As a sex blogger, I now guard my anonymity carefully. Since I’m married, I don’t have to worry about prospective suitors and when to reveal my secret double life, but I can see how this would be a delicate matter for my single colleagues. I do, however, exercise caution when outing myself to anyone in my real world existence. In fact, I’ve come to see that this can be a rather complicated business, and so far I’m erring on the side of caution.
I’ve just recently created a MySpace profile for networking purposes (and I need more friends! hint hint;) and after just a little surfing on MySpace I have to question it’s utility for me. There are some really cool folks doing cool stuff who also happen to have a MySpace profile, but that is not the epicenter of their cybersocial life. The majority of MySpace users are simply not my target audience, and if I were dating, let’s just say that I wouldn’t be searching MySpace for a partner. But that’s the upshot to this phenomenon, too. Why waste your precious time scheduling a first date with someone if their MySpace profile has already revealed their passion for Celine Dion?
I know some people actually blog almost exclusively about their dating life, an endeavor which seems rife with hazards. Have you had any weird or interesting experiences while dating as a blogger? Have you ever dated anyone with a blog that compromised your relationship? Do tell!