If you believe romantic comedies, romance novels or the greeting card industry, there are few things women love more than chocolate, roses and poetry. And that’s sort of true – as long as the chocolate, roses and poetry are good. But just like you probably wouldn’t grow your own roses unless you are a gardener or make your own chocolate unless you are a chocolatier, you probably shouldn’t try to woo a woman by writing your own poetry, unless you are a poet. Especially online. Because then you sound like this guy on OkCupid:
I am writing you this poem because i don’t know you and since i have no idea what to say to you all that comes to mind is this poem. i hope that just like i took a moment to write you, that you take a minute to reply
Is always a blessing to come across you,
i don’t know why i am so curious about you,
but i sure want to find out.
perhaps are your mysterious eyes that want to love.
the type of eyes that remind me the promise of love.
i don’t know why i gotta meet you this way,
but i sure hope to grow where ever your love hides.
forgive me for not finding more ways to get your attention,
all i had in mind are this words to bring you joy,
with the hope to grow in your heart.
At least every line starts with a different word. Unlike this lovely piece, sent to a lady on Plenty of Fish:
i i want to see are you my true beauty, True beauty is in the way you laughs
True beauty is in your eyes
True beauty is how you acts
True beauty is inside of you
True beauty is unseen
… True beauty is only felt
True beauty is not mean
True beauty is herself
True beauty can’t be cruel
True beauty is bare
True beauty within you
True beauty is always there
True Beauty can’t be covered with makeup
True beauty means true love
True beauty can’t be baked up
True beauty is the flight of a dove
True beauty has no flaws
For True beauty is all that matters after all it this you because this is what i,m looking for in you? „
Hey, he rhymes, even if I’m not sure what “baked up” means in this context. And his definition of True Beauty is remarkably not sleazy, at least for an internet dating message. For all of its cheesiness, it is also remarkably not bitter. Which is more than one can say for this message:
Cheaters may lose in the long run but so too do we all
Because we look for happiness in an infinite online mall
Where our yearnings can be fulfilled with just one more click
As our sense of self withers like a flower that was long ago handpicked
What girl doesn’t dream of a romantic poem about cheaters and one’s self worth withering like a flower?
This dude on Plenty of Fish, however, takes the art of poetry to new sexytime levels:
My Headline is the clue for my expection in POF….LOL
I Luv Long Drive, Playing Basketball.
I am Nice & friendly guy.
I Luv R & B & Rock music.
Life is two days, One day gone, One Day left, So Enjoy that Day…..
I’m only dreaming about you
jiggling and moaning
beads of sweat
flying off your hair
the way you did
that time the neighbours complained
and started banging the wall
on both sides
It’s not Neruda, but I like the “jiggling” detail. And if you thought that sex poems were the worst thing you could send a stranger on the internet, you’d be wrong; murder-raps are the worst thing you can send a stranger on the internet. And that’s exactly what this Match.com suitor sent to an unsuspecting young women who made the mistake of telling him she doesn’t “do rap music”:
Other Side of G-Berg
Let’s talk about the sad reality of the kid’s life.
The kid growing up, witnessing family strife.
And it can’t be right…
For a young kid to have seen so many fights.
Always seeing the darkness, hardly any light.
He’s home one day…can’t go out to play.
He looks out the window…it’s about to rain.
His parents start arguing…in a resounding way.
But as soon as he found a way
To read their lips and figure out they’re about to say…
They’re suddenly engaged in a loud display.
They’d started by arguing lightly but now they’ve started to fight.
Like Mohammed Ali…they’re swinging left to right.
The kid don’t scream, he’s seen this night to night.
With each swing, they add fuel to their fire inside.
With each curse, they bring up a prior lie.
The kid knows it’ll soon be an eye for an eye.
He runs for his room so he can hide inside.
At first it’s…who’s on the ground and who’s flying high.
Later it’s…who would be the last one standing alive.
Just then, the kid sees a bright flash of light.
Coming out of the muzzle of a 40 Glock.
It’s deafening…louder than the family’s grandfather clock.
The neighbors outside…they can hear the shot;
The whole flock starts rushing down the block.
They reach the house, and they’re at the window.
Hoping to see who’s dead and who is the sinful.
They see two people caressing…a scene too gentle…
To match the blood splatter on the nearby candles…
On the closet door handle…
And on a pair of sandals.
Belonging to the kid hiding in the corner like a vandal.
The tears start pouring as he wonders what happened.
The look in his eyes…it’s like someone had grabbed him…
Tackled him to the ground, kicked him in the nads and…
Then tied both his hands to the back of a cab and…
Then dragged him through asphalt, then finally stabbing him.
The kid is all grown up, walking around with a new swag.
All he wants is to have the right to spit out a few brags.
He says a prayer to heaven as he puts on his doo-rag.
Storms into Seven Eleven with a piece and a blue bag.
“Give me some dead presidents, and don’t forget the Benjamin’s.
And throw in some Slim Jim’s and don’t even think about bending them.”
“And don’t you dare tell me you’re all out.
Or no doubt, you’ll be forcing me to pull out
My MP5…and I’mma empty five clips
Into your empty mind if you keep defying me.”
The kid grew up knowing nothing but violence.
He’s the tsunami here, the clerk is the island.
But the clerk stands still, he is chill and smiling.
He reaches down; suddenly something is sliding.
The kid reaches down for his heat,
He wants to be…
The first to empty his piece…
And put the clerk to sleep.
But the clerk … even with a meager salary.
He has a family…
a wife and three kids to feed.
He wants to breathe deep…
And just have the kid leave.
But he’s not eager to be…
Defeated so easily.
And neither man wants to be knee deep in his own blood.
They try to be abrupt; not let the other interrupt
But in the end, it is the kid who gets the blown gut.
After five shots, his stomach is ready to erupt.
A month later, the kid becomes a notorious icon.
The kind of person a writer would put into fight songs.
Let this be a lifelong lesson for those who might’ve gone
The same route as the kid who never knew right from wrong.
If you've got your own online dating horror stories, drop them below, or submit them anonymously.
The A(n)nals of Online Dating is a weekly column about How We Date Now, from the proprietor of the website of the same name, showing the best of the worst internet dating has to offer.
Illustration by Leslie Wood