Your Guide To Online Dating, Part 1: Decoding the Email Address

Posted on August 9, 2010

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In the first part of this series (which was only going to be one post but accidentally got really long) we learn to make snap judgments based on people’s email addresses.

What a person’s domain name says about them:

  • aol.com: I live way out in the Virginia suburbs, perhaps not in my mother’s basement, but she is very close. My favorite shirt is from the Hard Rock Cafe. I’m desperately afraid to try new things, in life, at work, and in bed. I do not own a smartphone and I’m going to make you set up my Grandma’s Jitterbug on our second date. Being asked to press 2 for espanol infuriates me, and you can expect three out of every five messages you get from me to be requests for you to sign a forwarded petition making it illegal for anyone born in Hawaii to be president.
  • hotmail.com: The very first time I used the internet, I saddled up my horse and rode it down to the public library and the nice lady there helped me set up this account.  I  have dial up at home now, though.  Odds are that your message will go into my spam folder, if you are foolish enough to return this email. I get online three times a week. I joined Facebook six months ago to look at pictures of my high school reunion. I am wearing stone-washed jeans.
  • yahoo.com: This might say, I just haven’t gotten around to setting up an anonymous Gmail account yet because I’ve been with my significant other for more than two years and we just broke up, a lesson that taught me that I am now really ready for a relationship that lasts forever. Be warned, though, that it could just as likely mean, “I am a swinger and water sports enthusiast. Google this email address to see my many forum posts on these topics. You can also find me on FetLife.”
  • verizon.net/comcast.com: My wife is upstairs cooking dinner and soothing our child, who totally ruined our sex life. I just feel like my wife doesn’t hear me any more, you know? I’m riding out my mid-life crisis cruising Craigslist personals in the basement. She thinks I’m doing our taxes. I’d like to meet you for lunch near your office and not answer any specific questions about where I live or what my job is. If I’ve had a few beers, I cry when I masturbate. And by that I mean that this happens every day.
  • mac.com I think you have very pedestrian taste in music. I wear non-prescription glasses, and my waist is smaller in circumference than yours. I need a lot of space. I ride my bike to the farmer’s market on the weekends before I go hiking, and I hate reality TV. I would rather fellate Steve Jobs than go on a weekend getaway with you to a place without free wireless. StuffWhitePeopleLike.com hits me a little too close to the bone, and our first fight will come shortly after you beat me at Jeopardy!
  • gmail.com I have basic literacy and an understanding of how this series of tubes works. I’m thinking my next phone might be a Droid. I want our first date to be in a bar, just like God intended. I voted for Obama. Don’t mistake these seemingly positive signs for an indication of my emotional maturity or availability, though. I still have a penis, after all.
  • live.com/me.com I have more than one working mobile phone with me at all times, holstered to my khakis. I know how to play World of Warcraft. I work in IT security in an anonymous office complex where I’m the only one who understands what I do, so I am free to overcomplicate everything. When I say I read a lot, I mean I read a lot of Robert Heinlein and I’ve owned six copies of Ender’s Game in my lifetime. I have action figures in my home, but no children.

Choose your handle wisely.

  • Watch out for the year. If his email address stats with cuddles1985, this means he was born in 1985. Yes, those people are old enough to date now. Take a deep breath and a sip of wine. It’s not even close to illegal to see this person naked, believe it or not, and can even be fun as long as he doesn’t see you in the light. If his email address contains 2006, that is the year he seriously started trying to meet people. Why is it taking so long? Once you have your own horrible-date-with-this-weirdo-I-met-online story  to tell about him, you’ll know.
  • Your name@:  Not providing a real first and last name up front is okay. You shouldn’t either; you really don’t want sex offenders stalking your pictures from that one bacehlorette party. I am personally misquoted online saying that I enjoy nude group reading events, which is not true and really best explained after some sort of rapport has been established. If you get responses from anyone whose email alias contains the name of a specific dating site in it (“justaguy_from_okcupid”), accept that he has untreated gonorrhea as well as an underactive imagination. Also, a truly shocking number of people misspell some element of their own email address. Do not date these people; you can totally do better. ( I have an in-law who misspelled their own name on their Facebook profile and has never caught it. We don’t have much in common.)

Next up: Decoding the different dating sites.

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Posted in: Dating, Online Dating