The Truth About Plenty of Fish
Posted by Sarah Antoinette
For those of you who don’t know, Plenty of Fish is a dating website used by millions of people around the world. The one special factor regarding this dating service is that, unlike many others, this one is free. However, you may not have to pay in terms of money but you might find yourself paying when it comes to your very sanity.
If you are a man, you will initially view this website as a treasure chest of gold that has fallen into your lap. A free website with the opportunity to meet lots of women in your area? You never need enter a bar again and stumble up to that attractive woman by the counter with a gallon of Dutch Courage inside you. The reality, however, is far different. The ratio of men to women is about 7:1 and the end result is swarms of men fighting for the attention of one woman, not different from the barbarian days of the cavemen when they would clobber one another over the head in order to win the partner of their dreams.
Alas, these poor, naive souls are not even fighting for the partner of their dreams. Upon viewing the female profiles on the website, I discovered that there were a great deal of the following:
- Obese 18 – 30 year olds in skimpy clothes, pulling provocative, pouting poses and stating they need a ‘real man to handle a real woman.’
- Defiant single mothers with pictures of themselves and their kids, claiming that the kids come first and if the men on the site don’t like it, they can get lost.
- Women with their breasts out in their profile pictures with the headline, “DO NOT MESSAGE ME IF YOU ARE A PERVERT AND ONLY AFTER ONE THING.”
- Average-looking women who will have a long list of their likes/dislikes, needs and wants. “No tattooed men, no men without a car, no men who are shorter than 5’10, no men who live 20 miles away from me, no divorced men, no men who are still living at home with their parents…” And so forth. They will then go on to state that they want “a sweet, romantic, sensitive man who knows how to treat a woman.” In reality, no matter how sweet, romantic and sensitive the man messaging them is, if he isn’t harboring the same devilishly handsome looks as the majority of Hollywood actors, his message will be swiftly deleted. Oh, this cruel, shallow world.
- Older women over 50 who are searching for a toyboy.
This is only the beginning of the vicious cycle. A lot of the men on Plenty of Fish are only looking for one thing and they are willing to drop their standards to the bottom of the bucket in order to get it. No matter how overweight, ugly, demanding or rude the female may be, she will be inundated with messages from desperate men who need to satisfy their wayward libidos. Such men fall under the following:
- The ‘Sales’ man. This man will type out a general spill of, “I have read your profile and you sound extremely sweet. You look absolutely beautiful and I would love to have the opportunity to chat with you.” Without reading their profiles and regardless of what they look like, he then copies and pastes it out to a hundred women in his area and may receive about five responses in return, if he is lucky.
- The ‘Muscles’ man. This man will post numerous pictures of his rippling, toned torso, pout into the camera, and then send a message with one word, “Hey” in the belief that his bulging biceps will warrant a response. For some women, this does work.
- The ‘Joker’ man. This man will google an extremely unfunny joke and then post it to a bunch of women, hoping that this “humour” will strike him lucky. Usually fails.
- The ‘Great Pretender’. This man will pretend to be interested in aspects of the female’s profile but it isn’t long before he is asking to hook up for a drink to ‘discuss’ her interests in cycling and hiking.
- The ‘Straight-forward’ man. This man will just come out and say whatever he is hoping for, which is usually followed by a swift finger on the block button.
- The ‘Clueless’ man. This man will, like the ‘Sales’ man, send out copy and pasted spills; however, his will be about him and him alone. He will write 500 words on what he does for a living, what he is looking for, how he believes others view him, how he wants to find someone to spend the rest of his life with, his life’s work, his ambitions and what sports he likes. He will then end by saying, “Hopefully I haven’t bored you!” The irony.
- The ‘No-Pic Cheat’. This man is usually married or in a relationship and seems to think it is acceptable to flaunt his immorality in front of everyone with his audacious, “Not getting it at home, looking elsewhere: Females apply within” heading.
Thanks to such desperation, the women’s egos will be fed to the point of explosion. It no longer matters what the woman looks like (despite the fact that appearance is everything on Plenty of Fish). It won’t be long that the woman genuinely believes she really is this beautiful, stunning creature that she is being told she is every day by the overflow of males. Her ego will shoot to the roof and, as she is able to take her pick of any man on the site, the list of demands will become more and more unrealistic; any confidence which she possessed will immediately turn into arrogance and, suddenly, no man on the site is good enough, even the ones who are actually genuine; they find themselves falling into the same category as the desperadoes and creeps. This self-delusion soon creates bitterness and frustration in ALL of the men, who cannot understand how they are constantly rejected in such a rude manner by women they wouldn’t give a second glance to in the real world. They are usually completely ignored or receive a “You’re not my type” response to their well-planned message.
Personally, I find this type of arrogance mind-blowingly funny. I am strongly reminded of the children’s story ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ about a vain, self-infatuated Emperor who was conned by a pair of tailors into thinking the suit they were weaving for him was of magnificent splendor. They told him that the fabric was invisible to his eyes, but that everyone else could see it. The result was the Emperor stepping outside stark naked while his subjects had to pretend to admire “the suit.” In the end, the home truth was revealed by a small boy, who couldn’t understand why the Emperor was strolling around in his loins and flabby bits, and asked why he wasn’t wearing anything. In this instance, the deluded women represent the Emperor and the desperate men are the wily tailors.
I have spoken to many of the more decent men on the site who have been thoroughly dissatisfied with their experiences. One, who considered himself above average in looks, informed me that he couldn’t believe it when an extremely large, 21 year old mother of two turned him down with a, “Sorry, you’re not tall enough.” He was 5’9, she was 5’5. Yet, despite the dismissive arrogance of the woman, her rejection was not with the intent to be cruel, but simply because she was probably so overwhelmed with messages that she only had one minute to spare typing a response before returning to the other 100 messages in her inbox. Besides – if she is receiving messages from the ‘cream of the crop’, she can take her pick and anyone not meeting the absolute requirement, sadly, has to go.
The problem with this site, as appears to be the problem with internet dating in general, is that people’s expectations are far too high. The truth is, everyone is riddled with flaws and we should take the bad with the good, or not at all. To create a list of what a man/woman should be and shouldn’t be is preposterous, not to mention downright hilarious. Similarly, there are a great deal of men and women on the site who completely contradict themselves. For example: “I am a down to earth, intelligent person looking for similar. I have an excellent sense of humour” (even though there is nothing in the profile to suggest this). “I am open to most people for I believe that looks get boring after a while” (They then go on to state ‘No fat/short/etc men/women).
Meeting someone off Plenty of Fish can be similarly gruelling. When someone finally gets lucky enough to bring things into reality, it is not uncommon for the following to occur:
- People are usually ten stone heavier than their pictures.
- People are usually ten years older than their pictures.
- People are usually not the person in their pictures. (This is something I have difficulty understanding. If you are going to meet the person outside of the internet, wouldn’t it make sense to let them know who you really are? After all, they’re going to find out anyway.)
- Men will meet women who turn out to be a transsexuals.
- Women will meet men who are hooked on drugs.
- Men will meet women who are only interested in converting them to their political/religious beliefs.
- Men will meet women who are simply trying to make their boyfriends jealous.
- Women will meet men who will suggest living together on the first date and marriage on the second.
And after these disastrous experiences, people will resume their fishing and look for someone else, for the site is strangely addictive. The mind-boggling, disturbing cycle will then continue.
So, as you may have learned, Plenty of Fish is not all it’s cracked up to be. Despite the ‘Chemistry Tests’ (which apparently matches you with those who have similar results to you) and ‘Relationship Needs’ (which obviously knows you better than you know yourself and tells you what you need in a man/woman, including a customized, step by step plan of how to get it) and the range of ‘success stories’ printed on the site, it appears that this particular ocean is overflowing with angry, bitter men and stuck-up, deluded women. I’m sure the odd seahorse does spring up among all the trout but you would really have to wade through a lot of dirt to find it. So if you’re thinking of giving it a shot, happy fishing – or more importantly, good luck! (You’ll need it.)
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About Sarah AntoinetteI am an author, blogger and news-writer. I head the anti-dog-torture campaign, Operation Hound, which works to put an end to the brutal practice of dog-eating across South East Asia. No, it is not cultural and yes, it is our business. I am not an animal activist. I'm merely someone who loves dogs and believes in honouring the bond between man and dog, first forged by our ancestors thousands of years ago.
Posted on June 15, 2012, in Entertainment, Humor, Internet Dating and tagged Clueless, Dating, Emperor's New Clothes, Hollywood, Message, Online dating service, Plenty of fish, Website. Bookmark the permalink. 574 Comments.