Online dating and the Shannon Tweed syndrome.


As a copywriter and marketing expert, I love to give advice on competing online!

I was watching Chelsea Handler the other day as she interviewed Gene Simmons. Actually, it wasn’t an interview. It was verbal castration. Because of his infidelities, she went for his jewels with the ferocity and grip of a pit bull.

I loathe Gene Simmons. I loathe his tongue, his tight, self-satisfied mug, his disposable use of women, his celebrity, his TV show (and his fans who’ve kept that “reality” show on for 6 seasons), and the fact that he has a daughter for whom he shows no respect simply by being the pig he is.

Mostly though, I cannot stand his long-suffering partner, Shannon Tweed. She was in the audience eliciting sympathy. She had also been on the Joy Behar show eliciting sympathy – leaving the interview mid-way because I suppose she was emotionally overcome, though it would be hard to tell given that plastic surgery has left her face expressionless. She was also on the Today Show eliciting sympathy. Nevertheless Kathie Lee Gifford pointed out that she knew what she was getting into (touché), which brings me to the topic of accountability.

We have choice. In North America, this is certainly true in choosing a mate and especially true in the case of online dating. For one, we have a choice of online dating sites. We also see pictures of hundreds of different people at all hours of the day. We read profiles that allow us to explore a variety of characters. We’re contacted by a number of people, all with unique looks, personalities and approaches.

In short, we’re given a lot choice. We just don’t always make the right ones.

Still, I often hear or read laments about all the phony, lying, game-playing losers online. Sometimes the complaints are directly about the people. Sometimes, it’s the site that’s blamed for attracting the wrong people.

I’m not a logical person. I’m also terrible at math. My friend Micheal (that’s how he spells it) says that his left brain cramps just by being in proximity to me. And yet, I know that it’s illogical to think that everyone dating online is bad news. That hundreds upon hundreds of singles are deviants doesn’t add up.

If that’s been your experience, then chances are it’s not “everyone”; it’s every one you pick.

When I was online dating, I had countless people send me really nice emails, all showing a genuine interest in me and in what my profile had to say. Nevertheless I went out with a man who couldn’t have been more shallow or self-centered. I knew this within weeks. I stayed for months. My bad. Mine – not the fault of the dating sites. Not the fault of the “losers” online.

I was speaking at a Transitions Conference for Boomers several months back. My topic was supposed to be about re-entering the dating world in your 50’s and beyond. My plan was to provide advice on how turn your dating profile into a marketing opportunity. Before starting I asked the audience if they had any questions or concerns that they’d like to share. One woman spoke up and went on what was a fairly angry rant about online dating. She had met her last two boyfriends online. The first moved in with her and proceeded to live off her for two years. She was engaged to the second, but finally broke it off when she found out he was married. She finished her sad tale with “you don’t meet good people online”. Several members of the audience nodded, murmured in agreement, then stared at me.

Ooookay, my turn. Thanks for the set up.

I asked her, “Did only those two men contact you when you were online dating?” “No. I got a lot of hits”, she said, a little offended. “Why didn’t you choose any of the other men then”, I queried. “They weren’t my type”, she said. “So several men contacted you, but it was a user and a cheater who you picked – over them – because the user and the cheater were your type”, I pointed out, “and somehow that’s the fault of online dating?”. The audience (with the exception of her) clapped.

Fact is, there are hundreds, if not thousands of people online dating. Many are good people, some are just not good for us, and fewer still are not good at all. It’s up to you to weed through them and pick the ones who can make a positive difference in your life. It’s also up to you to end a relationship when you find it’s detrimental. No one forces you to make those choices. I can honestly say that I’ve been embarrassed by some of the choices I’ve made where relationships are concerned. However, I’ve also been heartened to discover that it’s been up to me not to make them.

As much as it sucks to admit you’ve allowed yourself to be a doormat, it’s also empowering to know that it’s your fault. Hence - within your control - and something you can choose never to do again.

Still, there are people like Shannon Tweed who get rewarded for being hard done – note how all her drama has resulted in mounting suspense and free advertising just before the 6th season launch of her inane show.

For advice on how to market yourself online, feel free to check out the online dating samples of my work. Or, start crafting a better online dating profile right now by completing the personality quiz. It costs nothing to do, but it’s an important first step in writing a profile that stands out. Once you’ve completed the quiz, all you have to do is incorporate some the best answers into your dating profile. Better yet, hire me to do it. I’m trained to know what to pick and where to put it.

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