Love & Sex
All the single laddies: if you've been scouring online dating sites in the hope that you might "connect" with a beautiful and successful tennis pro, don't count on "Loves2Serve" or "Wimbledon69" turning out to be Caroline Wozniacki.
The recently single sportswoman sounded off about internet dating in a post-match interview at Wimbledon, saying, when asked if she'd look online for a rebound, "I think I'm not that desperate. I'll just see what happens. I'm perfectly fine being single at the moment."
Briefly, let's marvel at the fact that professional female athletes are still being asked about their dating lives in post-match interviews. Pause and imagine a reporter barking, "Hey, Rafa, we hear you went out to dinner with your girlfriend recently, do you feel that's at all relevant to your mastery of this game?" "Yo, Roger, is there any truth to the rumours that you've recently started using a different brand of eye cream?"
But, since this is the world we live in, we might as well face facts, which in this instance are that Wozniaki is giving voice to something plenty of people believe: that internet dating is something you "resort to" out of desperation, not just another string to the single-and-ready-to-mingle person's bow.
This is perhaps less true in busy metropolises such as New York and London, where people turn to dating apps in lieu of having time to sit around in bars and bookshops hoping to meet someone, but for the most part, we're over a decade into the internet (dating) age and people still think of it as the realm of the desperado.
You can understand - sort of - where she might be coming from, since the accepted wisdom is that rich, famous and beautiful-looking people "should" find it easy to date; after all, surely men would be throwing themselves at her now she's single.
But in a reality lost on many, celebrities are also just people, and like Julia Roberts' movie star who is just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her, there are famous people who find it just as hard to get a date as Dave from accounts. And when you can't even go to the supermarket without someone sticking a camera in your face, the relative anonymity of online dating must be seductive.
And as more celebrities join the plebs, the sands of the online dating industry are shifting to fit their very specific needs. Recently, the boffins behind dating app Tinder - used by Lindsay Lohan among others - announced they'd be introducing a system (similar to Twitter's "verified" badges) that would allow famous people to use the app without fear of being kicked off for "impersonating" themselves.
Author Tara Moss experienced that existential quandary when she was repeatedly banned from a dating site for the high crime of suggesting that, well, someone as high-flying as Tara Moss was looking for love; "We will need some photo identification to confirm that you are the person in this photo," ran the site admin's communication to her. "As you can imagine, Tara Moss is a famous identity and these steps are taken to protect you."
Perhaps it's easier to be B-List when it comes to online dating. Certainly during my time in Los Angeles, where using dating services like OkCupid is par for the course, it wasn't unusual to come across the profile of an actor or musician who'd achieved a modicum of success (although my sending a message to one particular guitarist telling him their label had totally mismanaged the promotion of his band's last and best EP in the Australian market probably wasn't my smoothest move).
It may soon turn out that Wozniaki is in the celebrity minority when it comes to her sniffy dismissal of online dating, since a considerable number of her peers are escaping the rarefied air of the red carpet circuit to look for love (or "love") online.
And you know what? Let's draw a little Venn diagram: if dating online is desperate, and the beautiful and successful and talented people are dating online, then that means, in that cosy little intersection between the two circles, we can consider ourselves to be truly, just like them.
- Daily Life
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