But something changed recently. The face-to-face guys have been defeated by the cyber guys who outnumber the face-to-face men in town. And MAN are they aggressive!
I’m sure that online hunters exist in other countries too but in all my years I have never been hit on online until I moved to Bangalore - never even once that I can recall - so this is the only experience I have so forgive me for singling out the Indians. Cyber guys combine the inexplicable over-confidence of today’s Indian man with the aggressiveness and persistence that is only gained through wearing a mask of safe anonymity – or in this case by approaching a woman through an email address instead of face-to-face.
This new channel came about a few months ago when I added a contact email address to my personal blog so the blog didn’t feel so one-way and I setup a Facebook page for it. I am now basically accessible online to anyone, anywhere, 24/7. For the most part, it’s lovely to receive mail from people all around the world who fell onto my blog by chance and either adore India, live here or did, or are moving soon to Bangalore and have a few questions. But on top of those mails, I am now the recipient on average of 2-3 mails every day from Indian men asking me out on a date.
When I left the U.S. close to a decade ago to move to Europe again, the Internet dating thing was just taking off at full speed. A dear friend of mine is actually a HUGE supporter of the Internet dating phenomenon and his stories of the processes and procedures and systematic approaches used to funnel down to “your perfect date” potential and then partner is mind-blowing to me. First, I can’t get my head around how you can truly get a feel for someone without speaking to them, seeing them in person and sizing them up. Their confidence and intelligence, their good looks and style, and the way they communicate…I just couldn’t do it online.
I think that Indian men employ online approach tactics more and Indian women are more familiar with being approached online because – from what I understand – arranged marriages are now a much more modern affair and the process usually begins with registering on selection and dating websites instead of with Moms and other family members using word of mouth. There was an article a short time back on this topic here on The-NRI.com about how many times in India dating now starts online on sites like Facebook or through friends, read it here.
Whenever I receive emails with invites to go on a date or to connect on Facebook I always reply with a kind “thanks but I don’t make plans with (or connect to) people I don’t know but please introduce yourself if you ever see me around town … thank you for taking the time to contact me … take care”. Yet so far in my experience in India that just fuels their fire and they come back trying to instantaneously change me. I have received dozens of emails from one particular gentleman who wants to educate me and teach me new things and insists that I am going to be a better person if I take a chance and meet him and he simply won’t take no for an answer. EXCUSE ME? I am 100% positive that he would not be so arrogant and persistent if we were stood face-to-face and I had my friends behind me supporting MY CHOICE to say no.
I receive mails to my brush-off email telling me how I will be happier in a relationship than single, happier if I meet new people because my ‘don’t make plans with people I don’t know’ concept is limiting me and holding me back. It’s insane. This approach by the Indian guys I assume is their jazzy attempt to try to make me think “ahhhh, YES…that guy is right and I’ve been wrong my whole life”!!! Come to Mama!
On a positive note, men in India do try all number of things online. I really wish the face-to-face guys were even half as inventive because they would probably go much farther in making a connection with the ladies than simply by using tired pickup lines like “hey, where you from?” which is so, so, so generic that no woman could feel special hearing that as an opening line.
The three tactics I have observed most often by Cyber Dudes are:
- POKE on Facebook. I’m sorry but what the hell should a woman do with a poke? I see it, I click to see if I know the person. I realize I have no idea who he is and so I delete the poke. Not really sure what else to do. To me, this is the most non-evasive and gentle of the Cyber Dude approaches. It’s sort of like a wink or a smile from across the bar at a club. If a women then winks or smiles back the guy can walk over and talk to her but if she does nothing then they will stop there and move on.
- Private message on FB or the blog sites. For me these messages just don’t work. Typically they are full of lots of details about who the man is, includes his bio data, info about his family, about where he lives or why he’s reaching out. And they always have invitations to meet up, ensuring me how compatible we seem from what they read on the blog. These guys are actually really good about saying “okay, well take care” and only tend to write back once more but that’s it.
- Email. These are the hard-core cyber pickup artists in my opinion. The majority of the guys who email truly insist that we are destined to meet. They reply several or even dozens of times with a sweet little message one time then a long letter about where we can go and what they want to bring to the table with our meeting and our relationship. It’s pretty wild.
With the Email guys, I have been too nice in continuing to reply to say “thanks but no thanks” and it reached the point with a few of them that I finally had to block them and add their email to a DND feature that catches them in my spam. To me, “NO” means no, whether a woman says it to a man’s face at a bar, or on a date or even in these online worlds of flirtation and private liaisons. I don’t want to feel like the bad guy for having to go back time and again to a guy who doesn’t get the hint so I guess I just need to set up a one reply rule and just leave it at that…even if I feel a bit like a bitch for not replying, I think it’s the best thing I can do.
We all have comfort zones and things we feel right or wrong doing. Where Indians feel more comfortable in the online social world, making plans with people I don’t know just feels wrong to me. On top of that, I’m no dumb blonde and I know perfectly well that 99% of these guys are not actually looking for a spiritual, loving relationship with me. I’m a westerner in India who writes about going out and silly topics like moth balls and Sunday brunch. Hell, if I were an Indian man I’d probably give it a go too!
Photo credit: guystuffcounseling.com