Say to goobye of making friends on the internet
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2011-11-05 10:10:15  【打印

   
Dear Lonely Hearts: Do you spend hours at your computer, clicking through pages of single people on online dating sites? Are you exhausted from tweaking your profile, updating your photos and emailing potential matches? Are you sick and tired of feeling rejected when so many of them don't answer?


It may be time for you to break up with online dating and try meeting a mate in the scary, old-fashioned way: face to face.


For generations, people met at parties, in church or synagogue, through friends, even-- at work. But then we went online. We began making friends on Facebook and trolling for potential partners on websites like Match.com and eHarmony.


Sometimes it works. You probably know at least one couple who met online. I know half a dozen. But there's something that's easy to lose sight of: These happy folks aren't typical. Most people never meet their soul mate online. 'It's exhausting,' says Kate Wachs, a Chicago psychologist and author of 'Relationships for Dummies.' 'People burn out really fast.'


Before you even get started, you have to create your marketing pitch -- get some decent photos, write an engaging profile, sometimes take a personality test. Then you scan hundreds, maybe thousands, of profiles and compose emails to the people you want to meet. If all this doesn't wear you out, the actual dates will.


That's, of course, if anyone bothers to email back. A lawsuit filed in December and seeking class-action status in U.S. District Court in Dallas alleges more than half the profiles on Match.com are 'inactive, fake or fraudulent.' Match.com general manager Mandy Ginsberg says the site's full-time fraud-prevention team works to identify and block fake profiles, including IP addresses that are in specific countries where fraud is prevalent or that try to set up multiple profiles. There are 1.7 million paid subscribers on the site, Ms. Ginsberg says, and fraud happens to very few of them.


'Online dating is a lot of time for very little return,' says Jeff Koleba, 31, a Manhattan consumer-brand manager. At one point, he had active profiles on five dating sites. He says he found it draining to come home each night and study profiles, draft clever emails to the women he was attracted to -- and then often receive no response. He recently quit online dating.


Now, Mr. Koleba tries to meet women when he is out and about -- taking improvisational comedy classes, playing on a co-ed intramural soccer team, exercising with a runners group. 'It's easy to talk, because we already share a common interest,' he says. 'So at least you'll usually get a decent conversation, even if it winds up going nowhere dating-wise.'


Where can you meet Mr. or Ms. Right without going online (or to a bar)? I've asked around and heard these suggestions: Home Depot. The airport. The supermarket produce section. (Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have 'the best looking and healthiest prospects,' according to a musician friend of mine.)


I had some luck recently at a triathlon finish line in Miami -- and I didn't even have to break a sweat. I was there with my sister, Rachel, to cheer on my brother-in-law, J.J., who was running in his first race. I was waiting on a breakwall by the water when a handsome man in running shorts sat down next to me. He asked if I was waiting for a husband or boyfriend, and I suddenly developed a southern accent: 'Whah noooo, Ahm not!'


Then it hit me: Here was a mass of people in skimpy outfits who were clearly very fit -- and had their ages written right on the back of their calves! It was easy to find things to say. We chatted about the race. Mr. Triathlon got to brag a little, and I got to show my nurturing side, asking concerned questions and offering to get him more water. I was having a great time -- until my sister appeared abruptly and announced that her husband was exhausted and we needed to leave immediately. (It took two days, but I did start speaking to her again.)


Last year, Karen Jordan methodically told friends, family and acquaintances that she was looking to meet a man who was 'kind, generous, accomplished yet humble.' 'To me, it's just like when you are looking for a new job,' says the owner of a Los Angeles skin-care company. 'It's a matter of asking for help.' She met her boyfriend through someone in her church choir.


After Lisa Jenkins, 42, a Clarkston, Wash., marketing consultant, got divorced several years ago, she came up with a method she calls 'reverse stalking.' Once or twice a week, she frequented places she found interesting -- bookstores, art galleries, a bistro, a charity -- at about the same time of day. 'People who might be interested in you know where to find you when they finally get up the courage to ask you out,' she says.


While volunteering on a fund-raiser for a local college art center, she met another volunteer, who asked her to lunch. Three years later, they are engaged. 'I am very glad I didn't leave it to chance,' Ms. Jenkins says.


Christopher Murray, 43, a Manhattan social worker, invited all his single gay friends to a game night at his apartment. Twelve men ate pizza and played a charades-like game called 'celebrity' (you divide into teams and try to guess the names of famous people). Mr. Murray says the activity 'allowed people to be interactive and work on a project together.' His friend, Manhattan artist Joseph Cavalieri, 50, says, 'It puts so much less pressure on you, because it's a group of people, so you are more relaxed.'


How can you meet more people offline? Ask everyone you know for help. And be specific about what you are looking for, so you only get introduced to good prospects.


When you volunteer with your local alumni club, fund-raising event or political campaign, sign up for the job that gives you an excuse to call others.


Become the designated photographer at weddings, bar mitzvahs and other events. Shooting video of Uncle Phil's 90th birthday requires you to wander around and talk to people without being self-conscious.


Put down the device. Get your head out of your smartphone, computer or iPad. You won't seem approachable if no one can see your face.


Smile more. Pretend you're on vacation, a time when most people are more approachable and talk more to strangers.


Travel in business class. People are less grumpy, more chatty. And there are free drinks.


Move to a neighborhood or a building that seems to have lots of people you'd like to meet.


Borrow a cute puppy and walk it someplace with sidewalk cafes. Or take it to the dog run. But be sure to own up to the fact that it isn't your dog: You don't want to get caught in a lie before your first date.



参考译文:
亲爱的征婚朋友:你是否曾经在网上花几个小时流览征婚网站上一页一页的单身人士资讯?你是否因为不断调整个人资料、更新个人照片、给有可能发展的交往对象发邮件而感到精疲力尽?而当许多发出去的邮件都石沉大海时,那种被人拒绝的滋味会让你觉得烦了累了吗?


对你来说,也许是时候与这种网上交友方式说拜拜了,也是时候尝试通过一种让你觉得害怕但却十分传统的方式与潜在约会对象见面了,这就是在现实生活中面对彼此。


几代人以来,人们在派对或是教会中相识,通过朋友认识彼此,甚至——会在工作中发展恋情。可后来我们上网了。我们开始在Facebook上交朋友,在Match.com和eHarmony这样的网站上寻找潜在的交往对象。


有时候这种方式的确行之有效。你可能至少认识一对通过网恋走到一起的夫妻。我认识六对。可有一些事情是容易被忽视的:这些幸福的夫妻并不具有代表性。多数人的精神伴侣绝不是在网上认识的。芝加哥心理学家、《傻瓜的恋爱关系》(Relationships for Dummies)的作者沃克斯(Kate Wachs)说,这种恋爱关系使人疲惫不堪,激情很快就会耗尽。


甚至在你还没有开始之前,你就得进行一番行销宣传——弄一些体面的照片、写一份有吸引力的资料,有时还要参加性格测试。然后你要流览上百份、也许是上千份个人资料,接下来再给你想见面的人写电子邮件。如果所有这些还没有耗尽你的精力与热情,那么现实中的见面将会使它们统统耗尽。


而如果有人不嫌麻烦,回复了你的邮件,情况更是如此。一桩12月份提起的诉讼宣称,Match.com上超过一半的资料都是“无效、虚假或是具有欺诈性的。”这起诉讼正向达拉斯地方法院申请成为集体诉讼。Match.com的总经理金斯伯格(Mandy Ginsberg)说,该网站有专门的打假小组负责查找并遮罩虚假资料,包括来自造假现象猖獗的特定国家的IP地址,以及那些试图建立多份个人资料的IP地址。金斯伯格说,该网站有170万付费使用者,提供虚假资讯的只是很少一些人。


31岁的科勒巴(Jeff Koleba)是曼哈顿一名消费者品牌经理,他说网上交友是一件颇为费时但却没什么回报的事情。他曾经是五个交友网站的活跃会员。他说,他每晚回家都要查看其他人的资料,并将精心构思的电子邮件发给他中意的女子——但之后却往往杳无音信,这让他感觉很疲惫。最近他已经放弃了网上交友。


现在,科勒巴试着走出家门,到外面去接触女性,他参加了即兴戏剧表演班,在男女混合足球队中踢球,还与一个跑步团体一起锻炼。他说,找人搭腔很容易,因为我们已经有了一项共同的兴趣。所以通常来说你至少可以有一次愉快的谈话经历,即便它最终不是朝着恋爱的方向发展。


除了上网(或是泡吧),在哪儿可以遇见自己的意中人呢?我四处打听,得到了这些建议:家得宝(Home Depot),机场,超市的农产品区。(我的一个音乐家朋友说,在Whole Foods和Trader Joe's有机会碰到“最好看、最健康的另一半”。)


最近在迈阿密一项三项全能赛事的终点线附近我交上了“桃花运”——而且还不费吹灰之力。当时我和妹妹瑞秋(Rachel)一起,在那儿为第一次参加比赛的妹夫J.J.加油。我正在水边的防洪堤上等着,这时一位穿着运动短裤的帅气男子坐到了我身边。他问我是不是在等男友或是丈夫,我用不知从哪儿冒出来的南方口音告诉他,不是。


我突然意识到:这里的很多人都穿着紧身而暴露的运动服,身材显然棒极了——他们的年龄也从各自的小腿肚上得到了清晰的体现。找到话题很容易。我们聊了聊这次比赛。这位“三项全能”先生免不了吹嘘了一番,而我也展示了自己温柔体贴的一面,问了一些关心他的问题,还问他是否还需要水。我聊得很开心——直到我妹妹突然出现,说她丈夫体力透支,我们得马上离开。(为此我整整两天没搭理她,不过后来我还是重新开始和她讲话了。)


乔丹(Karen Jordan)在洛杉矶经营着一家护肤中心,去年她在向亲朋好友谈到自己想找一个什么样的人时,一条条地列出了她的条件:善良、慷慨、事业有成但要为人谦逊。她说,对我而言,这就好像是在找一份新的工作。这是我在寻求帮助。后来,她通过教会唱诗班的一个人结识了现在的男朋友。


42岁的詹金斯(Lisa Jenkins)是华盛顿州克拉克斯顿(Clarkston)的一名行销顾问,几年前离异后,她想出了一种她称之为“逆向追踪”的方法。她常常会到她认为有意思的地方去——书店、画廊、某家酒吧、某个慈善团体——每周去一两次,每次都在差不多的时间去。她说,当那些可能对你感兴趣的人终于鼓足勇气约你出去时,他们会知道去哪儿找你。


在为当地一所大学的艺术中心进行的募捐活动做义工期间,詹金斯结识了另一名义工,他邀请她共进午餐。三年后,他们订婚了。詹金斯说,我真庆幸自己当时没有听天由命。


43岁的穆雷(Christopher Murray)是曼哈顿的一名社会工作者,他邀请他所有单身的同性恋朋友到自己的公寓共度游戏之夜。12个男人吃着披萨,玩起了“猜人名”游戏(参与者分成几组,试着猜出名人的名字)。穆雷说,这种活动增进了人与人之间的交流,让人们可以齐心协力地做一件事。他的朋友、50岁的曼哈顿艺术家卡瓦利里(Joseph Cavalieri)说,这种活动大大地缓解了你的压力,因为这是一群人,你也因此而更加放松。


怎样才能在网络之外的现实生活中认识更多的人呢?向所有你认识的人求助。对于你想找什么样的人,尽量说得具体些,这样他们才只会把有交往前景的对象介绍给你。


当你在当地校友会、在募捐活动或是政治竞选活动中做志愿者时,为这份工作签订协约,这样你就有藉口给别人打电话了。


在婚礼、成年礼以及其他活动中担任指定摄影师。设想一下,作为菲尔叔叔90岁生日宴会的摄影师,你当然得四处走走,还可以很自然地与人搭话而不会显得突兀。


放下各种电子设备。将你的目光从智慧手机、电脑或是iPad上移开。如果没人能看清你的脸,你会显得拒人于千里之外的样子。


多笑一笑。想像你正在度假,人们在度假时往往会更容易接近,也会与陌生人有更多的交谈。


选择商务舱。那里的人脾气没那么坏,也更健谈。那儿还有免费的饮料。


如果一个社区或是一座大楼中似乎有许多你乐意结识的人,搬去那里。


借一只可爱的小狗,牵着它到有露天咖啡馆的地方去。或是把它带到专门的遛狗场所。但务必要爽快地承认这不是你的狗:你不希望在第一次约会前就被发现撒了谎吧。


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