Hey, slightly famous person - wanna go out?
June 7, 2010 4:29 PM   Subscribe

Adventures in online dating. Found someone on a personals site. She is sorta famous here in Seattle, and I know who exactly who she is. Should I contact her via the dating site (last login 3 months ago) or go straight to Facebook? Yes, I'm probably bean-plating this...

So "Susan" and I do have two friends in common, so I'm not totally a stranger. But one says she's only met her in passing. The other never got back to me, so I'll just assume acquaintance at this point. Susan has changed profile pics recently, so she's active on FB. That's about all I can see of her profile. That, and it does say "single" on her page. I understand there's a chance she is dating despite that.

As for her Onion personals page, she has a "gold" account - I can email her for free. So it's not like I need to sneak around their fees. And if it's like most dating sites she'll probably get an email notification if I contact her.

So, does it matter which way I approach her? Also, while I want to express my admiration for her stage/performance work, I don't want to fall into "dating a fan" territory, so is there a tactful way of saying I'm into her work, and by extension her? I've only seen her perform once, and it was about 7 years ago. And no, I have not been pining for her since then. I was married for most of those 7 years.

One more thing: I understand the fantasy vs reality thing -that's not what this question is about.
posted by O9scar to Human Relations (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
OK, I'll bite.

What is this really about? I mean, if you saw her personal ad, then respond to the ad.

Everything else sounds a bit like stalking.
posted by kanewai at 4:32 PM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Contact her via the personals site. If you hunted me down & contacted me on Facebook (which to me seems more "personal" - as in, I reserve it for people I know) rather than the explicit "I'm looking for a date" site, I'd think you were a bit of a stalker & refuse to reply.
posted by belladonna at 4:32 PM on June 7, 2010 [6 favorites]

I'd strongly suggest that unless she referred to whatever it is that makes her slightly famous on the dating site, you shouldn't mention it in your first contact.
posted by muteh at 4:36 PM on June 7, 2010

Be honest, but don't gush. Make the respect her work one line only, kinda like "I've really enjoyed your work over the years."

And contact her through the personals site. Going to Facebook and doing it is like asking someone out for a date you don't know by knocking on their front door.
posted by inturnaround at 4:38 PM on June 7, 2010

"i recognize you from the dating site" is only an acceptable pick up line on that dating site. use that line anywhere else and be prepared for the object of your affection to be skeeved.

now, "fancy see you on this here dating site, i'm aware of your work and think you're cool, wanna get coffee?" is a great email, again, sent from the dating site.
posted by nadawi at 4:38 PM on June 7, 2010

You haven't explained why on earth you wouldn't contact her FOR FREE through the dating site, which presumably she uses for dating, which is what you want to do.

Is it because she hasn't been on there in 3 months? Maybe nobody has mailed her. When you mail her through there, it will send her an email telling her she has email on her account. If she's no longer dating, she'll ignore it, at which point you'll know she's no longer dating and there's no need for you to contact her further. If she is still dating, she'll check it out and either answer you back if your email was reasonable, or not, if you happen to come across as you do in this question. :)
posted by dobbs at 4:41 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

If she's already semi-famous where you live, then she probably already has schmoes emailing her on Facebook all day long. Don't group yourself in with them and email her through the dating site.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:56 PM on June 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Just going to chime in with my 2 cents: I would go through the personals site. I would feel that is was somewhat an invasion of privacy to go the other route (I see where you're coming from with it though - set yourself apart from the other people and all that). Also personally if I had an ad up on a personals site I would want to know that I was only getting communication of that kind through the email address that I had likely set up just for that purpose... I wouldn't want to read reply to my personal ad when I wasn't expecting it. She may also want to see how she goes "attracting interest" without relying on her "famous" persona...
posted by nothing too obvious at 5:46 PM on June 7, 2010

If you are interested in dating her, go through the site she registered with specifically to meet people to date. Either casually mention that you recognize her & appreciate her work, or save that for a future email after (if) she responds to you.

About the "not totally a stranger" bit: You are a total stranger to her. A semi-famous person will have many, many acquaintances. You are a friend of two of them. You're still a stranger.
posted by studioaudience at 6:10 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think my last sentence was a little ambiguous, it almost seems like I'm saying that emailing her through the dating site is grouping you in with the rest. Definitely email her through the dating site, not through Facebook.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:10 PM on June 7, 2010

FWIW, when I dated a locally-famous woman some years ago, she really really did not want to talk about how I'd been familiar with her work since I was 18 and a book she wrote changed my life when I was a college freshman. In some ways, I thought it made things harder that there was this thing hanging there that she wouldn't let us talk about, but what she wanted was to not talk about how famous she was and how I'd known about her for 10 years before we ever met. YMMV, but this one piece of my experience says be very cautious on the "I'm a big fan" kind of stuff.

I would not even mention "I like your work" in an initial e-mail. Because, on the other hand, I was once locally famous in a very very small way and had a couple of bad experiences dating women who were big fans and who had this whole notion in their head of who I was and what I'd be like and how totally awesome it would be to date me that created this weird dynamic where they just honestly could not see me for who I was. A "hey, I'm a big fan, want to go out?" e-mail after those experiences would have made me somewhat wary.

And definitely contact her through the dating site. That's what it's for, as others have said. Anything else could potentially be stalker-ish, and if she's had any weirdness because of her fame it could be very off-putting for you to approach her in any way that suggests you had to go looking for her.
posted by not that girl at 7:21 PM on June 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

so is there a tactful way of saying I'm into her work, and by extension her?

It's the "by extension" part that's wrong. Think about it for a moment - you don't know her, so assuming you like her because you like her work is creepy fan territory.
posted by Sparx at 8:21 PM on June 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Some people don't think their work is good conversation fodder. Don't mention it.

Small possibility: is it possible the dating ad is someone else using her picture?

If you didn't know the person at all, I would say facebook is off limits. However, since you know her in a friend of a friend way, it *might* be nice to send her a message (without friending her) and just mention "hey, I'm a friend of so and so, and I saw an ad with your picture on this personals site. Is that you?"
posted by gjc at 5:24 AM on June 8, 2010

Definitely, stick to the dating site. That's why she has it, even if she's not been active in a few months.

I am somewhat locally famous. I work in public radio, so people recognize my name if not my face. It's an odd feeling when people I just met act like they already know me. Frankly, they don't. They know the voice on the radio which is only a small part of who I am.

I did online dating and a lot of people I met that way had NPR listener on there profile. It was a good sign of course because we had similar interests, but I didn't mention my job at first because it felt awkward.
posted by bubonicpeg at 5:54 AM on June 8, 2010

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