Online Dating - What You Should Know
Dating in the computer age...
Online dating is fast becoming a multi-billion dollar business. It's not hard to see how profitable they are, since every third commercial pushes their services. I'm not going to single-out any particular online dating service, because they're all the same. I have no doubt that matches occur on these sites, but I think it is important to inform the public as to how these sites work. Keep in mind, that I can only illustrate my findings from the "man seeking woman" side of the picture.
Here's how it goes: You fill-out a rather large, and somewhat personal questionnaire. The questions range from asking your height and eye color, to asking your aspirations and annual income. Here is where the foundation of online dating starts to wobble. There are no safeguards in place for confirming the validity of the information in this section. One can purposely mislead the public, regarding their age, annual income, anything and everything. Needless to say, fallacious information in this venue, can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort (not to mention emotional stress.)
Then, you fill out the exact same questionnaire for what you're looking for in your ideal woman. I've seen a lot of things, and I've gone through the gamut of emotions eight ways to Sunday, but choosing the attributes of your perfect woman, as if you were putting together a combination platter in your favorite Mexican restaurant, is rather eerie and off putting. It sort of makes you feel like Dr. Frankenstein. It makes you wonder how you would fair on a woman's questionnaire.
The major online dating services purport that the ratio of men to women on their sites is 1 to 1. This is the sort of false claim that would usually result in my flying off the handle, but I will try to conduct myself in a professional manner... "Liar, liar...pants on fire!"
There are at least ten men for every woman on these sites. You can take that to the bank.
You cannot judge a book by its cover...
Next, you upload photos of yourself (preferably recent), so that women are able to take a look at what (not who) they might potentially be dating. If you wish, you can you can upload 20-30 photos, using one as your cover photo. By looking at your cover photo, women will decide if you're worth a deeper look. This is where the cloth of online dating unravels. These personal photos can be 10 or 20 years old, photo shopped, or photos of a different woman, altogether. I saw a cover photo that was a picture of Sophia Loren...No kidding. I saw one profile, where the photos had such a variance of age, that when I flipped through them quickly, I could virtually see the woman age before my eyes.
I glanced at the menu of single men on these sites, and there were literally thousands of men who, in my objective heterosexual opinion, we're absolutely gorgeous. These men had movie idol looks. I am an average looking man (no matter how much my mother raves that my looks put Brad Pitt's to shame), but I would wager that most women would choose an Adonis over me.
If a woman finds you attractive enough to look at your profile, she will see an essay, written by you, describing yourself and what kind of woman for whom you are searching (minimum of 200 words.) An essay describing yourself and the woman for whom you are searching. Remember, you are trying to convince women that they should date you. You cannot just list your positive attributes, without sounding pretentious. You cannot describe your ideal woman without sounding super-choosy. One quasi-successful approach is to make fun of yourself (as long as you're witty, and the women don't take you seriously.) If you feel the urge to mention your flaws and/or quirks, then you will not be rewarded for your honesty. If your profile illustrates your high-caliber sense of morality, then it will still not earn you points.
I'm not passing judgment on women in general, but I did notice one thing on these sites, that irked me. I've always considered women as the more sensitive, emotional gender. That's been my opinion forever. However, in my experience, it seems like most of the women on these sites, lose their sense of etiquette and consideration (unless they've never possessed them from the start.) For example, occasionally I am intrigued by a young lady, so I message them with a cordial introduction and reason(s) why I have reached out to them. Nine out ten women do not have the time to simply respond. It is as if you don't exist. I wouldn't be objective, if I ruled out the possibility that this type of callous behavior, is directed specifically at me (and others like me), but it has never happened in my life, outside of these dating sites. I would rather get a "Drop dead", than no response. Honestly, I would rather they say, "Specifically you, Daniel, are repugnant, inside and out", than get no response at all. I simply don't understand why this happens on these sites, and I never will.
I welcome any comments from whoever reads this article. I hold women in high regard. I believe that they are the more evolved gender, because most have the capacity to look past one's appearance, and fall in love with what they have inside. Bravo, women! However, on these sites (in my experience), that attribute is thrown out the window. I may not be great looking, but I've dated women who could be supermodels, because they've gotten to know me. However, on these sites (in my experience), if you can't compete looks-wise, then you are basically dead in the water. You could be the smartest, wittiest, funniest, most sensitive man on the planet, but if women don't like your cover photo, then they will never know that you are a catch. I can't stress enough, that I am only offering one man's opinion from what he has experienced.
I'm approaching the end of my six month contract. This particular company offers a guarantee...If you are not successful in finding a match, then you can remain on their site for free. However, though it's a fair offer, I will manually remove my alias from their search result base. Through my research, all of my questions were answered, but all of the answers were unsettling.
There is one critical thing that computer dating will never prepare you for...The fact that you have no idea what kind of person you will be meeting. They could be thieves, compulsive liars, insane, and/or have no moral or ethical compass. I've had many blind dates in my lifetime, none of which panned out. However, I would trade my online experience for ten more blind dates. All of my blind dates were set up by people whom I knew, and who were looking after my best interests. In online dating, you know zero about the other person.
"What about successful couples who met each other by sheer happenstance?" That depends on your definition of "happenstance." If you met someone at church, or at a veterinary hospital, or at a nightclub, then I don't consider that happenstance, because both of you possessed and expressed similar intentions that day or night. An example of what I consider to be happenstance, is two people who find themselves at places where they had no intention of going, they meet, fall in love...end of scene. "But, isn't online dating sort of like a huge nightclub?" Well, I'm not going to dignify that question with an answer. If you meet someone, while having command over one of your five senses, you would know them a hundred times better than meeting them online. Online, you can never be sure as to someone's intentions. Some people might be on there, with no intention of meeting anyone. Maybe they're just doing a research experiment.
And, if everything appears to be going swimmingly (you meet a seemingly attractive person, inside and out), then that's when things can get really messy. The longer you date this virtual stranger (believe me...even if you exchanged a thousand texts before your first meeting, they are still virtual strangers), the possibility of falling for them increases, and you become a sitting duck for major, even crippling disappointment.
No one can argue that businesses like these, in no uncertain terms, put more weight on looks than personality. That might be acceptable by the general public, but I can't think of anything positive developing from that concept. In my opinion, online dating has sent the practice of forming relationships, back to the Ice Age.
Furthermore, due to my experience with online dating, my view of the opposite gender is now jaded, and my hope of having a healthy relationship has been cut to ribbons. If you think that you have nothing to lose, by using online dating, then you are sorely mistaken. Please, be careful.