Why I hate online dating

There was a time when I thought online dating was great. Really, what could be better? A sea of single people waiting to meet someone else and I get to choose what they can know about me. I can pick the best picture of myself, make myself mysterious…people will like me for me because I’m showing just what I want. And to be honest, I did have reasonable success with it early on, meeting a girl that I ended up being with for two years. After we broke up, I tried it again with no success. My perspective had changed, and so did my belief in online dating.

Online dating to me is the worst way to go about meeting someone special. It basically strips away all that is special about meeting someone new and replaces it with standard page templates and canned responses. Dating involves several interesting experiences all rolled into one; you miss these with online dating.

Chance. One of the things I love most about dating is the aspect of chance. You never know where you’re going to meet that special someone, and I find that incredibly exciting. It may be at the grocery store that we first meet. Perhaps it’s through a mutual friend. Maybe you accidentally walk right into each other on the street. That first meeting is something that is incredibly special to me…I love the storyline and imagine telling my kids about how I met their mother. I may not even know if she’s single; she may even have a boyfriend yet somehow we end up together. There’s always something romantic about these encounters and I love people hearing the stories of how they met. Online dating completely strips this experience away from us. There’s no such thing as a chance encounter online, only a catalog of people that you already know are single.

Impulse. Another exciting part of dating is the impulsiveness of it all. Someone walks by and you find yourself drawn to him or her. You have no idea why, and maybe this person isn’t even your type, yet your impulses tell you that this person is for you. The truth is that most people cannot describe what they want when you ask them, and this is not limited to dating. Product researchers have learned time and time again that you can ask people what they want and deliver exactly that, only to have the very same people decide that they don’t like it. We typically have an idea in our head of who we want to date, but who we will date is something different. When you search an online dating site, you’re excluding a lot of people who you might actually consider dating in real life. Just because you prefer brunettes doesn’t mean you won’t date a blonde (most of the time), and how young is too young really? Two years? Five? You may not even notice a person’s age in person. I’ve always said that I hated tattoos on girls and was disgusted by smoking, so my searches online would be for non-smokers who didn’t have tattoos. My last girlfriend turned out to have three tattoos, including one that took up her entire upper left arm, and smoked like a chimney. I never would have even been presented with her on an online dating site yet in real life, we hit it off almost instantly. And despite my saying I’d never date a girl who smoked, I found myself swept up into this relationship.

Activity. One of the most important parts of meeting someone new is, to me, that you must be active to do it. Prospective dates won’t often come to your door while you’re at home. If you want to meet someone, you should be going out and doing different things: taking classes, exploring hobbies, seeing shows. Online dating is passive and, in fact, you need to be tied to a computer (likely inside) to do it. In my mind, it encourages you to withdraw. The more time you spend in front of the computer, the more likely you are to find someone, right? It’s a little like ordering from a catalog instead of going to the store. You’ll never develop better social skills by sitting in front of a computer; it’s social skills that you need to develop to meet more people. Most of us spend way too much time in front of a computer, why add to it?

Honesty. This is one of my biggest complaints about online dating: the amount of lying that goes on. You can’t be sure that the person in the photo is actually the person you’re talking to until you meet. Many people use old photos that show them thinner, happier, or in better shape. Then you meet in real life and it’s clear that this is not the person you were expecting. This isn’t to say that people don’t lie in person, just that it’s harder. Your out there, you look the way you look, you sound the way you sound, and everything is spontaneous. It’s easy to sound classy and interesting via email when you have the benefit of Internet searches and spell check, it’s much harder in person. I find the real-life interaction to be a much more honest one, and therefore more enjoyable.

If you want to meet someone, get out into the world and away from your computer. Create a life for yourself outside of your apartment or house walls. That’s where other people are so that’s where you’ll find them.

11 thoughts on “Why I hate online dating”

  1. I think you are being a little hard on online dating – or assuming that the reason many ppl online date is to meet a mate. Just like any social scene – online dating serves many purposes for many people – only one of which, in my mind, is to find that special someone. Some people do it to learn more about how to date – to try and figure out what works for them. Now that may not be you, since you are a power ranger and therefore come equipped with master dating skills – but there are tons of people out there who are just trying, and trying and trying – and online dating helps them do that.

  2. I’ll have to go with PP on this one. I think online dating can really work out well for some people – I’ve got a bunch of friends who met online and are now married. And I’ve got a bunch of friends who’ve met creeps online and hate it.

    In my opinion, it can be a good supplement for finding dates, but doesn’t necessarily need to be the main source. But ultimately, it depends on the person & their situation.

    Off the top of my head, online dating is probably a nice tool for people who are: extremely busy, have maxed out their social circles, are older & divorced & unfamiliar with the dating scene, don’t like the typical dating scene, are more introverted and find it easier to open up online, or are just curious.

  3. As I started out saying, I had some success with online dating, so I understand the value. My point is that all too often it’s an easy way out from being social, a convenience that let’s you put in a minimal amount of time and effort initially. To me, that’s no way to start a relationship. If you’re too busy to get out and meet people, then chances are that you’re work-life balance is way out of whack. I’d focus on balancing that first before introducing someone new into your life who, in all likelihood, you will be too busy to spend time with anyways.

  4. Although I still disagree, you’ve brought up an interesting topic: being too busy to date.

    Ever go out with someone who just seems too busy? They could really be into you, but since they’re so busy, you just lose interest and wander away. That’s happened to me, on both fronts. That would be an interesting topic on which to write!

  5. Online dating ahhhh. The last paragraph is golden! Get off the computer and into the real world! Matter of fact I am turning my box off right now!

  6. One of the discuragements I often feel is the ammount of scammers I’ve encountered online whether they be Nigerian, West African or Russian or other marriage-scammers; I noticed that some sites I’m using do take the issue of scam very seriously, a couple other dating-sites I know of they don’t care at all in regards to scam. it’s a matter of your own expectations too, what do you want out of online dating? There is a big difference of ‘what do you want? to what are you getting from from your online dating experience? For first timer’s they may have all sorts of expectations, low and behold they don’t materialize:-). Whilst I do have some great online friends who I do regularly correspond with in email. The issues of “personal online security” and the awareness of scams is all to important. One thing I always remember “google is your friend”. be safe, knowlege is power as they rightfully say:=).

  7. Online dating sucks. I tried it because a friend of mine kept talking about these guys she met online. When it all balled down, she was not successful. I met two con artist, the guys are really rude, and only creeps approach me. That’s not nice. The same chance you have to meet creep in person, is the same on line. The down thing about the dating line, you have to pay. It’s like a lotto game or a jack pot.

  8. I couldn’t agree more. I hate everything about online dating and it’s concept. It’s encourages fear for those that are introverted and suffer from social anxiety. It also provides an easy platform for con artists and phonies to prey on people who are vulnerable and lonely.

    I’ve come to notice that the most common excuse given for those who participate in online dating is that it’s no different than offline dating as you can meet the same type of person online. But what they fail to mention is that these online dating sites charge fees — and you would have to be an idiot to pay your computer to do something that costs you nothing to do for yourself offline?

    And if online dating was so great and the success rates were so high then why isn’t everyone doing it? Most of the people I know who do online dating are still single anbd looking.

  9. I think you are right about the online dating thing. I tried it because I am a single mum stuck at home with my children most of the time, especially at night, not to mention that I live in a very small city. I have decided to get more proactive and move to a larger city and get a life. Also the sort of man that can handle a lady like me is not to be found on a dating site is what I am thinking now…thanks for your comments, very helpful!

  10. I’m not Fabio, or anything near him, but I’m also not the Humpback of Notre Dame either. The problem with online dating if you’re an average guy in his 20’s, 30’s or 40’s is there is a somewhat small pool of desirable women – attractive, without kids with them all the time (or no kids at all which is almost impossible to expect because of everyone’s belief that they have a God-given right to reproduce), and some kind of emotional stability. And then there are the leftovers who make up the majority of the pool of women. They suck guys into the black hole of dating them because these girls will give it up early and often. These women are often fat, have two kids out of wedlock living with them full time, and are emotional wrecks. The desirable women are so inundated by messages from so many guys that most guys get lost in the wash. Additionally, a lot of these women don’t really want to meet anyone in person. They just want to be showered with attention. Regardless, the desirable women are impossible to date anyway because of all the attention they receive. They believe that something better is always around the corner. You can have the best date of your life with one and never hear from her again. Then a couple of days later while you’re still wallowing in sorrow you will get a message from a leftover and, in a moment of weakness, you will end up banging her on the first damn date. The next morning you’re disgusted with yourself and you already have four texts from her saying how much she likes you and on and on. It takes a month to get rid of her because you’re the only guy in like four years that has given her any attention. And the cycle repeats itself ad infinitum until you realize how futile online dating is and you finally fucking put it down.

    Online dating sucks!

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