I’ve been encouraged, cajoled, pushed and pressured into coming out to the cyber dating society. (Perhaps I shouldn’t refer to it as cyber. It seems archaic and further paints a picture of pasty, ineligible bachelors seeking some vile e-lovin’.) My protests are many. And, I feel, valid.
As a single person I am supposed to be, and most days am, thrilled about my unattached status. My mentality should be: “if I meet someone, great, if not, whatever.” Participating in online dating seems to scream, “being single is NOT ok. I must remedy this malady by any means possible!” I’m not there…yet. This argument seems solid, no?
I am aware of a number of people who are not desperately seeking a mate, but still skip through the land of blurry photos (it’s 2011 people suitable mega pixels are not that hard to come by) and contrived profiles (see there is still a stigma). According to them, most people join out of positive curiosity and a “why not?” mentality rather than a last-ditch effort to keep their mug off of a children’s card game (so cruel).
Then there is the fact that being online seems to be an open invitation to the leering eyes of sleazy old men and the aforementioned basement dwellers. Shallow though it may be, it’s a terrible blow to the self-esteem to know that some 53-year-old, goateed creeper thinks he has a legitimate shot with you.
Above all, the latent romantic in me is disheartened at the thought of eliminating the meet cute moment between my smoochiekins and me. The world will be forever deprived of that cutesy story about how Mr. McDreamypants was sitting next to you at Quintessential Idyllic Coffee Shop when you both pulled out a copy of “Love in the Time of Cholera.” You had a knowing giggle and he bought you a non-fat caramel mocha latte with a dusting of cinnamon. Instead you will have to simply respond “online” when someone inevitably asks you to share the tale of meeting Mr. Perfectheimer. That story sucks.
For all its not-so-awesome points, online dating does have one very tempting advantage aside from the fact that it’s not a bar. It provides a superb method of eliminating the “Oh Hellz No” potentials with a simple click (though that particular type seems to come out in droves on the Interweb). Depending on the site there are a number of ways to get the basic deal breakers out of the way. Wants kids - check, doesn’t smoke - check, not an alcoholic – check, has a big-boy job – check, doesn’t worship Satan – check. That way you don’t get all twitterpated about some guy before you find out he sacrifices babies to the dark prince.
In reality, I will never know the good, bad and the very, very ugly truth about online dating unless I give it a shot. So in the coming weeks I will conduct a not-so-scientific experiment, exploring the endless dating websites. Stay tuned for the riveting reviews to come.