Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Online Dating: May The Farce Be With You

In this day and age looking for love via the World Wide Web is quite common. It's the biggest segment of paid content behind pornography. Be it due to a demanding work schedule, a tiring of the club and bar scene, fear of rejection or any multitude of other reasons, it has become one of many ways to find "the one." The problem? The majority don't.

Sure. We hear of success stories on TV from sites such as eHarmony.com, Dating.com, Match.com, OKCupid.com, etc but the fact is, the ones who go through it with success are in the minority. Roughly 17-20% success, I recently read. While there are free sites out there, many are automatically seen as "not trying" if they aren't paying for "real" and scientific match-making.

Yes. I've been there. I live in a less-than-ideal town for an atheist 40-year old to be looking for love but I digress. My point is that I just didn't have many feasible or realistic options when looking for "her." I may be a tad biased but, on the inside, I truly do consider myself what many women describe; great sense of humor, open-minded, intelligent, intellectual, etc etc etc. The sad truth is, however, that first impressions are lasting impressions. If one doesn't have the smile of Brad Pitt, the rugged good looks of George Clooney or the paycheck of Denzel Washington, chances are the odds are against 'em.

Now, don't put words in my mouth. I'm not claiming that women are shallow but I will say that they damn sure are just as shallow as they often claim men are! While you may not advertise the fact, many of you (women) will agree that above-average-looking guys with a good-paying and promising career are the first you look at. I don't even blame you. I read another study not too long ago that I'll admit I have forgotten the location of (on or about OKCupid.com?) it boiled down to this: Women, more often than not, judged society's definitions of good-looking men as "average". It seems that women feel they are swallowing enough pride by looking for a mate online without lowering themselves to the point that they merely "settle" on the least of multiple evils.

Obviously, I'm writing this article from the male perspective and I don't mean every woman on dating sites. I do mean the majority, however. I'm well aware that the majority (from what I can tell from my half-assed research) of men on dating sites are guilty of lying about their age, their height, their head-hair count, their criminal backgrounds, etc. Both sexes have ruined it for the....um....rest of us? The dishonest seem to ruin it for those of us who are painfully honest.

Then you have another extreme. Those like me. I tell women in my profiles, much to my downfall (but I have no regrets), about all the flaws I have. I then proceed to give them all my best qualities as well. I had never been any semblance of successful on dating sites but I can proudly exclaim that I have received many, many messages telling me how much of a "refreshing change" my honesty was. I was just as happy and proud to receive those messages as I would have been to receive hundreds of messages in my on-site inboxes. But, at the same time, I likely came across as painfully desperate and pathetic to many as well. You really can't win unless something great about you sticks out over and above the apparent shortcomings.

Damn those of you who write, "I don't want someone with baggage" or "leave your insecurities at the door" and, my personal favorite, "Those living in their mother's basement, need not apply." I haven't lived with my parents since the age of 17 but this one has always pissed me off. Think about it. What's the first thing you think of when you hear of a woman living with her parents? I'll tell you. You automatically assume the "poor, poor girl is fresh out of a bad relationship, has children to feed and is just basically down on her luck" or some other similar scenario. When a guy is living with his parents? LOSER!!! (Admit it! You know I'm right!)

I've come to the conclusion that dating sites are primarily populated with dead or stagnant accounts, fake profiles, a sprinkle of real people who find real happiness and the majority. The majority, in my opinion, are lonely to a point, all-but-hopeless-and-giving-up, lacking in some "important" dating-scene areas or are otherwise HUMAN!


Until next time, my friends...


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