Member’s Stories: The Downside of Online Dating26th June 2013
The Downside of Online Dating…
We are all looking for love.
Well, maybe not all. Particularly those individuals who have already been lucky enough to find it – but they are few and far between. Let’s face it; the majority of us, whether we admit it outwardly or whether we scoff in public, harbour a burning desire somewhere in our chest region to find ‘the one.’ Men, once they have tamed their wayward loins and realized there’s more to life than hopping from one (drunken) night stand to the other, eventually fall prey to that nesting feeling, one that has them pining for a long-lasting mate.
Women, who on the whole tend to be more romantic and idealistic about the whole love business, will be so enamoured by their fantasies of a Christian Grey-type brooder (one who not only knows how to enchant a woman with his unlimited sexual skills, but also reveals his deepest, darkest, emotionally-disturbed thoughts so she may be given the privilege of ‘saving’ him from his inner demons) that she will be on the trail of every mysterious stranger who catches her eye, bloodhound style. This overwhelming desire in both men and women to find their soulmate has, in this modern world, been a goldmine for both scrupulous and unscrupulous founders of the numerous dating websites that the internet has bombarded us with and it is here that I come to the crux of my article – online dating and its catastrophic consequences!
“Catastrophic?!” shout objecting couples who have successfully managed to find love online. “How dare she? Online dating has given me my soulmate!” How dare I indeed? While it is heartening to learn that there are (rare) cases of people out there who have managed to find love through online dating, there is no denying the reality, for even the National Lottery has its winners: the majority who meet people over the internet wind up in disastrous situations. There really are a lot of downsides to online dating.
Allow me to provide you with an example. Woman joins dating website. Woman puts up pictures of herself and writes a dynamic, witty introduction on her profile. Woman is messaged by streams of men. 75% of these men write messages such as, “Hey baby, fancy meeting tonight for a quick one?” or, even worse, “Wife is away. How about we pop open a bottle and get down with it?” 10% of men write (I’m sorry, copy and paste) dreadful messages such as, “Thou art the flower of mine eye. Let me be the bud that grows in your soil…” or “You are the most beautiful woman I have seen here – how are you single?!” A further 10% are just downright explicit or send pointless messages with a one-word “Hi.” By now, woman is in despair. But then she receives a message from a handsome, strapping 6’2 professional called Eric who works in the City. They exchange emails; they exchange phone numbers. They decide to meet for a date. Woman is intrigued and excited. However, woman is shocked when she encounters a 5’4 balding man who introduces himself as Eric, whose trousers are too long for him and who bears only the slightest resemblance to his pictures facially. Woman is miffed at this act of deception and date does not go well. Same tends to happen to men. They arrange a date with a stunning 25 year old with flocks of golden hair – they end up meeting a rather dishevelled 38 year old with tinges of grey. It may be shallow, it may cause outcry that beauty is only skin deep and we should all remember it, but when you deliberately go out of your way to deceive people, don’t expect them to be so lenient.
Still don’t believe there’s downsides to online dating? or that this is an accurate representation? Try it for yourself. You’d be surprised. The problem is that people can be anyone they want to be on the internet and most of the time the reality is far-off from what they portray themselves as. And aside from the issue of people not being who they purport to be, you also have to worry about the numerous scammers that are waiting to snatch your bank details. How many poor fools have fallen victim in recent times to the ‘perfect’ partner, only to discover they were being swindled all along for their cash? According to C4’s ‘Mating Season’ 250,000 people a year are scammed for money online – that’s a lot of scamming! A lot of fake profiles, a lot of people getting their hearts broken. The show also highlighted the fact that over half of women who use dating sites receive explicit messages (just as I highlighted above – plus, I’ve been at the brunt of this myself and can testify) and a third of men do. And let’s not forget the safety aspect – there’s no way you can know that the person in their picture isn’t some psychotic killer who wants to lure you in and slash you to bits! Put simply, online dating can be an absolute nightmare.
My advice? If you’re looking for love, try it the good old traditional way. It automatically eliminates the chances of encountering perverts, scammers, liars, cheaters, serial killers and frauds – which online dating has a strong tendency to attract. Of course, you do get your perverts, scammers, killers etc. in the real world, but at least you get to see them face to face straightaway and thus be more clued up. Plus, physically, what you see is what you get…
No expectations, no disappointments. Meet someone in a library, a supermarket, at university or work – or, even better, meet someone at a socialising club such as Thinking Bob where, not only do you get to meet people face to face, but everyone is surprisingly like-minded and you will have a great deal more in common than you realize! More and more people are realizing that internet dating is a waste of time. Let’s move into the future of dating by reverting back to the past. Finding love shouldn’t have to be a chore – and with the likes of Thinking Bob, it doesn’t have to be.
Sarah Brownlee – INFJ –
Member, Personality-type enthusiast and blogger of Outside the Box