The lure of online dating…

Artist Jessica Doyle

People seem to forget that on the other end of the email, convo, comment, message or blog, that there is a REAL human being with feelings. I’ve never encountered more asshattery since opening an account on a dating site in search of that special man.

I’ve been harassed, threatened and chased by men who don’t know their a$$ from their mouth. At one point one man had sent 40 emails in two days demanding to know my real name and where I live all the while professing his love for me stating that we are meant to be together and are soul mates. After a week of this from numerous men I finally located and learned to use the block button.

While, I have met a few nice men on the site who seem to be genuinely looking for a long term relationship I have yet to meet up with one of them in real life and I’m beginning to ask myself why?

I’ve been single since late 2006 and while that in itself has some benefits it doesn’t make for what I want out of life. It does get lonely and it does get frustrating dating man after man after man only to realize one date, two weeks or three months into it that he is an assclown, a player or emotionally unstable or worse still involved or in love with his ex-wife or girlfriend. And this comes back to me… I’m attracting the wrong kind of man which is something I’m deeply concerned about for my own self-esteem and well being. I do not blame the men but myself in this situation.

I don’t beleive in settling and I used to think I wanted certain things from a relationship but I’ve now found myself thinking over the last year(s) and want someone who shares the same morals and values that I do and this doesn’t necessarily mean that we will enjoy the same books, movies or hobbies. Having everything in common certainly makes things very boring after a while.

While I had hoped this dating site would offer an alternative way to meet a man, it’s proving to take much more time away from my real life than I initially thought it would. I’d like to meet a man in real life and as such am taking a break and may eventually delete my account to explore the city on it’s own terms or use the site in conjunction with real life. I need to trust my instincts and take the initiative and immediately delete and block the men who want nothing more than a shoulder to lean or to get me into bed so that I can read the emails from the men who have taken the time to actually write more than “how are you” or “You are beautiful” or “Wanna chat sweetie”.

Online dating has worked out very well for some of my friends and family but for me it seems I have to wage war against crude and significant amounts of men who have chips on their desperate shoulders who are parading around impersonating themselves with stolen pictures and false or insignificant profiles. These men are drowning out the real good guys, ’cause good guys… I know you do exist out there.

Have you ever used an online dating site and what were your experiences with it?

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18 thoughts on “The lure of online dating…”

  1. I met my husband on eharmony. At the time I decided to do online dating I hadn’t dated regularly for
    almost 10 years. I had a few dates, but no keepers. I was ready for a

    I chose the site over the others out there at the time, because it cost money and I believed it would eliminate some of the a$$holes out there. Also, since it was picking the matches and not me, I had hoped that it would eliminate some of my bad choices.

    While the money aspect did eliminate some of the trollers, there were still some players there. I relied on some instinct to eliminate some of them, although I did end up on a date with one or two. But after the first date I knew they were totally wrong for me.

    I always insisted on going the complete eharmony route, no short cutting directly to chatting or dating. I also had “rules”, if I didn’t hear from them frequently (every couple of days) then they were out. Two weeks was my limit for lack of contact. When I met for the first time, it was for “coffee” and usually someplace that I could bring my dog, Jazz. They way they responded to my dog told me a lot about them. My very first date from the site was with a lawyer, that insisted that Jazz sit quietly before he pet him… Boy did that say a lot about him. That was our first and last date. I had only one other really bad date, and he obviously couldn’t read. He started spouting off about Oregon/Washington being the armpit of the United States and how all the femi-nazi’s and gays were ruining the world. He obviously didn’t read that I specifically returned to my roots in the Pacific Northwest from California because I loved it so much and that one of my best friends was gay… DUH!

    I was just about to give up on eharmony when I was matched with my husband Brian. He made me laugh from the first email. He was the only guy I agreed to meet for dinner for the first date. We met at 5:30 and closed the restaurant down. We talked for hours. The first time he met Jazz, he got down on his knees and gave Jazz a big hug and rub and let him “kiss” him all over his face. The total clencher was my cat, Smudge. Smudge does not like strangers and will hide until they leave the house. She not only didn’t hide, but came right up to him and demanded pets. High praise indeed.

    I knew he was a total keeper when I called him late one evening, sick with the flu. I had a new puppy that needed to be let out regularly and I was really having a hard time getting downstairs to take care of her. He came over took care of Katie, Jazz and Smudge. Took care of me, slept in the spare room and even after looking at my wan sickly self, told me he loved me.

    We’ve been married for six years. I couldn’t have asked for a better match. We have the same values, we laugh everyday and act like kids, even though we are both 50. We got into a big tickling wrestling match just yesterday… I lost, dammit.

    So yes, online dating can be totally worth it. Brian and I are one of 3 couples (all friends of ours) that met on eharmony. Another thing I like about eharmony, it encourages you to be picky.

    Hope this helps, keep your chin up. There are good guys out there.

  2. I’ve never used dating websites, though I’ve never dismissed them as a viable way to find love.  You’ll find the same types of men online that you’ll meet in real life; the internet just widens the net and brings in greater numbers of both good and bad.

    But you’re absolutely right in regards to trusting your instincts… I’ve preferred finding men “the old fashioned way” through face to face conversation, simply because it’s easier to read people – and their spontaneous, instinctive reactions to situations.  There is always a measure of craftiness to internet-based conversations, whether intentionally or not, because the very nature of delayed responses gives us time to choose our words carefully.

    Meeting men in person isn’t fail-proof, either.  Some are very convincing liars, as you well know. 😛   Whether you find him online or offline, you’ll need sharp instincts, an open mind, and a heavy dose of luck.  

    And most importantly, remember, that life is a continuous circle.  Meeting “Mr. Right” today doesn’t ensure that you’ll live happily ever after together, but life doesn’t stop when a man enters or leaves your life.  Some of my girl-friends are convinced that “nobody else will ever love me”…. but that’s total bullcrap. There are always second, third, fourth, fifth, and fiftieth chances to find love.

    Good luck!

  3. Hey Jessica.  I met all the idiots that you talk about but I also had a lot of fun and laughs.  I made some good friends (collected some nice jewellery) and eventually met the man I married last year who has made me happier than I have ever been.

    I nearly gave up too but I am glad I didn’t.  I know it doesn’t work for everyone but it taught me a lot about what I wanted and what I didn’t want…in the end I found what I wanted most.

    Good luck…I know you have a lot to give, I just hope you find someone who wants to share.

  4. I’m very skeptical about online dating sites, although I do have friends who have had success with the, albeit all of them were from eHarmony.

    The best way in my honest opinion is to meet people in groups, which can help reduce some of the tension as well as see how they act within a small group of people who you both trust (or at least trust you).

  5. I removed my profile from public search the other day to take some down time and sit on it. I’ve got a busy week ahead with an art show coming up! Yay!

    I’m finding that i’m attracting the same guys in real life… the one’s who lie, the one’s who keep you a secret, the one’s who have know idea about what they want and the one’s who just want you for one thing. i’m realizing though that this is partly my fault so i’m being more picky about who i’ll let into my life now.

    I’m so glad you found someone! Thank you for the hope my friend!

  6. I am meeting the same kinds of men offline which is what prompted me to go online in the first place. I’m going to get a friend to help me with my profile and perhaps that will adjust what men email me.

    Tara, I firmly believe there is a match for me out there… :)

    I’m doing my best not to become jaded and send out positive energy rather than negative energy so that I meet someone who is generally positive and honest.

  7. Wow Kelly! Thank you for sharing your story with me. Both your’s and Pamela’s give me hope. Eharmony isn’t too popular here… the population base isn’t large enough to support it sadly.

    Not liking animals would most definitely be a deal breaker for me too. I can always tell what a man is like by the way they treat my cats. When my cats don’t go over and say hi the first time a man or anyone for that matter is in my home… it’s a good sign that the man or person isn’t so kind.


  8. Hey Jessica, sorry you’re finding it hard to meet a good match. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones who met their soulmate while in College and never looked back. I have no idea about online dating whatsoever, but I guess the same tips apply. Just keep trying, don’t give up, and I think most importantly be honest with youself. Your instincts will let you know if he’s a keeper or not, as long as you are willing to listen. I dated a few ladies before I met my future wife, and in almost all instances I knew right from the first date if she would be a match for me. If there’s not a certain comfort level achieved right from the get go, you just feel it.. There’s no forcing it. Trust me, you will meet that someone finally, and when you do, the two of you will just look back at these times and laugh, good luck!

  9. I actually met my husband on, but let me tell you, I had to go through a lot of toads to find my prince.  He and I both laugh at the stories we both had from online dating…  I told myself that after I went out with him and it didn’t work out that I was quitting.  Turns out, he was the one.  I will share you a secret with you.  I sat down one day and wrote out all the things I wanted in a partner.  Not the superficial nonsense, but things concerning the heart and soul.  I put it in a box with one of my favorite stones.  I also made a list of everything I didn’t want.  All the things from past boyfriends, a terrible ex-husband, etc.  I set fire to this list and let the wind carry away the ashes.  I suppose you could call it manifesting…  I met my husband two weeks later…  Not saying it worked, just saying it can’t hurt.  =)  I wish you much luck on your dating journey.

  10. my theory on online dating is that you need to go on a LOT of face to face dates and see if it works in person. i like a guy who can write an interesting profile and message, but i’m not going to be his penpal, i want to get together quickly and test it out.

    my friends and i are mostly very active in online communities anyway, so using a community like that for dating doesn’t seem too much of a stretch. but there’s definitely still a fair number of people who have dating profiles but still feel that actually meeting someone from the internet is weird.

    yes, you have to ignore a lot of inane and sometimes offensive messages. and yes, you have to say “i don’t think we’re well matched” after many dates. which is both disappointing and difficult for me. sometimes it’s 2 or 3 dates before it becomes clear that it’s not going to grow into anything interesting.. but at least you’ve had a couple nights out with a generally ok man. and most people in their 30s are ok with hearing it.

    despite the guys i meet generally being up for a 2nd date, i find it pretty hard on my ego sometimes. i live in a large city, with more women than men and my “competition” on the dating site i use seems to be all charming, cute, brilliant grad students. i think i’m pretty enough(and i *know* i’m a good partner) but i’m not traditionally feminine/hot and i don’t get a lot of interest on the site. i get about 15% response to messages i send out. (apparently this is quite good compared to most guys’ response rates)

    my best strategy has been to look for guys with similar interests and ask them out. it also ensures we have something to talk about when we meet up. hiking & sci fi literature have been great ones, also public radio(don’t know if the CBC would work similarly but searching for NPR in my city gets just the right crowd). i go hot and cold on the whole process. if i’m feeling confident and interesting, i send out a bunch of messages at once, deal with the resulting handful of dates and then get bummed out that there wasn’t anyone suitable or interested and take a break for a while. but i just let the profile sit there.. if someone messages(doesn’t happen often), fine.

    personally i like OkCupid the best, it has just-off-mainstream people(and some WAY off mainstream people, but i don’t need to date them), and it’s free and well-designed. One drawback is because it’s free and has silly quizzes, a lot of people have profiles who aren’t actually interested in dating. But the site shows you when someone was last logged in and also how often they respond to mail, so a filter is possible. I find guys all baseball caps and beer and BORING. Plenty Of Fish around here seems to be more blue-collar and immigrants, which might be good for some, more in the small towns around the edges than in the city proper, and the website is annoying to use. I looked at Geek2Geek as well, as i do lean a little geek, but I’m not attracted to the *very* geeky.. and the site is annoying to use. GreenSingles has some potential for outdoorsy men, but most people are more radical than I and the site is very small. My friends in Ottawa and Toronto rave about Lavalife but i haven’t tried it in Boston. the demographics of dating sites are very different in different places.

    wow, that got long :) well, i have some experience but i can’t say it’s worked great for me yet! current romantic interest is a hiker i found on OKCupid but then it turned out we had some mutual friends. he’s in a pretty rough spot in his life, though, and while i like him, he’s not really available for the kind of relationship i want. *sigh*

    if you haven’t seen it already, the OKCupid blog has some really interesting posts about profile and message content and what people are looking for

  11. My online dating has been very much like your…but no dating.  I went out with one man for a while until I realized that the reason my stomach was always in knots was because the man was not what I needed in my life and I was dancing around the truth making excuses for him.  He was a jerk.  My second site came as I’ve grown older and less patient with the demands of dating.  I discovered that men did not getter better with age, just more demanding and full of themselves.  They seem to think that it is time to go through a second adolesence.  God help me.  I’ll just stay single and be happy I don’t have to wash another persons socks who won’t wash mine.  You are young and very pretty and smart.  You’ll figure it out.  You have time! C.

  12. I ‘met’ my husband online but it wasn’t a dating site nor did we have any intention to date until we met. We were friends first and occasionally spoke online. Then one day we decided to meet up for a drink as we were in the same area at the same time and with literally no intention of getting together it was 100% love at first sight… Even though I’d chatted to him on webcam, seen photos etc. From then on our online relationship completely died and we didn’t spend a day apart. Our relationship was entirely born in the real world- we were just introduced by the technology. 6 years later, married, best friends, two kids. It worked for us. If I’m honest I couldn’t see myself just meeting a random guy off the street anyway, I don’t live my life like that and my friendship circle is very close knit. Not only that but I’m not the type to date. I make friends and then see what happens.

    I did use a dating site once for fun when I was about 20 and it was frankly, rubbish. I didn’t want to talk to guys just to have a relationship anyway- I wanted to meet people who I found interesting and wanted to be friends with no matter what their relationship status was. My priority was finding good people rather then a vacancy if you get my meaning. So I recommend online friendships and communities but non-dating ones. As soon as dating comes into question everything can become a little strayed.

  13. So far my luck has been some what the same as yours. I had a relationship that lasted longer than it should have but that was from some issues I had to learn from. Although I met some guys that turned out be cool friends most guys were buttheads. I have done free websites and paid ones. EHarmony was cool but the most expensive as well so I didn’t do it long enough because my budget is very restricted. Then right when I was about to close my profile on POF I got a message from a Guy that just wanted to talk. So we talked everyday for the next month and a half. He wasn’t someone I was physically attracted to but talking to him made me grow very fond of him. So deciding to be open we met. Although it was our first meeting instantly I felt a good connection. So after our third date we were exclusive. Our phone conversations were still going strong. He even said he was only interested in dating towards marriage. (Another plus in my mind) then by month three his real personality showed and he was a selfish, his way or no way, possessive, jealous, and grumpy man. His attitude was so extremely drastic from what he portrayed when we first met. I broke up with him on Christmas Eve after he refused to share me on the holidays with my family and himself. I’m so glad I dodged that bullet. Needless to say I have taken a break from online dating.

  14. Antwanyce, I know it might be odd to like this comment, but it was pulling me in and then that surprise twist at the end.  It may not have been a positive experience, but like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, I have to admit I read it a second time.

  15. I’ve put a few profiles up here and there, and I can tell you that, perhaps surprisingly, the horror stories are no fewer from a man’s perspective. Having said that, I AM hoping against hope to begin a great story soon.. perhaps early next week. I’ll keep you posted 😉

  16. Thanks for all this.  I thought the stories were very insightful.  Im a guy and just wanted to say that you ladies arent alone.  And while the issues are not exactly the same you know that there are crazy ladies out there as well as crazy men.  From the gold diggers, to the addicts, to the jealous types.  Its a tough gig to go back out into the dating scene.  Good luck to us all (women and men) on finding a good friend, that we are attracted to, and also meets our high but reasonable standards..  AMEN!!  Danny

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