The Things that Keep Me Awake at Night...

by - Friday, February 02, 2007

My expose on internet dating...

Okay – so there are probably lots of freaks out there – but there are in the non-cyberspace world as well. I have three friends who are currently married to people that they met online – and while I am sure that their relationships all have challenging moments, I can’t see why they are all that different from me – who met my ex in the ‘traditional’ way. They run into the same problems – some as trivial as leaving the toilet seat up, some with obvious compatibility (or should I say growing apart) issues… but these are ‘normal’ relationship problems – not just online relationship problems.

I think that there are definite pros and cons – and often they overlap. One pro is that you start to feel comfortable speaking (chatting?) with someone… but the con is that if you want to see if the relationship will ever make it past some clicking on the keyboard – you will actually have to meet that person one day. Which means no lies, no exaggerations – because those will come to light the minute you walk into a room and you are really 5’3” tall and weigh 300 pounds (and they may save their roommates hair to make voodoo dolls out of – that one is for you April… remember?)… just because you live with a blonde bombshell as a roommate doesn’t mean that you can assume their physical identity (that actually happened in my first year of university – one roommate described herself as my ‘cute’ roommate… led to nothing but trouble…).

One of the cons I see is that there is this perception that chatting online can replace the need and desire for one-on-one contact. To me this speeds up a ‘romance’ or relationship so that one may think that they are further along than they actually are in the evolution of a successful relationship. Online chatting should complement the beginnings of a relationship – not replace the chivalry that women (or at least) I crave at times.

On the upside of that, is that hopefully you can lose some of that awkwardness that is associated with meeting someone for the first time – you already know a little about the person you are meeting – so you don’t have to go into the first date like you are applying for a job. The nitty-gritty’s are covered – because it is often easier to ask some questions online because the other person knows that you are feeling each other out – you don’t have to worry about going red in the face when you ask certain questions, and hopefully you can still get a true answer (since that would probably be one of the biggest cons – the perpetual liars – those who tell you what you want because they think that is what you want to hear…).

To me, online dating also feeds into the theory that “the prettiest girl (or the hottest guy) will get all of the best fish out there”. There is this higher expectation of what one looks like rather than the person that you are. Because in just a quick look of a picture, you decide whether or not these ‘people’ are worthy of your time and obviously stimulating discussion… when in the real world sometimes beauty does come within. I notice that all the time in the movies… there is the guy and the girl (or course this is all related back to chick flicks) – the guy ain’t so hot until he rises above his issue (insert just about anything issue here… his prior relationship, his drug habit, his inability to reciprocate feelings, recognizes that he has a super power and must use it to save the world from impending doom…), and then by the end of the movie he is one fine looking dude and I find myself running to Blockbuster to rent every movie that he has ever been featured in… you don’t get that with internet dating… the picture means too much at the beginning. But I have to say that I myself fall into this - I tend to look at the guys with the pictures before I look at those without - and sometimes those without have way more in common with me and have way better things to say in their profiles.

So, now that I feel like I have the beginnings of a Master’s dissertation written, I think that I have spoken my mind. I have all of this going through my head because I myself have ventured onto two online dating services (the free ones of course – I am not going to pay for the torture of online dating)… I have seen it all – yes – the requests for sex, but I have also had some quasi-interesting conversations with reasonably sane and not visibly freaky men in the last couple of weeks. I really don’t know what I want out of meeting these people – friends? A relationship? I guess you have to learn to not have the highest expectations, and whatever happens will happen.

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  1. oh poor leslie... lord - I wonder what happened to her... gees I haven't thought about her in ages.

    What a time that was - she was scary about it though. You know you need to be careful, and I agree with you - see what happens and go from there. The internet is all about meeting people and maybe the one is just a click away.

    I hope you are having a good weekend... we were going to go to Nazko tomorrow but it looks like the roads are gonna suck - I thought the groundhog said we were six weeks from spring... right... damn lyin' groundhog