“Online Dating.” The term has such a stigma attached, doesn’t it? It seems that every time I hear those two words, they are said with a tone of disdain. Almost as if spat out. The mere mention brings to mind visions of nerdy guys living in their mother’s basements and psychotic female stalkers. But is that really the case? I’m not so sure.
If we take a step back and look at this topic in a logical/nonjudgmental way, how is it really that less savory than meeting someone in a bar or at the grocery store? Sure it can be said that people lie in their profiles about who they really are, but from my experience, people lie with their mouths too. Right to your face. A liar is a liar, plain and simple. I quote the late Jim Rohn when I say: “Liars lie, thieves steal and cheaters cheat.” It’s what they do. Regardless of how or where you meet them – that is what they will do.
I guess the most common “lie” portrayed over the internet is that of the PROFILE PICTURE. I think all of us, at one time or another have met someone in person, even platonically or through a friend, who looks like Johnny Depp in their profile pic and Ernest Borgnine in person. But why is it always “they” or the “other person” ? Do you think the same thing is thought of you and me? Hmm…..think about it. When was your profile pic taken? (I’ll wait while you do the math.)
It’s one thing to be a couple of years younger in your profile pic, but some people blatantly misrepresent themselves, and that can be downright creepy. I have a dear friend who has had some experience with online dating and this is what she has to say about misrepresentation:
“I’m a bodybuilder. I work out 7 days a week and I state that in my profile. I say that I am looking for an active man with an athletic build, because going to the gym and working out is such a huge part of my life. And yet I have men who are clearly a minimum of 20 lbs overweight in their picture, contact me and say they are athletic because they FISH. I don’t mean to be rude but C’MON!”
The general consensus seems to be that online dating would be less daunting and time consuming if people would take the time to read and respect what you have put in your profile. For instance there are a lot of people who just want a sexual connection. “I have no problem with that.” Says my friend. “But my profile clearly states that that is not what I’m looking for. I am looking for a relationship. And yet I’m still inundated with hits from guys who just want to ‘hook up.’ Not only is it frustrating, it completely wastes my time.”
I think the same could be said for the latter. If you are interested in a relationship, don’t put yourself out there as just looking for a “fling” or a “sex buddy” only to try and change the rules mid-game. Be honest with your intentions right up front and save everyone a headache.
Personally, I like the idea of being able to communicate with someone and get to know them for a period of time before you actually go on a date. However, THIS can have its downfalls too, since chemistry plays a HUGE role in compatibility. Conversational chemistry is important but sexual chemistry is a MUST.
“I have had some great online conversations where we were just so conversationally compatible.” Says my online dating friend. “We knew the same movie lines, got each other’s jokes. Everything seemed be hitting on all cylinders. Then we meet in person and nothing. No chemistry. And these are good looking men!”
So, as scary as online dating may sound, I would like to end this article on a positive note. I met someone online. We talked for 3 months before we met in person. By then we were in a committed relationship and hadn’t even been in the same room together. Sounds crazy, right? We both had the typical fears of “What if there is no chemistry when we meet?” and “What if he/she looks completely different than the pictures I’ve seen?” Frightening! But by then we were in love. And today we are married.
I guess online dating isn’t so bad after all.