Earlier today, my friend Jerod tweeted out a link to a blog by Kate Morin, talking about why online dating might not be the answer for everyone.
Morin brings up many good points, some of which are the following:
While many dating sites claim the ability to find your perfect match, social scientists aren’t buying it. Research suggests that, while it is possible to predict whether two people could enjoy spending time together in the short-term, it’s (nearly) impossible to scientifically match two people for long-term compatibility. The strongest predictors of a good, functional relationship are how a couple interacts, and their ability to handle stress — two things that science says current dating website algorithms can’t predict and online profiles can’t demonstrate.
Isn’t that the truth? Wanting to get it on occasionally is not the key to a lasting relationship, and sometimes I feel like all online dating represents is the cesspool of people looking for never-ending casual sex.
Morin also notes:
Even though the number of budding Internet relationships is increasing, the overall rate of partnership is not increasing at all. This suggests that online dating is proving to be no more effective at creating lasting relationships than the old standards.
“I really didn’t see it as any different from the way that people met each other for decades past,” said Feifer. “The thing that… creates a relationship, is not the way you meet, it’s what happens after meeting.”
SO true. I’ve met guys in every way possible and every relationship has failed, so why would I continuously go back to the online route, which has not proven to be any more successful? What way is “every way possible”, you ask?
Just to name more than a few: online, work, work conferences, through friends, at an art museum, at an airport, via Twitter (don’t judge me!), at a bar, on a Time Out Chicago boat cruise, on an actual cruise, at a baseball game (okay, fine it was the tailgate), at a party, in Vegas (but I guess that wouldn’t count), in Mexico – you get the point. There are literally tens of ways to meet people, so does it seem folks flock to online sites more and more?
- Well, for one thing, it’s easier to lie. Don’t give me that look! Who doesn’t put up their most flattering pictures, or pictures of their better looking sibling, or pictures of someone who isn’t even their relative but is way better looking? “No, that’s not my sister from when she was 22 and doing bikram yoga five days a week, why do you ask?”
- You literally have thousands of options in front of you all at once. Don’t like that guy/gal’s profile you’re looking at? No problem! There are 4,000 more where that came from. Have fun getting lost in the bottomless pit of trying to differentiate between fact and fiction, virginal or walking STD, booty call or future spouse.
- The actual looking turns out to be far more fun than the first date: Ugh. The awkwardness of a first date never gets old…or new. Wait, what? I went on one right after graduating college in which we had not exchanged cell phone numbers so I could not call him to tell him I was running 20 minutes late. Luckily, he was still there and every bit the upstanding and handsome gentleman I had hoped for until, upon us leaving the restaurant, he ran to go pee in the woods, and subsequently blocked me from AIM. (God, I really just aged myself, didn’t I? Whatever, I’m 31, people.)
- Online rejection is easier than in-person rejection, and then you can just drink wine and make fun of the person who rejected you on your blog.
I have also tried literally every online dating site:
- Match? Check! Went out with pee-in-the-woods guy, nice but insanely boring guy, Hollywood Kisser guy (there was just no spark), and a bunch of others. Right after I turned 28, I got a free month of Match for my birthday, which resulted in zero dates. How depressing.
- eHarmony? You betcha. I wasn’t quite ready for the intensity of this site. You have to get through like 47 levels to even be able to email the person, and after ALL that effort I wound up on a brunch date with super intense creepy guy who wanted me to commit then and there. DOESN’T HE KNOW COMMITMENT SCARES ME AND WHY WAS I ON eHARMONY AKA MARRIAGE.COM TO BEGIN WITH?
- OKCupid? Guilty. I have run the gambit with this site – I’ve met online some really stand-up dudes who canceled dates because they wanted to commit to someone else (no, that is not sarcasm), to the creepy ones masking their desire to only hook up with their desire to be in an actual relationship and I might need to bathe in Clorox to stop my skin from crawling, FYI.
- Plenty of Fish? You caught me! (see what I did there? *drops mic, walks off stage*). My friend in San Diego was a serial dater and swore by this site, but all I wound up with was a supremely awkward guy with horrible body odor who tried to date me even after I moved to Chicago.
As my friend Brian so kindly pointed out – I might be doing it wrong. I’m sure that’s part of it. But on the other hand, why has NOTHING EVER WORKED? Oh, because I’m doing all THAT wrong, too? Gotcha.
Maybe it’s not just online dating that doesn’t work for me, but dating in general.