Online Dating: Not Always a Good Match

December 21, 2013 12:00 pm

For the last few months I have been exploring the world of online dating. I have been single for well over a year and with no single people at work or in my circle of friends, I decided to try a different approach. Like so many people in my age group, I forked out some of my hard-earned cash to sign up to a couple of different dating sites. I wanted to get the full range of the online dating experience, so I signed up to one website where people are looking for their soul mate, one where people are looking for easy sex and one that’s probably somewhere in between.

I set up my profile, trying hard to come up with interesting and fun ways of saying “I’m just a guy who wants to meet a girl”, then set about finding my dream girl. But after sending out what must be hundreds of messages to different women, I have had precisely zero replies. I have tried varying approaches from sending a good bad joke, to talking about a common interest to flat out just cutting to the chase. I have read all sorts of tips about sending the ‘perfect first message’ and followed all of them, but it still has notlove worked.

So why do I keep striking out? It could be that I am just completely repulsive to the opposite sex. Whilst this is probably true, I have managed to get girlfriends before, so I don’t think it’s the root of the problem. Part of the problem is that online dating makes us too selective. With so many people to choose from, you can filter out anybody who isn’t quite the right height or hair colour, something you wouldn’t naturally do in the real world. If I was in a bar and plucked up the courage to talk to a girl I liked, she might humour me for a while just because I’d made the effort and on that night there were no alternatives. But on dating websites, why should she bother talking to the short guy when there’s often a six-foot beefcake just a couple of clicks away?

Another problem is that these websites are, ultimately, just trying to make money out of us all. They have turned love, or rather the promise of love, into a commodity to be sold to gullible consumers. Therefore, they need ways of enticing people and one such way is to have as many profiles as possible. That is why all of these sites offer the chance to sign up and create a profile for free but charge for any extras like sending and receiving messages etc. The problem is that there is no way of knowing whether a person is a full subscriber or has just set up a free profile. This means that you could just spend all your time sending futile messages that will never be seen. Of course, you could always pay extra to allow people to contact you for free.

So, while it is obvious that online dating has worked for many people, you have to be aware that it might not work for everybody. Be prepared to be ignored, rejected and fleeced out of money on a whole new scale. I for one will not be renewing my subscription and will venture back out into the real world in my never-ending search for love.

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