Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Continued Allure of Online Dating

Like most people, when I'm not satisfied with a good or service, I stop purchasing it.  You know, you go to a restaurant, the food sucks, or the tables are always dirty, or the service is lacking.  You don't go back.  It's a pretty typical process.  Yeah sure, sometimes you go get a refund, but the point is you don't make that same mistake again.

For me, and so many others I'd imagine, online dating defies that simple logic laid out above.  I have been nothing but dissatisfied and disappointed in dating sites over the past 4 years.  I rarely get replies, rarely get dates, and obviously no relationships, so they could hardly be said to be worthy of my continued participation and support.

And yet, I keep using them.  Not just using them, but joining more of them.  Desperately seeking out more avenues in an effort to find what I'm looking for.  I've used (or am using): Tinder, POF, Okcupid, Zoosk, Match, Chemistry, Howaboutwe, datehookup, mingle2, and some college singles site that I've only been on once because it was too confusing.  The real puzzle is why?  Why can't I just stop using dating sites?  Is it an addiction (similar to the so-called "porn addiction" that so many young men are supposed to have)?  What is it?

I think I have an answer.  At least for me.

Online dating sites provide a database of sorts.  A database of single people, with some photos, general description of themselves, and general geographic location and somewhat of an assurance that not only are these people single, but they are at least interested enough in a relationship to post a profile online.  Plus, since you're both on a dating site, the assumption is you're interested in romance, not platonic friendship.  No awkward "I didn't know you liked me" situations.

If you're not good at dating and flirting and all of that, being on a dating site is almost like being in college again.  You have lots of potential dating prospects all at your fingertips.

Unfortunately though, that doesn't translate into good results.  For a variety of reasons that plenty of other people have pointed out in other publications.  I'm not blaming the sites themselves.  I've joined enough of them to realize that the problem is me, not the sites.

But, here I am, on a Sunday morning, drinking coffee and scrolling through POF hoping that I can get somebody decent to go on a date with me.

So far, not so good.

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