I’ve been thinking more and more about online dating.
My lifestyle is one where I wouldn’t necessarily meet someone unless he is working out at my gym, going to my grocery store, or … you know, walking into my house when I’m sitting on the couch in my sweat pants. And if the last one happens, I’m much more likely to hit him with a frying pan than I am to invite him to have a cup of tea.
But at the same time, I’m ready to meet someone.
So, I thought I would do a pro/con list. Hey, if it’s good enough for Ben Franklin, then it’s good enough for me, right?
Pros of Online Dating
- Everyone who signs up for online dating is single (well, I guess that’s just a working assumption, may not be 100% true!) so there’s no risk of meeting someone awesome who has other obligations
- I don’t have to put pants on in order to peruse the selection
- I would get to go on a date sooner than letting serendipity run its course
- Girls attract a lot of attention on these types of sites, so it would be good for my ego
- My dating skills are rusty, and this could serve as decent practice
- There are nice people on the internet (as I noted just the other day!)
- Online dating is better than not dating (maybe)
Cons of Online Dating (inspired by this post at Dating is for Douchebags)
- Removes the first several steps of flirtation: the eye contact, the look, the awkward first few sentences, the would you look at that? moments. AKA the really fun beginning parts!
- Dates start at step three, instead of learning things about another person in a more natural way
- Treats dating as a commodity where you can sort by hair color, ethnicity, weight, education, job, salary, etc. Things that you shouldn’t really get to pick and choose. We’re people, not shoes!
- For the pay sites, there is absolutely no incentive to match people up. Non subscribers get a lot of attention, which is an incentive to pull out the credit card. But then it tapers since these site don’t benefit from two subscribers getting in contact.
- The internet pulls down barriers, and there’s a chance to get flooded with emails from people who would be too scared to make eye contact in real life, let alone strike up a conversation.
- Online dating is marketing. It’s selling yourself, sending peppy upbeat emails all the time. I’m in marketing, this is what I do for work, and it’s draining enough. Now I have to do it with me as the product?
- I would have to put pants on, thereby interrupting my very busy life of having my pajamas on by 8pm most nights.
- When you meet someone on the internet, the assumption is that you’re one out of five, at best. When you bump into someone at the grocery store, you don’t really even think about another person.
- Similarly, when you meet someone from the internet, there’s something akin to winning early in the night at the casino. Well, that was awesome, let’s see what else is out there! is kind of like, whoa, I just won $250 in my first 15 minutes of blackjack. I am unstoppable! This mentality keeps you from getting close to someone, and it keeps that $250 where it’s safe, in circulation.
- When you pay for a membership, you commit to something like six months. Unless you want to pay a LOT more for that first month. Let’s say you meet someone amazing offline in day 3 of your online dating membership. Then, you wonder if you can “do better” — this is detrimental thinking. I guess you can force yourself to think of the membership fee as a sunk cost, but that takes a bit of effort.
- It’s not in the site’s best interest to match you up with someone. They want you to renew. They want you to continue.
The other day, I went to Match.com and typed in my ZIP code. I saw a few friendly-looking faces, and then a thing popped up.
“Try it! Just answer a few questions about yourself and who you’re looking for!” the thing chirped. So, I did. That was fun, just like any online survey is fun. It lets you set deal-breakers, which, let me tell you, makes you feel like a really awesome person. Hey, it’s true, smoking is a deal breaker. Sorry!
The next morning, I realized the genius that is Match.com.
There were eleven emails from Match, using words like wink and smile and email and favorite. Boy did I feel popular!
Clicking any of those brings you to the subscription options.
Of course it does.
Match will tell me, “hey, we found someone for you. Like you, he’s not a smoker, and he likes dogs.”
WOW thanks, Match!
For now, the cons far outweigh the pros.
And now, I’m off to put my pajamas on.Have you ever tried online dating? Good experience? Bad?