I’ve come to the conclusion that Internet dating sites are a waste of time and money. At least for me they are. I’ve belonged, at various times, to kiss.com, match.com, matchmaker.com, udate, and lavalife. Now, I’m not desperate. Far from it. And for most of these, I’ve only belonged during the free period, ditching it as soon as I had to start paying. Only if I’d gotten some positive feedback (read: dates) did I stick around long enough to shell out money.
My dating experience hasn’t been the best. Over the years (I think it’s been about 5 years since I joined the first dating site, matchmaker.com), I’ve had about 40 dates. Of those, about 5 have seemed promising, and only one really sticks out as having relationship potential. Unfortunately for her, I had my first date with Laura the very next day. Other than that, only about two or three made it past the first date – some my choice, some theirs.
Of the women I dated on the Internet, some were truly nice, but not attractive (to me, at least). Some had serious issues, some outright lied about what they looked like, some were obviously not serious, one actually had a boyfriend, and, (lucky for me) none were psycho. There was Julie in Evanston, who I liked, but who wasn’t attracted to me (a common theme). And there was Debbie the Teacher, who kept addressing me by name every time I asked her a question:
“How’s the food?”
“Were you able to find parking?”
“Yes, Greg, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”
This made for an odd dinner conversation. And no, there was no date two. But she’s still on match.com, if you’d like to give her a shot. She was pretty.
And that’s just it – nobody gets off of these sites. I tried to cancel my match.com account, and they told me I had to call them to do it. Why? Because I pay less - $16.95 a month – than you do. And I’m sure I’d get some pitch to stick around. After all, what’s $16.95 a month? Right? Well, when you get to live on $16,000 for the next year, it’s a lot. And if I’m spending money, it’s going to be on someone who has a genuine interest in me, and not on a gamble that maybe – just maybe – she’ll like me.
My guess (and it’s been shown in a number of articles) is that women are far outnumbered by men on these sites – and a large percentage of men on these sites are married or otherwise attached. Some of the women I’ve talked to, have told me that they’re bombarded by emails as soon as they sign up, while I can count on two hands the number of unsolicited emails I’ve gotten from women, in total, on all of the sites I’ve belonged to – combined.
It also seems like people on these sites are searching for the perfect mate – physically, emotionally, educationally, and on and on. But anyone who is or has been married knows that such a person doesn’t exist. At best, you get 60-70% of the attributes you seek, and many people fall in love with someone who doesn’t meet any of their so-called ‘criteria.’ Ok, I’ll admit to being picky. And I’ll allow you the right to ignore my email introducing myself. And I’ll even allow you to exchange emails with me, and then stop, for no apparent reason and without warning. But please – please – don’t insult my intelligence by telling me that I’m a nice guy, blah, blah, blah, but you’ve met someone that you’d like to see more of, and see where it goes, yada, yada, yada, and then sign on to the service the very next day. Because that means you are either a sleazebag of the first order, or thinking that I’m dumb enough to believe that bullshit. And I’m not.