Confessions of a Virtual Heartbreaker
When brought up in conversation, the words "online dating" are often met with the words desperate, hopeless, or even dangerous. However, since our entire world is now readily available on the web, it stands to reason that there may be something more to this online world of romance. The idea of meeting your soulmate while sitting in front of the computer in your pajamas seems great. It allows you to search for your missing half using strategic question and answer surveys, and gives you the opportunity to exchange a couple emails or flirty texts without wasting an entire evening on someone who can't hold a conversation. But with all these positive factors, why aren't more people taking advantage of this online pool of fish?
A few years ago, I found myself sitting at home, lonely and bored, which has never proven to be a good combination. I glanced at my computer with a smirk; no way was I pathetic enough to date online. But I did live alone, and if I just "checked it out," nobody would have to know.
I chatted with a cute guy whose profile read that he liked to make out, and yes, I am serious. We exchanged numbers, but our conversation was filled with awkward silences. He called too much, and often times I would hear only heavy breathing on the other line. I told him to get lost, and thanks to Mr. Makeout, I gave up on my only "attempt" at online dating.
Ironically, I now work for an online dating company where I receive both testimonials from couples who met online and proceeded to live happily ever after, as well as angry comments from users claiming that online dating doesn't work.
A couple years later after deciding to look at the world with a "glass half full" point of view, I tried a few more sites. I decided to use Plentyoffish for my dating voyage because it's free and seemed simple to use.
I uploaded somewhat provocative photos and got asked to chat right away. The guy seemed nice until the conversation began to steer away from typical "getting to know you" topics, and ventured into the inappropriate as he started talking about my body. Apparently the photos had worked.
In about two days, I had 13 emails. One member tried to be poetic, but just misspelled and misused difficult words that just did not go together. Another admitted that his friend had set up his profile as a joke in an attempt to pick up girls.
Yes, there were the jokers, and also the obvious scammers. I quickly learned that a scammer's profile is usually too good to be true. They immediately "fall madly in love," take the communication away from website monitors, and proceed to come to you with a sob story about why they need money.
As I removed my racier photos, the emails began to slow down. I eventually closed my account, obviously breaking many virtual hearts in the process. Despite my failed attempt at finding love through the Internet, I was interested to find out the experiences others had.
Jackie McWilliams, a 24 year-old from Rochester, NY, said she used Match.com for six months until she had a bad experience. "I feel like sometimes guys don't want to date for relationships, they just wanna mess around," she said. "We met, we start talking, and then we hung out a few times. Then he just stopped talking to me."
McWilliams then noticed that he was becoming friends with girls from all over the world on his Facebook, a.k.a the destructor of romance everywhere. "I kind of put two and two together," she said, "he was just looking to have some fun."
It seems that not everyone had the hit it and quit it experience that Jackie experienced. Derek, a 25 year-old from Los Angeles, met his current girlfriend on Match.com. He said he decided to date online because of its convenience factor.
"To be honest," Derek said, "it is full of creepers and losers."
Derek said he feels most guys are not looking for commitment, which generally ends up hurting the girl.
"If your heart is vulnerable, then proceed with caution," he said.