I’m writing in response to the article, “Online dating – scam or salvation?” in the February 14, 2008 issue of the McDaniel Free Press.
The writer of the article seemed to be disillusioned with online dating after just one month of perusing profiles and that an online dating site “isn’t the best way to make some fairytale come true.” She may be right, but there are plenty of people who meet enough decent people over the Internet, I being one of them.
I wouldn’t call myself and [sic] online dating expert, but I’ve met quite a number of people, ranging from the sketch-tastic to the seemingly normal.
As a disclaimer, I would just like to say that I tend to keep myself safe, and if anyone starts harassing me or creeping me out, I immediately block him.
As for the rest of them, well, I get to know them!
I first got an online dating profile at Match.com when I was 18. I figured, I’m old enough, I’m an adult now, and I’m single…why not? Once my parents found out that some 31-year-old divorcee was contacting me they made me close my profile.
So, I stopped the e-dating for a while…until I stumbled upon a FREE online dating site quite by accident.
I started up again this past summer. I could see who’s viewed my profile, clock on “quickmatches” (a little activity that basically asked, “Would you date this person just by looking at his picture and the first paragraph of his profile?”) and answer questions about myself. And for some reason, I got a good vibe from this website.
Most of the guys I’ve met have just been Internet friends, however, slowly but surely, I met a few in person. The first guy I talked to was tall, quiet and nerdy, and he seemed nice enough, but there was one thing on his profile that made me wary: one of the things he thought about a lot (and one of the six things he couldn’t live without) was sex! I’m not a prude or anything, but that’s not what I was looking for at the moment! I couldn’t help but keep my distance the few times I met him.
Some of the messages I got ranged from friendly compliments like “I don’t like the dress in the picture itself, but you look good in it!” to strange ones like “So how did my profile make you feel?” to just plain creepy, “Hey sexy…I’m driving home near your town. Wanna go out to the Waffle House with me tonight?” Surprisingly, no one offered to give me anything…except one.
I met this guy one night when I couldn’t sleep. He lived out in a rural area of West Virginia, was a truck driver and from talking to him I got the sense that he wasn’t very educated. He was, to say, a redneck. But, I liked talking to him. I guess I like getting to know a variety of people. One night toward Thanksgiving, I was talking with him on the phone and he asked me in his Southern drawl, “Do you want me to give you anything for Christmas?”
“Sure, if you want to,” I said, not really thinking of anything major. I thought it was sweet of him to ask.
“Do you have a car?” he asked.
“No,” I replied back.
“Well, Merry Christmas.”
I did a double take on this. It took me a while to realize that he was offering me a free car! His reasoning was—and I am not making this up—that he had seven cars in his yard and his town was beginning to crack down on him for it, so he needed to get rid of them.
I didn’t know what to say. I mean, I know the situation was really, REALLY questionable, but seriously, how often does one get an offer of a free car?
I think one downside to online dating is that it’s easy to idealize people by constantly talking to them and connecting with them without knowing their negative qualities. There was one guy who I talked to a lot, and finally met him in person after about three months. I’m not sure what happened exactly, but something was different. I think each of us expected someone perfect, or maybe we didn’t know what we wanted to happen after finally meeting in person. It was a bit of a letdown to have a less-than-perfect first (and, apparently, only) date. We haven’t talked since.
So is online dating worth it? Personally, I would say yes. There are so many people out there; just be sure to stay safe! It’s different for everyone, though. Some people prefer the old-fashioned, computer-screen-free means of dating, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
As of right now, my profile’s still up. I’m still single, but I’m not actively searching for anyone. I figure it’s a fun way to meet people, but I don’t have to look for anyone serious right now.