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Online Dating Experience 14
Online Dating is Too Exhausting

37 year old male from California

I have to echo the difficult experiences of some of your other male correspondents. My own "tenure" online has been unproductive, even exhausting. I really should have known better. I signed up two years ago and had the same problems. But it's so seductive: for just $34.95, I can write this seemingly intriguing creature who is just ... sitting ... there ... waiting ... for ... my .. email. Ha!

The online process tends to favor women. The women I know who use these services receive many, many letters from potential suitors. One has gone on hundreds of dates (but has yet to click with a guy). By contrast, none of the men I know have had many dates. In my case, out of perhaps two-hundred contacts I initiated, I had one date (she was very beautiful, but looked different from her photos, and I didn't find us otherwise compatible).

Not everyone can like the way I look, of course, nor like the way I express myself online. But -- gosh! -- I'm attractive enough. (Just ask all my friends!) And I find getting a date when I talk to a woman in person SO much easier.

I know a couple of people with online success stories. All of them resulted from the woman making the initial contact. A woman who works down the hall from me found her husband online, and my friend J. received an email from his wife-to-be.

I believe a curious mix of cultural legacy and anonymity create an environment that works to no one's advantage. Men mostly do the contacting, because they're "supposed to," and they do a great deal more contacting than they should. There's no social cost online -- no embarrassment of possible rejection. The thought becomes, "I'll just contact everyone and see who responds." So the women are flooded with emails, and the men wonder why the two or three women they really liked didn't write back.

I'd hate to think that I'd stopped using online services just before someone really great came along. On the other hand, if it's true that it's a "numbers game," then the numbers aren't working in my favor. Two-hundred to one just doesn't do it for me.

I'm letting my subscription lapse. Maybe I'll come back to it. But for now, I'm hanging out at the deli counter at the local supermarket. There, at least, I can actually talk with a live, in-the-flesh woman!


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