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Online Dating Experience 40
Online Dating Changes People

49 year old female from Washington

I have lots of sympathy for the women and men who have posted their bad experiences with online dating, but I groan (with MORE sympathy) when I read that they went on two to eight dates. They have no idea of how long this can go on! In six years of on-and-off dating I met approximately 60 men. I'm still single and will probably never meet my "someone" this way. Before everyone says, well, she must be a dog and wonders why men can't appreciate the beauty inside... let me assure you that I am averagely good looking and averagely sized and quite intelligent, completely sane; I work and work out, and have grown kids. I'm the perfect date and my life is quite together. I'm loving and affectionate and see every average guy as special in his way.

I have met men who lied on their profiles, or afterwards, about their marriage status, height, weight, income and employment status, interests, and sexual orientation and the only lie that bothers me anymore is about their interest in finding "Someone", "The One", "A Woman who..." and any other way to imply that they are open to a real-life relationship -- the kind we used to have before thinking that we have to interview 400 people or at least a few more, before we can possibly make a choice!

I have come to believe the online dating is a "Great Way to Meet People" but is a lousy way to end up with someone. Here's how I see it: ten years ago, any of the 400 men in my area who found themselves single (mostly again, some still...) in my age group (49-60) would feel fortunate to meet someone like me - an eligible, presentable woman. A nice single person does not enter your sphere that often. Why not consider if it could work? And if you let her go or fail to appreciate her, how long before you meet someone again? And with the primal urge to pair up, why want to make it temporary? Don't we all want someone to make a life with?

Now, with online dating, those 400 men think this way: with 400 women on this site, why NOT keep looking? There's a CHANCE I'll get the independently wealthy and childless supermodel who's smart, but not smarter than me, sees me as the hunk I really am, has no kids, relatives,or life of any kind that interferes with my plans, could move in with a suitcase, doesn't touch any of my stuff, stays out of my way when I'm not in the mood...

OR, why stop looking when the idea of settling down with a nice woman is an awful lot of work? Life works okay now, and with online dating, I get free sex once in a while with no commitments or expectations. The browsing, flirting, meeting, seeing someone just long enough to get the sex... it fills the need for attention I thought I would have to have a committed relationship to get.

Everyone agrees that it's not okay to lie to one another. However, more and more men don't have a problem with using "I'm looking for One Special Woman to share life with" as a hook and then systematically returns to their online dating addiction. Or, they want points for their honesty - "I'm not looking for a serious relationship right now, just friends to do things with..." (and the "things" often end up being just dinner and sex). And friends? They don't really mean that they want you to love them like a brother, or treat them like your girlfriends, or have to be there in times of trouble, or go on seeing you if they are making other dates online (where they may or may not be advertising that they are looking for "The One").

I contend that going into online dating CHANGES people. They see the people they meet as commodities they paid for (heard from dates about the "quality" of their other dates?). They see themselves as deserving of far better than they willing or able to offer, or should realistically expect. They find that a little shallow intimacy satisfied them (instant gratification) and there's more where that came from so why have to work hard to have an old-fashioned committed relationship?

Online dating is not just a different way to meet people, it's a different way to relate to people. No one wants to admit it, but they are joining a swingers club. Is that what they meant to do? Or did they change themselves? Does "Stockholm Syndrome" have any meaning here? May be extreme -- but people do seek the easiest route to satisfaction and feeding the addiction does that.

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