Thursday, August 20, 2015
Online Dating: A Necessary Evil
I hate online dating...as do most of my friends. I swear I could write a book about it. We all have stories to share. The guy who had a nasty divorce and doesn't want to take your relationship to the next level by living with you. The guy who cross dresses and is looking for love free of judgement or who is into BDSM and wants you to be his submissive partner. The guy who's in an open relationship and thinks you'll be okay with sharing him with his wife or girlfriend. The guy who only wants sex. There seem to be a lot of those out there. They expect you to come over when you've never met. Whatever! Or the guy who lives at home and thinks you'll be attracted to that. Um... independence is sexy NOT living with Mommy and Daddy. Oh yes... there's also the guy who sees you like seven times and thinks of you as a friend but doesn't tell you until you get it out of him. Sorry that you had a traumatic experience with your ex, but I think you need therapy more than being on a dating site. And of course, there's the guy who says he wants a relationship but then says he prefers FWBs. Then when you pull away and tell him you're looking for a relationship, he writes back months later and asks where you went and that he misses you and wants a relationship. There's also the smooth talker who wants you to send photos of yourself but won't meet you or give you his cell number because he can "only use it for work." Can someone say "married"?! Alas, online dating is the way people are meeting more and more these days. It does work for some people. I met my ex-boyfriend online, and we were together for 14 mths. One of my brother's best friends met his fiancee online and they're getting married this fall. Also an old high school friend of mine met his wife online, and they've been married for a number of years. It seems to be harder to meet people in person as you get older. There isn't always someone at work. You always go out with the same group of friends and none of them have single guy or girl friends. Things seemed to be easier when you were in school. What gets me is when I see 18 or 20-year-olds online? Seriously, there's no one at school or in any of your clubs or activities? Something that disturbs me is how Tinder has affected dating and the hook up culture. My friend sent me an article from Vanity Fair entitled "Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apolocalypse" (http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-culture-end-of-dating?mbid=nl_080615_Daily&CNDID=20618312&spMailingID=7965463&spUserID=NTMwMjA5NzEzNjgS1&spJobID=740808588&spReportId=NzQwODA4NTg4S0) that talks about the the doomed state of dating. It says that many people are online merely to find same night hook ups as opposed to long term relationships, and that is scary and unsettling. Some guys interviewed in the article said they had slept with 30 or 40 girls in one year. Yikes! On the flip side, many people online are married and looking for a bit of action because they're bored or dissatisfied in their marriages. Think of the Ashley Madison fiasco and how users are worried about their identities being revealed and their adultery being made known. Seriously, who joins a dating site for cheaters anyway? Isn't the fact that you're cheating on your spouse risky enough? One of my friends met her ex online and was in a tumultuous relationship for a few years. The guy turned out to suffer from bipolar and was emotionally abusive and cheated on her. And she met this guy on a Christian website. You just never know who you'll meet. There are also Craigslist hook ups or Adult Friend Finder where you can find...ahem adult fun. I have a friend who was on Adult Friend Finder for many years before she met her boyfriend and felt that it was a period of life she needed to go through. I also have an acquaintaince who went through a period of crazy hook ups on Craigslist. Of course there are many people like me who are looking for love and long term commitment and feel that online dating is our last resort. Sigh.... It's so frustrating. Plus how many people do we disregard based on their photo? Some people just don't photograph well or might be amazing in person, but we've written them off because of how they look in the few photos they've chosen to post online. I know I've done it and so have many others before and after me. I guess the important thing is to keep looking for that special someone and to be safe. Meet somewhere in public the first few times until you get to know someone better. Don't compromise your values and beliefs. Walk away if you get the vibe that someone is only looking for sex or wants sex right away. Practice safe sex and use a condom. Get regular STI testing. Inform yourself and protect yourself. According to Ottawa Public Health, the percentage of STIs has risen quite a bit since 2010 (http://www.ottawasun.com/2015/06/17/get-tested-stis-on-the-rise-in-nations-capital). In particular, syphilis has risen by 43.8 per cent. Be smart and be hopeful. Love is out there. Sometimes love just takes what seems like forever to find.