Love it or hate it: Online dating

by David Holub

Love it

Of course I need to be physically attracted to the person I’m dating. But I’ve got a bit of sapiosexual in me, which is not some kind of overly-sexual dinosaur (thanks, Yahoo Answers) but, informally, a person wildly attracted to intelligence. Online dating allows me to gauge this, albeit limitedly, sure. Without ever meeting, and regardless of the details, I can see which words she uses and how she forms sentences to describe herself, her desires, what she loves and is looking for. Is she funny, subversive, irreverent or playful in her writing? How much effort did she put in to her profile? Was it thoughtful? Was it full of spelling and grammar errors? Did she gracefully use a semicolon?

Further, were all of her photos duck-faced, cocktail-sporting selfies? Is she only interested in men who earn $100,000+ a year? Does she have three kids with four fellers?

Though I’d be willing to overlook almost anything if the connection was there, I generally know what I’m seeking in a potential mate. Career, age, education, activities, goals, interests, religion, political views and parental status are the types of information I’d like to have an idea of going in.

And sure, maybe these things align and we meet and the chemistry’s not there or maybe she’s deceptive and all those photos were from the late ’90s. Shrug.

Of course, there are always going to be the traditional options: set up by friends or simply meeting organically. But online dating is one more way. And it’s a good one.

David Holub

Hate it

I dabbled. I tried to represent myself accurately: Quirky, musical, soft in the middle. I thought determining whether a gentlemen and I had similar interests and values before I approached him in a bar or a kayak would ultimately save time.

I viewed a man’s profile who had very specific ideas of how his slender, composting, piercing-free date could please him, but spoke nothing of what he might do toward her fulfillment. When he contacted me, I declined his advances but said I would gladly help him word his profile more sensitively. This led to some negotiating between us, which did result in an evening out. Had he changed? Nope, still an asshole.

Another witty textcapade I’d engaged in with a prospect was promising. Upon our first meeting, I was shocked to discover that he’d managed to crop his extremely large forehead out of every picture he’d posted. I tried to get past it, but alas, there just wasn’t enough wit in that very large head to compensate for the deception.

So how much time and energy had I actually saved? The real convenience might reside in developing the actual self-confidence needed to introduce oneself to a person she or he finds attractive in real life, and in having no attachment to the outcome. That’s hot. I am much more receptive to that kind of approach than I am to someone asking me if I like Jack Johnson from the other side of a screen.

All that said, I have to admit my current boyfriend and I first met on a dating site some years ago. I’d say it was more the result of universal forces (i.e. law of attraction, inertia, etc.) just using to get us into the same orbit, than it was some calculated statistic that we were 83 percent compatible. In truth, we pretty much have no similar interests and values. And it’s going great.

Caitlin Cannon


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