Internet dating is common, difficult, and may become a complicated situation online. Last month I found a profile, using my picture, created for a male seeking a female with details not commensurate with accurate information. The dating website in question suggested that I block this particular false profile from my “circuit” when I complained. This is unkind to those looking for potential dating partners who might respond to this profile and not so much of a headache for my own image and love life as I can laugh at people who want to create nonsense about others.
There are other problems with seeking love in the virtual realm. I have experienced the “virtual mate” syndrome. This occurs when a person begins to talk in the chats with someone that seems to really “connect” in conversation. Personal e-mails are exchanged, hours are spent typing silly notes and talking about attraction over likes and dislikes, and then the big question is popped- “Do you finally want to meet up in person?” Suddenly there are no more responses, the chat room is empty, and (this has happened to me once or twice) a brief note saying where and when to meet is exchanged but no one ever shows up.
There are further problems with online dating profiles. Scammers target lonely women and send long flowery e-mails with “I love you already” all over the text and then want money to “visit” as their situation is keeping them apart from finding a way to get to you- their one true only love, instantly.
If this virtual dating environment is not enough to tax even the most laid back, easy- going person- there are more issues. Once personal e-mails are exchanged, pictures may be sent that Playboy or Playgirl would be proud to display. Other offers suddenly pop up in the spam box (if filters catch them) and e-mails are exchanged with others without permission. Some online daters create profiles to talk to people for friends and the person showing up on that “first date” is not the person who has the profile on-line. Pictures may or may not show a realistic image as the pictures are old, pictures of someone else, or just not taken at a time when someone’s everyday appearance was the image captured. Profile preferences ignored by dating site administrators create “matches” with others that are not in any way according to specified interests. To top it all off, long distance daters like to write often and “really” get to know someone because they are safe in the probability that there will never be a real, physical relationship.
I still use internet dating sites. There are reasons. It is difficult to find places to meet and connect with others looking for potential partners without other dangers less palatable than online woes. Time, money, and effort considerations still make online dating a better choice for finding social connections. On the other hand, “I virtually love you” just does not work for me.
- Online dating game: 1 in 10 Americans have tried it (nbcnews.com)