The Price of Dating Services

by D. Olsen

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But if your hope is fading, consider it this way. Dating is an opportunity for self-reflection and reexamination. What I learned after a decade of dating and short relationships, via traditional methods and online dating services, was the difference between what I wanted and what I needed. Thanks to online dating, I was forced to write a paragraph about myself and about the man I envisioned. This can be a daunting task, one that some take too lightly (I can attest to reading many vague and canned descriptions of people).

What I discovered is that the profile I wrote at the age of 26 read differently than the one I wrote at 30. I could not have predicted that my descriptions would be revised countless times, each date redefining what I was looking for and forcing me to better articulate just who I thought I was and who I needed. But this is not easy. It requires courage, openness, effort, determination, and inevitable willingness to grow.

Said one single 27-year-old woman, "Honestly, you have to learn what you really want, and deconstruct all that bull**** about who you are supposed to be with. If you can keep an open mind, you might find someone who you never would have crossed paths with, and who knows you better than your family."

And if you happen to meet your next love, it's worth every penny.

* eHarmony only offers pricing information to those who complete the free personality profile.


Online Dating Likes and Dislikes: The voices of the people.
Like   Dislike  
In my (limited) experience, the bar dating scene is very formulaic and based mainly on outer appearances and pre-approved small-talk topics.  With, I could spend some time writing out a "mission statement," throw in some humor-which comes across completely differently when read as opposed to being spoken-and get some 'good' photos on there.  If the ladies don't like what they see, at least I don't have to spend $50 on cocktails to find that out at the end of the night.   I feel that online dating is geared more for women than men. I only say that because after talking to some of my female friends, I hear that they get an average of ten to 30 hits (winks, emails) a week compared to my two or so every month or two...It's almost like shoe shopping.  
I'd rather pay the 30-something bucks a month. It beats spending the money on liquid courage at the bars. Besides, at least on Match I don't run the risk of going home with someone I will regret in the morning. "Don't say a prayer for me now, save it 'til the morning after."   Be honest if you are looking for 'love'-sheesh. I have met people who forgot to mention they were on the rebound. Hey, that is what we can do...create a rebound website!  YES!  
I like that fact that online dating gives shy people a chance at meeting other people they would never have met otherwise. Not everyone can easily go up to a stranger and just start talking, but an online "wink" is easy.   It sucks when they [men] look at my profile and don't wink back. It's a small blow to the self-esteem. That's why I think Match needs a middle finger button for those occasions. Sometimes I'm tempted to write, 'What? You don't want this?' but I chicken out.  
The funny thing was, after I started going out on dates, I got to meet all of their friends, which potentially exposed me to other dating possibilities once I got past that initial hurdle of meeting and going out with the fairer sex. It opened a lot of doors dating-wise. [Online dating] feels totally artificial and contrived. Women can easily weed me out, without spending any time to know who I really am, apart from my looks. That and people use photos that are five years, 40 pounds, and two haircuts out of date.
Two major features I like about Match are the 'delete' and 'block' buttons. Too bad they don't offer those in bars.  

I didn't like cruising the men's profiles. Perhaps that is passive, but I wanted someone to actually seek me out after reading my kooky profile, not just wink at me after I found him.

I liked that you were on an even playing field, and you knew the other person was also 'looking.' Otherwise, you find yourself attracted to people who are involved.   What I didn't like were hundreds of emails and winks from total losers.  
Despite some really bad experiences-broken heart from un-returned love, failed engagement-I have no regrets. I feel I have grown by being exposed to such a diverse set of individuals through online dating. One date may talk about Botticelli, while the next prefers discussing how an engine works. And through all of them, I have found new interests such as travel, art, literature, and more.   Overall, my experience has been in between--I've never met The One or even any reasonable candidates for The One.  I have met a couple of playmates and one really good friend.  I have also met some girls who were supremely ill suited for me.  I have met one (now) good friend but overall the time and money were wasted as far as getting me back to the married life.  
Some of the best relationships occur with people who are just friends and then that sparks something special. I went for a girl (my wife now) whose didn't even post a picture, her values, likes/dislikes, and goals intrigued me, and this worked out really well for me.       Online dating in your late thirties for females is like entering the dating Bermuda Triangle. This last eight months has not been a good experience. At my age, I'm only being "browsed" by much older men. Men my age seem to look for women in their early thirties...Thus I have given up on online dating for a while.  

What was your experience with online dating?


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August 23rd, 2006 

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