This article about online dating is really depressing! See, for example:
Some research has suggested that it is men, more than women, who yearn for marriage, but this may be merely a case of stated preference. Men want someone who will take care of them, make them look good, and have sex with them—not necessarily in that order. It may be that this is all that women really want, too, but they are better at disguising or obscuring it. They deal in calculus, while men, for the most part, traffic in simple sums.
A common observation, about both the Internet dating world and the world at large, is that there is an apparent surplus of available women, especially in their thirties and beyond, and a shortage of recommendable men. The explanation for this asymmetry, which isn’t exactly news, is that men can and usually do pursue younger women, and that often the men who are single are exactly the ones who prefer them. For women surveying a landscape of banished husbands or perpetual boys, the biological rationale offers little solace. Neither does the Internet.
Everyone these days seems to have an online-dating story or a friend with online-dating stories. Pervasiveness has helped to chip away at the stigma; people no longer think of online dating as a last resort for desperadoes and creeps. The success story is a standard of the genre. But anyone who has spent a lot of time dating online, and not just dabbling, has his or her share of horror stories, too.
I entered the world of online dating a little over a year ago, spent some time on one of the more popular websites (OK Cupid, duh), eventually got bored and haven’t bothered checking my messages in about three months. Maybe I’m an outlier here, but it was generally fine. I got a lot of stupid, sleazy and/or borderline-illiterate messages which I deleted after circulating to friends for laughs, but the handful of dudes I actually met in real life (which to be fair was a grand total of like 5 dudes, so small sample size) were all totally nice and normal and I’ve remained friendly with a few, even if I didn’t end up wanting to boyfriend any of them. The non-internet dates I’ve gone on have been far worse — like the guy who got jealous and yelled at me because I responded to a question from a homeless man (“I don’t want to interrupt the little talk between you and your boyfriend here”), or the guy who told me he identified as bisexual and really only enjoyed sleeping with men but he wanted to marry a woman so he could have a house in the suburbs and two kids and a golden retriever (and he wanted it soon), or the guy who regaled me with stories about his bitch of an ex-wife and the time he pooped his pants on the Jenny Jones Show. On the other side of things, they’ve also been far better, given that so far all of my serious relationships have come out of “real life” connections.
What’s particularly nice about online dating, though, is the ability to auto-eliminate the people who you definitely are not going to get along with. He lists The Da Vinci Code as his favorite book? Rejected. Are those wrap-around Oakleys? Rejected. Really, Creed? Rejected. Shirtless photo? Rejected. “I like to have fun and hang out with my friends.” Original! Rejected. Did he really not spell-check this thing? Rejected. Etc etc.
Online dating makes it easier to be a judgmental bitch, I guess is what I’m saying. And in matters of the heart, I think being a judgmental bitch is a pretty good idea. That doesn’t mean rejecting people for any perceived flaw — the thing about people is that everyone is terribly flawed, and the trick is finding someone whose flaws are tolerable and maybe even kind of endearing, or at least not entirely soul-crushing — but it does mean knowing what you can’t deal with, and not involving yourself with someone out of a sense of obligation or desperation or “I’m a nice person”-ness. Straight women especially are often told that we’re too picky, and if we ever want to get married we should accept the overtures of any Good Men who cross out paths. That is ridiculous. Be picky and end up with someone you actually like.
Anyway, back to the article. The basic point is “Internet Dating: Kind of Depressing.” Which is also the case with Real Dating, I think? I have no idea, the last date I went on was yesterday, and it was with my roommate, and I made her steak while she drank wine and played with our cat. That was pretty great. I didn’t meet her on the internet.