You hear it everyday. There are more and more people out there who have found love online. I am not surprised! From my experience, online dating is so much easier and better then offline dating.
Just a few of years ago, I was single and very lonely. I was working long hours. Like most people I seemed to be spending more time at work then in my own home and my social life had gone completely by way side. Sure, I was a single Mom that had to dedicate a lot of non-work time to my daughter, but even that was sparse. My non-parent friends found themselves in same boat a lot of time.
I found myself browsing through chat rooms online during evening in search of new friends or just someone else to talk to. Usually, I couldn’t get a word in edge-wise or found myself disgusted at some of things that people would say. I thought about trying an online dating service, but was hesitant because of stigma that it is “just for desperate”.
Well, if that is true, then call me Ms. Desperate because I finally gave in to urge and decided to take a peek at what online dating was all about. I quickly (at least as quickly as an old dial-up connection and 24K modem can get) discovered I had been missing out and wasting my time trying to do this through regular chat rooms.
Back then, I didn’t know much about internet. In fact, internet was pretty new to most people (this was before millenium when I began my journey). My Dad had passed down a computer to my daughter and myself and I found myself intrigued by world wide web. Since I was an AOL member, I found it quick and easy to browse personal ads at Love@AOL which is now affiliated with Match.com.
I was amazed at vast numbers of members already there. Of course, odds are in women's favor. There are many more men in online dating services then women. Millions of people are already working on their search that I had been putting off . Already finding friendships and love while I had been being left behind. Sure, I tried dating traditional offline ways. I went out with girls when I could and tried to meet men in bars or at my cousin’s gigs. Men rarely seemed to approach and when they did, they always seemed interested in only one thing (and it wasn’t knowing my name). Things seemed different online
In offline dating, I found that relationships often turned to physical before they had built a strong emotional base. You are drawn to someone offline because you find them attractive and sometimes even let lust get in way. Online, I was able to get to know a little about a person before I ever even had to be in contact with them. I knew their interests, what kinds of relationships they were looking for, whether they had kids or even wanted them, and even most of time what they looked like if they had posted a photo. Sure, there is always chance that a person has posted a fake or old photo and have written lies about themselves. However, you find that offline with people too. If someone is going to misrepresent themselves online, they definitely will offline. I did find that I never seemed to run across anyone who had totally misrepresented themselves or their appearance. Being online gives you a sense of freedom. Freedom from humiliation and rejection. You never know if someone has come across your personal ad and just chose to not respond. So, who cares! It is not like going up to someone face to face and getting shot down so I believe most people tend to be pretty honest.
After I wrote emails to a few of people whose personal ads intrigued me, I decided to post my own. Oh My God! The next day my email box was full of responses. I couldn’t even keep up with them all. I had to come up with a system to weed out some of less magnetic people. If they wrote a form, not personal note, or wrote anything lewd, I would just delete it. Then I could focus on ones that seemed to write more from their heart. I spent many a night writing emails and replying to emails from wonderful people. Some I would eventually drop off list, and some I would eventually exchange phone numbers with. As a woman and especially as a single mom, I decided that giving them my pager number (eventually my cell phone when I got one) was better then giving them my phone number.
I would talk on phone with these potential dates for hours at a time. We would take so much time getting to know each other that when it came time to meet face-to-face, awkwardness that is there in offline dating, was non-existent. The only anxiety I would have was whether or not chemistry we had over phone and computer would be combined with a physical chemistry once we met.