A Virtual Disaster—by Jamie Levine
A recent New York Times article revealed that "between 2007 and 2009, 21% of heterosexual couples met online," and I, personally, know of several relationship success stories that began on JDate or Match.com. But I haven’t been very optimistic about online dating for me. After Library Guy dumped me, my friends urged me to sign up for JDate or Match.com, and despite my bad memories of pre-motherhood Internet dating, I joined both sites. But I should have saved my money, and trusted my gut. The only thing I gained from my well-written profile and attractive photos was an amazing new guy friend. True, a good friend is priceless—and I’m grateful for him—but I certainly didn’t find the new relationship I'd been seeking. Or even a future fling. And when my subscriptions were up for renewal, I cancelled both of them.
Recently, while looking for an escape from my home life responsibilities, I logged on to a couple of new dating sites and decided to try again. I should have known better. In a matter of days, I received tons of incredibly flattering responses…all from the under-30 set. In desperate need of a diversion, I broke down and had drinks with a persistent 32-year-old, and while he was sweet and adorable (and dying to have a second date with me), he was also 10 years my junior, and intellectually waaaaay too young for me.
So, I decided to be pro-active: One night, I scoured a popular dating site and sent out emails to 10 guys who seemed reasonably appealing to me. Two wrote back. The first explained that he only wanted to date women who lived in New York City. And the second admitted that he hadn’t responded to anyone in ages and told me I seemed incredibly cute and cool…but he needed to take his profile down because he’d stated dating someone and wanted to see where it went. He seemed like a great guy, and his message frustrated me. And the other eight men? I never heard a word back from any of them.
Then, a couple of days ago, a decent-looking 36-year-old professional contacted me to say that he thought we had a lot in common, and asked if I’d like to chat. I told him I was overwhelmed with work at the moment, but would have time to talk in a few days. Two days later, I followed up with an email asking him if he wanted my phone number, and didn’t hear from him for almost a week. All that email said was, “how are you?” I told him I was ok and asked about him, and he wrote back saying, “Are we ever going to meet? I’ll give you the best massage you ever had in your life.” Huh? I took a moment and responded, “Wow. Why don’t we start with a drink first? I’m busy this weekend, but maybe Sunday or early next week? Why don’t you call me and we can discuss.” And his response—verbatim? “Does it matter? I am just looking to pretty much fool around and have sex!”
Suffice to say, we’re not meeting for a drink this week—or ever. And unless I want to test out another 32-year-old (or under!), or consider some highly-unattractive older men who have also written to me, I think I’m done—again—with online dating. I’d rather be alone than with Mr. Wrong; it’s why I had a child on my own in the first place. My Mr. Right may be out there, but I've gone back to hoping I’ll meet him someday in the real world...not in a virtual one.