May 9, 2014

Falling Out of Love With Online Dating. ~ Dana Jacoviello

Item number: 181623401 Photographer: usamedeniz Collection: iStock

At almost 35 years old, I can tell you I am fine with being alone.

“Why?”  one might ask.

Well, dating in today’s society is like running into traffic in the hopes that you won’t get hit by a car.

I got married at the young age of 20, and at the young age of 25 I was also divorced. Five years isn’t so bad for a young couple. Hey, we made it longer than some celebrity marriages (which only last five minutes.) What ensued after my divorce was a plethora of not-so-happily ever afters. At one point I actually began to rethink my divorce—and divorce in general, if this is what the dating world has come to.

A friend turned me onto online dating when I noticed that guys seem more fearful of rejection and typically don’t ask women out as much as they did in my younger days. I met some great guys here and there, but there were more weird and crazy experiences than anything else.

I tried one dating site, then another and probably about one or two more after that. It quickly became like a second career for me. The hours I was putting into this online dating thing were equal to a part-time job; and it felt like a job, juggling all these guys I was trying to talk to. Yes ladies, I was on at least four dating sites at one point, though I did let some expire before venturing onto the next one.

Was there some type of etiquette to online dating? I didn’t know. Technically we weren’t “dating” if we were still talking and getting to know each other. I figured talking to several guys at once was the norm; and well, I might have been a bit wrong in that assumption.

I made some truly big mistakes in the beginning but I soon became a pro, after about a year. I started to recognize the fakes, and the ones who wanted you to send them diamonds or money or marry them after one conversation. The best line was “I am out of the country on business.”—it was always the same damn country, too. The second I’d hear that come out of someone’s mouth, I’d run for the hills. Another sign was when their picture looked straight out of a magazine—and they only had one. When asked for regular pictures that don’t look like a professional model shoot, they’d clam up.

Who the hell takes professional photos for online dating?

I also observed that some appeared to be on several sites with the same picture but a completely different profile. On one site they were divorced and on another, widowed. It seemed somewhat fishy—but maybe that’s just me.

There’s too much to go into detail, but let’s just say I had many experiences where I wanted to either jump out of a moving vehicle or take the person for a CAT scan. Even before going out, the conversations were priceless. Some of the things I was asked were jaw dropping. I have no words for what came out of some of their mouths—literally. Is this how men talk to women now? It’s so romantic when someone asks me to send them a picture of my thighs and feet. Really?  No, I do not accept the last rose.

The ones to maybe avoid:

The younger lover.

I finally realized dating younger guys is a big no-no. This does not mean every younger guy is the same, but every single one I dated pulled the same stunts and gave me the same lines.

I don’t want to play video games and lie around all day in my pajamas scratching my behind, living with my parents because I’m too lazy to get a job. But, thank you for the offer of financial stress and a future divorce.

The “I look nothing like my picture” lover.

Why would you put up pictures from more than a year ago? And scanned pictures—beware of those. I remember one date when I asked,“Who are you?” He just kind of looked at me funny.

The picture-happy lover.

The more pictures the better, right? Well, not when the pictures are of everything but him. I’ve seen pictures of trees,  the beach, the sky, a bush, the dog… I mean, what is the purpose of posting pics on a dating site if you don’t include one of yourself? I know what outside looks like. I do not need a collage of what nature consists of. To me, this is a turn off right from the start.

The half-naked-selfie lover.

You have muscles and you’re in shape. Awesome, but do I need to see practically down your pants or every flex pose known to man in every picture? A little self-absorbed maybe? I could go to the gym and watch the guys pass by the mirror if I wanted to see that.

The picky lover.

When you have a list of requirements on your profile, you are either going to be single forever or have a very hard time finding Ms. Right. There is no perfect partner that is going to fit a list of fifty things to a tee. You might as well set up an interview process with photo ID and fingerprints. Just put a picture of Barbie and that’s it. Done!

The not-so-serious lover.

My favorite profiles are the ones who don’t want a serious relationship. So you want to pay a fortune for a booty call? I think you can probably find that off the internet. Just saying.

There are also the ones who say they want a serious relationship and later tell you they’re not looking for anything serious. So why does your profile say that you want marriage, kids and to find the right person? It’s somewhat like trying to find Waldo in a sea of Waldos. If that makes sense.

“Why are you single?”

You’ll probably hear“I choose to be”  more often than“My profile online is a big line of crap.”

Ladies, avoid these profiles if you can. I have had experience with every single one and honestly, it is hit-or-miss with online dating. Another thing I recommend is to stay far away from the free sites. That is just an entirely new world, which is indescribable. Putting it into words would be like me telling you to eat a pizza with no cheese or sauce.

I’m not saying this applies to all men or that you won’t find a half-naked-selfie guy who doesn’t want you to boost his ego daily; but this has been my experience. I have decided to stay away from online dating at this point of my life—or dating altogether. I think I’ve been traumatized, to say the least.

I am still young. There are other ways to have children. I have a dog for now. I don’t need a man; but it would be nice…one day. I don’t recommend giving up on love at all. I am one big ball of love with so much to give. However, this works right now.

Trust me, in a week I’ll back online. Wait for it.

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Apprentice Editor: Lauren Savory / Editor: Catherine Monkman

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Dana Jacoviello