Online Dating
November 6, 2004 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Internet Dating. Yes? No? What do you think?
posted by bob sarabia to Human Relations (32 answers total)
I'm seeing someone. Sorry.
posted by yerfatma at 7:56 PM on November 6, 2004


Hey, give it a go. I've met some nice guys that way -- nothing serious, but it's been a good way to meet people who I've enjoyed going on some dates with (L.A. is weirdly insular, and my job compounds that). For what it's worth, I have two coworkers who both met their fiances through Salon's personals.
posted by scody at 8:00 PM on November 6, 2004

This was asked about a month or two ago. There were many answers. I believe 95% were positive, including my own. I recommend's personals (which is the same as and suggest you avoid (though others said the opposite).
posted by dobbs at 8:20 PM on November 6, 2004

Worked for me. Am now cohabiting with someone I met off Nerve, and we are very happy. It beats hanging out in bars and picking up drunks, at least if you don't want to gnaw your right arm off to get away in the morning.


Pick a good picture, the best you can find. Presume others have done the same. Always have a picture, otherwise we must assume you are a complete ugmo. Do not use the word "ladies". Do not send women pictures of your penis. If you have desirable attributes or abilities that illustrate your personality (italian cooking, banjo playing, season tickets to the Met) by all means mention them. Don't tell lies about your intentions (eg ticking the long term relationship box if you are after a short fling, and vice versa). Demonstrate some wit and spunk if you have it. You will then be in the top 10% of all male members of any site, as far as I can tell.

Try and meet someone after one or two messages, if it looks like you might really like each other. Any longer and a) they go off the boil and b) your perception of them from their writing my diverge too much from their real life character.

Do not be despondent if you do not hit it off. It's a numbers game. Convey your lack of interest quickly and politely, just as you would like to be treated, so your non-partner can devote her attentions to someone more promising. Likewise, be grown-up if you get brushed off.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:21 PM on November 6, 2004

Any longer and ... your perception of them from their writing my diverge too much from their real life character.

This is a worthwhile suggestion. If you end up writing back & forth with someone forever, be sure there's a genuine reason -- if you're both too chicken to say hi in public, why are you even writing each other?

Also: always be polite. If someone contacts you, at least reply. If you don't plan to ever see them again, don't say "I'll call you!" Appreciate their time, even if you don't hit it off.

...and obviously, yeah, it can all be worth it. Why wouldn't it be? Meeting people is meeting people is meeting people.
posted by aramaic at 8:46 PM on November 6, 2004

Hire services of an outfit like ;)

I think the Internet is close to the real world - you'll find your share of whackos, weirdos, and maniacs online too.

That said, the "Internet dating" scene here in India suckkks. And I'm a guy who can cook even.
posted by madman at 8:48 PM on November 6, 2004

If you're a woman, yeah. If you're a guy, nah, way too much competition, there'll be someone better than you where you go.
posted by wackybrit at 9:01 PM on November 6, 2004

I met my wife in an MSN chat room, though that was before they switched to the paid access model. My sister met her husband on Plus other examples. Seem reasonable place to try if you're not meeting people other ways.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:03 PM on November 6, 2004

"If you're a woman, yeah. If you're a guy, nah, way too much competition, there'll be someone better than you" - wackybrit

Don't worry. Sure there are lots of guys but very few of them are like us, men of quality, valor, taste and sophistication. ; )
posted by arse_hat at 9:28 PM on November 6, 2004

My husband and I, as well as my best friend and his spouse, say yes!

Just know what you want. Writing back and forth first gives you the unique opportunity to do a thorough examination of mutual values and interests, free of chemical inteference. It's much easier to ask the hard questions online. In fact, most of those questions are taken care of up front if you go through a service.

Good luck to you.
posted by frykitty at 9:29 PM on November 6, 2004

Worked for me. I pretty much echo what i-a-j-s said, except my now-wife did not have a picture posted.
posted by adamrice at 9:37 PM on November 6, 2004

I did jdate and ended up involved with a girl for about a year.
That had its moments.
posted by bingo at 10:04 PM on November 6, 2004

wackybrit, the competition is unbelievably lame. Really.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:47 PM on November 6, 2004

Sorry, The Internet's taken.
posted by esch at 11:10 PM on November 6, 2004

Best invention EVER!
posted by ParisParamus at 11:43 PM on November 6, 2004

it worked for me. chatting at led to msn, which led to meeting, which led to long distance relationship, which led to cohabiting.
posted by triv at 5:30 AM on November 7, 2004

The 'net works wonders for gay men looking for sex ... but I've my friends have never found a steady via the 'net. Mainly because the men I they meet all seem to be "married" and "straight".

Straight to bed!
And I gave up hooking up via the 'net years ago. Hold me.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:55 AM on November 7, 2004

One of my very best friends married his Internet sweetheart from a MUD. They're absurdly happy.

Another one of my friends lost his virginity to a woman he downloaded warez from. The relationship didn't go anywhere, but it's a significant event.

I dated very happily back in the days of ten line chat BBSes, and running my very own little one-line message board made me some good friends, some with benefits.

As to how it is these days, I can't say, but the online world is bigger and contains even more interesting and cute people than it did in the Olden Days.

Keep in mind, though: you're asking this question online. Expect some skew in the answers.
posted by majick at 7:03 AM on November 7, 2004

As to how it is these days, I can't say, but the online world is bigger and contains even more interesting and cute people than it did in the Olden Days.

Heresy! Everyone looked better in ASCII.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:13 AM on November 7, 2004

I've never had any luck with it myself, but I know others that have met their current relationship this way. I definitely think it's worth a shot...hell, you want to meet someone? Great! Internet dating, speed dating, blind's all about taking action. At the very least, it allows you to work on your conversation skills.
posted by bachelor#3 at 8:27 AM on November 7, 2004

My wife and I originally met in an online chat. Neither of us at the time were there in search of a spouse, but I like aramaic's take on it - meeting people is meeting people is meeting people. That we were on different continents was a complicating factor, but it's all worked out in the end. Coming up on our fifth anniversary. As we've navigated the immigration process, we've been told by several officials that it's a very common cause of marrige-based immigration, these days.
posted by normy at 9:02 AM on November 7, 2004

I'm in the "We found each other online"category too. This was after having responses for a three way date (you, me and Jesus), and someone who tried to lecture me about how Hitler was a better leader than Mother Teresa. Really.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 10:02 AM on November 7, 2004

One of my American friends told me that "Rent a Bride" women charge $5-10K for marriage-based immigration "services". ;)

I also think that the apparent success rate of online dating is because you mostly hear the success stories. Rarely does any admit that he chatted up what he thought was a hot chick and it turned out to be a 40-year-old fat ugly chick with kids. ;)

Confirmation bias and all that.
posted by madman at 11:00 AM on November 7, 2004

I live with my significant other, and we met online. We're pretty happy about it.

We met on *cough* Hot or Not of all places. Turns out we even have a mutual friend, which was weird and cool.

Be brutally honest about yourself and your wants and needs. It works better that way.

Example, just before I met my girlfriend, I was tired of all the "meet me" links from women that had obviously utterly failed to read my keywords.

I was getting a lot of responses from the sort of hootchie girls that like to go hang out at Lake Havasu, drink cheap beer and ride jetskis, date guys with huge trucks with "No Fear" stickers on them, and guys with "No Fear" tattoos and listen to crap corporate "punk" rock. The sort of person that doesn't read for pleasure or self-enrichment. Exactly the sort of person that I really wouldn't want to date, ever. It was irritating. (Granted, this sort is the mainstay of Hot or Not, but there are pleasantly unique people there. And it's cheap.)

I changed my keywords to be brutally honest and negative about myself. I wrote stuff like "non-driving, smoker, heavy drinker, unemployed, opinionated writer weirdo" and oddly enough the response rates skyrocketed. And I ended up here, with someone who I'm probably more compatible with than any prior relationship.

Online dating works great if you're honest about it.
posted by loquacious at 11:10 AM on November 7, 2004

I know more than twenty people who met their spouses/life partners/longtime romantic partners/brief but pleasant dating partners through online and print personals.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:35 AM on November 7, 2004

I've had good luck with Craigslist, and good luck with people I've met and got close to via discussion boards, but the dating services (nerve, et. al. and suck.
And I just joined today and was told that there's no one in the continental united states that I'm a good match for. ;)
posted by SpecialK at 1:44 PM on November 7, 2004

Mr. Supafreak and I met on almost three years ago. Before we met each other, we had both had many disasterous (or at least lame) online dating experiences.

I'd say fewer than one in 20 people you meet online is worth meeting in person. Fewer than one if five you meet in person is worth a second date. Some folks are real creeps or weirdos, but most of the time the connection just isn't there.

For shy folks who don't like clubbing and who don't belong to a church with lots of young, single members, though, the internet seems like a really good place to meet folks, as long as you have the constitution to try again when your first dozen introductions have failed.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:53 PM on November 7, 2004

Hey, I'll admit it. I chatted it up with some chick online for years, thinking she was super hot. When we met, she turned out to be built like a NFL linebacker. With a gun!

But that was years ago-- before and all that. The world of online dating has changed drastically. If I were to do the same today, the tools available now would have let me make a more, er, informed decision. It seems to be working out great in the majority of cases these days, so why not?
posted by samh23 at 9:45 PM on November 7, 2004

I met my now live-in gf on a dating site as well. We're happy. I had about 8 other first dates and a couple second and thirds, none of which were disastrous. The worst experience was going to a SLOW restaurant with a woman who turned out to be pretty dull. My gf only had to go on one other e-date before she found me. ;)
posted by callmejay at 9:57 AM on November 8, 2004

I met my boyfriend online, Yahoo! Personals, and we are now discussing moving in together. So absolutely.
posted by benjh at 11:59 AM on November 8, 2004

And to follow up on WolfDaddy's point....

I've had a dozen or so online dates before I found my current one. I was always looking for a LTR, they were always looking for sex. So for gay men, I think there is a lopsided amount of relationship < --> hook-up.

But I did find a decent one online, so its hit and miss.
posted by benjh at 12:11 PM on November 8, 2004

I met my wife online, and we've been together 8 years. Not a "dating" site (they didn't really exist back then) as much as it was a discussion board /chat room - but kind of the same idea. We were not "looking" as overtly as people on dating sites . . . but I say give it a go. It is as valid a way to get the ball rolling and make contact as anything else. Probably a lot better than suffering through random boozy attempts at chatting birds up in dodgy clubs or whatever else people back in the 20th Century had to do!
posted by sixdifferentways at 12:13 PM on November 8, 2004

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