Recently a friend of mine, who was on an online dating site, happened to spot my ex as she was scrolling through the pics of eligible men. She forwarded me his profile. As I was reading it, I realized that most of it were pure fiction. There were lies upon lies, but then he was always good at lying, so it didn’t surprise me. Though some of it made me laugh because I know the truth, I realized quite quickly that it is not funny. My friend then told that most people lie on their profile pages. In fact, it’s common knowledge amongst online daters.
One friend of mine was speaking to a man for a few weeks before they met. When they finally did meet, she realized that he was much older than his photos. She had asked him how old his pictures were and he admitted they were 10 to 15 years old. She wasted weeks communicating with someone who falsely represented himself.
The crazy thing is that a staggering 49.6 million people in the U.S. have tried online dating according to a survey of online statistics in Statistic Brain. Upon looking at the stats, more men use dating sites than women and 49% say physical characteristics are the most important factor. Almost 81% of people are untruthful about their height, weight, age, and income. More men lie about their height and income, while women lie about their weight and age. I’m not a psychologist but I can bet that it’s because men are looking for younger and slimmer, while women are looking for taller and richer.
I recall, once upon a time, before the Internet, when people actually interacted, people met in supermarkets, bars, work, waiting on a store line (not online), and just about anywhere they went. At that time, long, long ago, people walked looking straight ahead, not looking down on their phones as they walked. And, as they walked they noticed other people around them. If a cute guy or gal caught their eye, they might approach and start a conversation. Now, I realize I am giving away that my age is over 40, but I am thankful that every person I ever dated was someone I met in real life. I didn’t have to wonder and ponder why his profile photo only shows his face. Does he secretly weigh 600 pounds or did he crop out his wife that he’s still married to?
Of course, it goes without saying that people you meet in person still do lie, but it is harder to lie face to face than it is on a screen.
Quite frankly, I am amazed how many men and women muster up the courage to forge ahead into the unknown while knowing that most everyone is lying about something. The lying bothers me of course, but also when choosing potential dates online; we usually have little more than a picture and a paragraph to go on. Many dating experts argue that to be in the game and be serious in meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right; you must get involved in online dating. It, however, would be prudent, in my humble opinion, to do both on-and-offline.
If you are looking for someone to have a serious relationship with, then it is imperative to incorporate the good old-fashioned techniques along with Online dating. In that way, you cover both bases.
Here are eight suggestions for going old school:
1) Never skip an after-work happy hour. Work is a great way to meet people. Of course dating someone at work isn’t always a great idea unless your company is large and it wouldn’t impact your future. However, after office, happy hours often consist of friends or co-workers. Your office friends might have a cute guy or gal they ask to join after work.
2) Join social networks that actually network. If you want to meet interesting people then you have to do interesting things. There are many singles-only events in most cities, just check in your local newspaper. There are also members only clubs such as Events & Adventures that charge a fee much like online dating, but you go to actual events and/or activities with other singles. They have a full calendar every month of happenings.
3) If possible, take public transportation. This is where you get to make eye contact with a cutie from across the train or bus. You can always hand them your business card or a piece of paper with your name and number old school style.
4) Volunteer. If there are charities you love then give up your Netflix binging time and sign up for a great cause. You never know who you might meet.
5) Talk to strangers. Forget what your mother told you and start talking to strangers. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and say hello to someone you think is attractive. When you strike up random conversations with people, you might be surprised to find that magic does exist.
6) Adopt a dog. First of all, dogs give love and companionship like no other. Plus, dogs need to go for walks and it’s a great way to meet new people who are also walking their dogs. Many cities and towns now have doggie parks where dogs play and owners meet. Ask neighbors who have dos if they know of any doggie parks.
7) Sign-up for a class. Maybe you want to learn about sculpture, computers, or cooking. You never know who you will meet, plus you will learn a new skill in the process.
8) Accept your friends’ desire to set you up. Our friends know us almost as much as we know ourselves. If they think that someone would be a good match for you and want to set you up, then by all means, say yes!!
Try to remember that finding a love match can take some time. It’s helpful to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. Using both Online and old school will increase your chances, so try to have fun with it.
Christine Marie is a writer and divorcee. She found her way through divorce by taking comfort and inspiration from other people’s stories and perspectives. But as a writer, she experienced writer’s block preceding her divorce. She was unable to write much of the experiences she was going through, except in a private journal she kept. Now more than six years’ post-divorce, the veil has been lifted and she shares many stories and advice at http://www.afterdivorce.net. She has also authored the e-book, To Stay or Not to Stay: How to Know When it’s Time to Leave Your Marriage. (http://www.afterdivorce.net/store/c1/Featured_Products.html)