on line dating = shopping, and the social science of on line dating  

ambidext 48M
22 posts
8/30/2005 1:09 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

on line dating = shopping, and the social science of on line dating


I really haven't been trying this on line dating thing all that hard. I'm only now at a point where I really think I'd like to date in general anyway, be it from casual (yahoo, match) to less than casual (AdultFriendFinder). Serious is out for me for a while. When will I be ready for serious relationships again? Probably about the same time I realize I'm in one.

But now that I've been here and elsewhere for a while, I'm starting to realize that this whole on line dating thing just doesn't seem to work too well for some, and I fear I may be of that type.

You see, when people fill out what they are looking for on line, it's a very different process then that which happens in real life.

In real life, chemistry plays a role. Even in first impressions, a little positive personal chemistry can negate or overrule an otherwise negative factor. Someone with just the right smile can make you ignore the fact that they are too thin. Someone who makes you laugh can make you also look past their large physique. When you meet someone who you simply enjoy being near, it no longer matters whether or not they consider themselves "active to the point of seeking out new sky jumping schools."

Now think back to whenever you most recently filled out an on line form detailing what you were looking for in a mate, be it more seuxal (here) or more social (other dating services). If you were anything like me - and from what I see as a pattern after reading hundreds of profiles by now anything like most people - you probably pictured in your head what you hope for. Not necessarily what you could be happy with, but what you imagine would be great.

You're shopping, ticking of criteria as if you could choose a person the same way you buy a car. My ideal match will have this kind of physique, like to do these kinds of activities, will be this or that many years old, have cup holders here here here here and here, a CD player, and 4-wheel drive.

It's just damned frustrating to be (1) "thick" and (2) honest with myself and others in this kind of market.

Maybe, along with the "ideal match" criteria there should be a "would like" criteria. That way, everyone can say they would like someone athletic, fit, and/or slim but would also consider people curvy, ample or with a few extra pounds. It's not that detailing what you hope for is a bad thing. It's just that it's not necessarily a true representation of what would really make you happy.

Hey, AdultFriendFinder staff... I'll give you a buck if you release to the public the percentage of people who say they like each kind of criteria - it would be one hell of an enlightening and revealing piece of data to see how people act. My bet is that these criteria are exactly as I described - a shopping list of recipe ingredients for a fantasy.

In the end, you probably ended up buying your last car without 4 wheel drive, and maybe a little older than you hoped because something else helped you decide on what you now have. Maybe it was cost. Maybe it was just that once you test drove it, you realized it was the right fit even though it wasn't exactly what you imagined in the first place.

Ah well... just a few thoughts from a less sexy mid sized sedan surrounded by self-described sport cars and over priced SUVs in a market overrun by buyers with Ferrari-dreams and Ford-money.

rm_Balanon2 48M
193 posts
8/30/2005 2:37 pm

What you say is true for guys at least, we may have to settle when looking online. I think the attractive women, not even the model types, but anything over a 5, can be very choosy on Hotmatch. Unless they're looking for women too, in which case they're in the same boat as us.

So, I'm thinking of Hotmatch as more of a 'Woman Simulator' with the difficulty set on insane. Then, when I go out in the real world everything seems to be easier!


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