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Sunday, November 19, 2017

An Online Dating Horror Story

I was very skeptical about entering the world of online dating when I initially signed up with match.com. As a 48-year-old single male with more issues than Reader' Digest, my expectations were understandably low to start with. I've never been married, I don't have any kids and my best friend is my shrink. I decided early on that I would probably be satisfied having a relationship with someone who simply had fewer problems than I did.

I had heard both horror stories as well as wondrous tales about the online dating experience, some undoubtedly as much fiction as truth, and all of them left me extremely tentative about entering the fray. One woman I know went on 26 online dates before meeting a suitable mate, whom she eventually married. I admired her thoroughness and determination. When I went to purchase a new car, I only looked at about five vehicles before making a decision. This gal kicked more emotional tires than I can count on all my appendages combined, which means she's either a.) A complete control freak b.) Very high maintenance. c.) Desperate as hell.

I guess what I felt might make me so potentially easy to match up with someone was the simple fact that after so many years of being either lonely or in dysfunctional relationships, I was quite frankly numb. A woman with a pulse who had the ability to talk in complete sentences would do just fine. My expectations were understandably quite low.

To get set up, I put a fairly honest and rather simple description of myself on match.com along with a recent photo. I hate it when people put misleading pictures of themselves online. If they say they're 40 years old and the picture shows them standing in front of a Chevy Vega wearing a peace sign necklace and bell bottoms, you can pretty much tell that the photo is about a current as an old copy of the Magna Carta.

I immediately got responses to my profile and a few stood out right away. One woman sounded really nice and her picture was incredible. A really hot looking 30-something blonde with a killer body in a little bikini, she immediately caught my eye.

Two weeks later, after a series of e-mails back and forth, we met at a restaurant on Union Street in San Francisco. When I got there, I had problems finding the place. She was blocking it, along with the sun. The last bikini this gal wore had to have been the size of the Bikini Islands. I am so grateful that the place where we met was a buffet; otherwise I would have had to take out a small business loan to cover the bill.

I'm not someone who is usually too hung up on looks, but to be deceived to this degree didn't sit too well with me. I could see she had a pretty face, and I'm assuming that the photo she had on match.com was at one time in the distant past actually her. But, since then she had gorged her way into being the behemoth that sat right in front of me well, actually all around me. Discouraged and feeling defrauded, I bailed out halfway through dessert, it was all-you can-eat and I could tell she was just getting started.

Undaunted, I went home and got back on the computer to see if there were any honest people out there who wanted a guy they wouldn't be tempted to eat.

The next woman I started talking to was a school teacher from Berkeley. We met for coffee on a Sunday morning in a little cafe down on Telegraph. She was gorgeous, intelligent, vibrant, compelling, funny and.extremely opinionated. Listening to her was like watching CNN, the Reilly Report, MSN, 60 Minutes, Crossfire and the 10:00 News simultaneously on crystal meth.

Within minutes, I knew all of her feelings on Bin Laden, Bush, Rice, Cheney, Hillary, Robertson, Gore (both Al and Tipper) abortion, illiteracy, baby seals, childhood diabetes, fossil fuels, the greenhouse effect, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Bosnia and some other countries I'd never heard of.

When she wasn't hugging trees, creating colorful protest signage or pelting right wingers with rotten, but always organic fruit, this woman was angry at everything she felt was wrong with the world. At first, I thought it was inspiring. Wow, here's someone with a set of beliefs that she's not afraid to live by. We started dating.

But, eventually I found out that one of the main items on this gal's list of diatribes was the entire male race. She wasn't just angry at the wrong things in the world, she was mad at the world in its entirety, at the human race in general, and men in particular.

Eventually she began to focus on all of the many things that are wrong with me and started a crusade against them. Needless to say, I bailed even more quickly from her than I did from Jabba the Hut. Returning back to my Compaq Presario like a puppy that had just been chastised for peeing on the carpet, I slowly but reluctantly got back into the online dating game. I changed over to another web site, eharmony.com, figuring I'd have better luck. But, what scared me was that I started to see a lot of the same photos and profiles that I had seen on match.com.

I began to realize that there are people out there who are addicted to online dating. They use it like a shopaholic uses malls or a junkie uses smack. It's a seductive vehicle, I must admit. Where else can you shop for potential mates and bid on them like baseball cards on e-bay? Where else can you meet so many different people in such a short time and in one location? When you go to the Humane Society to look for a pet, they only have a couple dozen cats and dogs there, maybe 40 at the very most. But, the selection on a popular dating site can provide you with hundreds, even thousands of viable choices.

So, I continued my search with a vengeance and a new-found commitment. I figured hey, maybe that woman who dated 26 guys had it right - play the field and have some fun and if you never find Mrs. Right, so be it. Play the human love lotto and let the chips fall where they may. Life isn't fair, in fact, it specializes in being unfair. But, I thought, what the heck, I won't invest too much into the process so how badly can I get hurt?

I'm happy to report that ever since I took that attitude things have been great. I'm not quite at 26 dates yet. I think I've met about 11 women online. But, instead of looking at it like a do-or-die situation, I treat each experience like a fun new adventure. That way I'mtotally at ease, there are zero expectations and consequently no disappointments.

I used to think online dating was a quagmire of false hopes and a respite from our shallow lives. But, now I know that's exactly what it is and consequently the whole thing is just a lot more fun. I hope Chewbacca has lost a few pounds, because she seemed nice enough, between mouthfuls. And I hope Ms. Berkeley has mellowed a bit. Maybe I'll meet up with one or both of them again on another dating site in the not-too-distant future and we can look back at the entire mess and have a good laugh. But, one thing I'm sure of is that this time around it will be better, because I've put the whole online dating thing in perspective. I'm happy with it and content with myself -- for the first time in a long, long time.

(Writer's Note: Shortly after I wrote this, I met a wonderful woman and we are engaged. How did I meet her? A friend introduced us. Online dating is okay and II am m sure it works for some people, but nothing beats a good referral.)



About the Writer

Ed Attanasio is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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8 comments on An Online Dating Horror Story

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By Ariel on February 28, 2007 at 12:29 pm
Hehe, hilarious :)
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By Veronika8 on March 19, 2009 at 05:46 pm

Dating in Serbia is a bit of a challenge for a single guy. It is very similar to Iran in that sense that it has its own crazy methodology. War and religion has a tendency to group females as whores, or virtues born again virgins. Since no one can leave either country and get visas for abroad, then the only story in town becomes a tale for house wives as to who is sleeping with whom. In a closed society with out jobs, the gossip wheel is always turning!

http://theageofnepotism.com/2009/02/chapter-5-serbs-and-iranians-youth-and-dating/

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By manny osborne on March 19, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I met two hotties online, It didn't work out, cause I'm an asshole (is what they said), but no i'm a nice guy, just be careful with those sex dates online, those are real scams  

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By Ellie M on March 20, 2009 at 03:03 pm

Congrats Ed on your impending nuptials and I do sincerely hope you enjoy many many happy endings with your Wife2b :) 

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By Mia D. on December 29, 2009 at 05:13 pm

Ed, I had to read this after your comment on mine and it's so nice to see the male point of view parallels my own. I too, have issues with the dated photos and not always so honest self-descriptions which is one of the main reasons I couldn't continue meeting men online. This is really a great, humorous way of looking at something that can be quite frustrating.

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By Brian Pratt on July 25, 2010 at 03:49 pm

10 Things I Hate About Online Dating

a list of cliche things girls put in their profiles

1. The Interests

Everybody likes music, and art, and traveling, and the outdoors, and sunshine, and having fun. These are not things that give any insight as to who you are as an individual. I wouldn’t even really describe them as interests but more just standard features that come with any human being. It’d be like shopping for a used car and coming across an ad that says “Great vehicle, runs on gasoline, tires are round, has matter and density.” I still don’t know the make, model, year, milage, accident history, horse power etc. If anything I view the vaugness as a trap into buying a lemon.

2. I’m shy but I’m not shy

A lot of girls can’t decide on what they are. “I’m shy but I can also be very outgoing.” “I’m just a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl that loves to get dressed up and go out too.” “I’m a realist but I have a bit of a hopeless romantic side. . .” When filling out your “about me” section you should use a “Which of the following best describes me?” approach. Like an SAT question, choose the letter that best answers the problem, don’t fill in every bubble.

to read the rest copy and paste the link to my blog

http://www.ourthursday.com/2010/06/25/10-things-i-hate-about-online-dating/

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By TonyBerkman on December 09, 2011 at 12:53 am

3. ?

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By Uttam Gill on December 09, 2011 at 04:11 am

Ed very interesting article... I must own up that I really enjoyed reading your article...with great sense of humour you could convey the message very loudly too ...Too much for me to date now...My scores are settled with temptations, attraction, selection, rejection, affection, humiliation... lol...Jokes apart on line dating is picking up but one needs to be prudent...I have had my share of on line interaction...I must confess that I got my due in most rewarding manner...I have come across a wonderful lady to whom I know her for almost seven years...she changed my life...I learned a lot from her...she helped me in growing...she stood by me as most honest and trustworthy friend...she is far away from me in a distant land...It is nothing to do with dating and I know she brought in great transformation in me...On line is for great friends too...And I proudly say I found one on line...I know her for last 7 years

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