Friday, May 19, 2006

The Other Perspective

I just stumbled across this article from a link on a website that I enjoy and read regularly. They posted the link in indignation, as the article openly insults said website with a fairly unfounded accusation. If anyone is this bored, here's the link:

"Enjoys Long Walks on the Beach..."

What this is basically, is the editor's own misadventures in internet dating. I've read many a negative take on the process in my day, but this is pretty scathing. The problem is, I think that it's not them, it's her.

Not to be a bitch (of course one must always start with this type of disclaimer when embarking on bitchiness), but I think this woman is bitter, cynical, still smarting from her divorce, and surprised that misrepresenting herself offends people. She only really refers to it twice in the article (obviously trying to paint herself as the victim), but she does let it slip that she's less than honest to her online suitors. She mentions once that a date was horrified when he met her in person, and once that a date was outraged when she admitted that she was older than she has posted on I understand the desire to paint oneself in a favorable light, I really do, but where the hell does she think that outright lying is going to get her?

I do my best to be ridiculously honest on my profiles. I post pictures that do not make me look better than I look in person. I don't want anyone to be unpleasantly surprised when they actually meet me. In fact, I'm always hoping for the opposite: I want to look better in person than I do in my photos.

So, yes, internet dating isn't a cakewalk. And yes, there are some people out there that are crazy, or serial daters, or hoping to get married next week, but there are just as many people just like that in every bar that you can walk into. The editor would probably counter with the fact that I haven't been doing this for that long, and that I'm still in the Denial stage. I disagree. The thing that I do see that could play a legitimate part in her struggle is the generation gap. It's possible that she's just too old to be internet dating. The older generation didn't grow up on the internet like we did: they don't see it as a place to expand your life, they see it as a place to go only when entirely desperate. They don't get MySpace, the don't write blogs (not many of them, at least). They don't communicate with friends almost solely over email. For those of us in this new internet generation, dating is just the next logical step in putting more and more of our lives out onto the Web.

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