As a woman that has tried almost every single dating method out there, for one reason or another I’m always drawn back to internet dating. This is mainly because of the convenience…a wider pool of choices, and you can eliminate guys you don’t like with the click of a button. Plus, internet dating is easy, and has very low pressure.

The main drawback that I’ve seen with dating over the ‘net is what I’d like to call the Curse of Unrealistic Expectations. Getting behind a computer and creating an alternate persona is so easy, little truths and half truths are typed into a beautiful 12point font that belies the whole truth. He can fudge a little and say that his portly belly is sculpted, or say that he works in Publishing when he’s actually the copy boy. There is no sure fire way to cross check everything you read, so you pretty much have to take everything at face value and listen to your gut.

A rough estimate would say that about 65% of what you hear over the internet is true. That means that 35% of it is fabrications or total lies. Which means that you have to take everything you hear with a grain of salt until you actually get to know the person better.

This is where the trouble begins. If you can’t trust him until you meet him, but don’t want to meet him until you can trust him, how long are you going to be communicating via phone and email before you finally meet him? If you wait for a few weeks/months to meet him, then that means that you are still conversing with him during this time. And building unrealistic expectations that he will shatter on the first date.

When you converse constantly with someone over the internet, you begin to picture them in your mind. The stories they tell you will fabricate a grand illusion and your imagination will fill in the blank spaces of it’s own accord. You might even have pictured out what their mannerisms and gestures are like just from hearing them over the phone. It’s not a conscious act on your part, building the expectations, but it’s a involuntary action. Kind of like when you read a book and you can picture the hero/heroine in your head.

Later, you finally feel that you can trust him, so you agree to meet him…but he is not how you pictured him to be. Oh, he might look like his pictures, but his gestures aren’t the same, or he doesn’t smell how you thought he would. So because he doesn’t meet your preconceived notions, you are disappointed and let down.

So you scrap him off your list and either head back to the drawing board or swear off internet dating altogether. This is the Curse of Unrealistic Expectations, and this is why internet dating is so cantankerous.

My solution? Don’t wait so bloody long to meet him. Follow the standard rules of safety and you will be fine. Till this day, my mom feels that only crazy Tom Bundy types date off the internet. I’m sure that a lot of this sentiment has been passed on to our generation as well. He is not going to turn out to be a psycho killer preying on innocent women. Meet him in a safe, public place and at least get a true feel of what he is about. Waiting too long in the guise of ‘being safe’ is actually what is making the curse come about.

Avoid the curse. Meet him as soon as you are ready to and get it over with.
Vixen is Deputy Editor for Baggage Reclaim. Visit her blog Bad Girls Guide


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5 Responses to Internet Dating & The Curse of Unrealistic Expectations

  1. Ananda says:

    girl. i agree with you. i have a pold … professional online dater for six years …on and off. my dad enjoys my stories of diversity. they also make for good fodder for my novel. and they help me expand my circle of folks. i have learned and continue to learn about myself, men, and the choices we all make. it is a great way to practice living in the present moment. it also lets you build your confidence in yourself and teaches you what you will or will not accept. it is a great life lesson and fun … sometimes it can be disappointing when you like someone and things turn in another direction simply because he is inconsiderate, but i take that as a sign and learning lesson to keep moving ahead. when i do date online, i also attract men from other avenues. i think it all makes for a lively life. thanks for writing. peace, ananda

  2. Vixen says:

    I was actually a Pod on and off for about 4 years. It can get quite addicting, I’ll tell you that much. I can see why it makes good book fodder! Most of the guys I talked to never really passed the evaluation stage, only a couple actually made it to boyfriend status. There is a wider pool to date from, but it’s like searching for a needle in the haystack, you know?

  3. Sharon says:

    I am 49, divorced, look like 39, and tried the on line thing twice. I am hot in person but “bad on Paper”. I am petite and older. I am sure that men that wouldn’t even stop to view my profile online, would be hounding me in a bar; sometimes 27 year olds. Something that you younger girls don’t realize is that most men are searching on the sites for younger women. Therefore I would get tons of winks/emails from 60 plus men. No response from the younger/same age men. It’s such a shallow thing. They all say they want to “cuddle by the fire”, “like to travel”, and also want to meet a women that looks good in jeans or dressed up??? give me a break!!! Some men give “good phone”. Needle in a haystack is putting it lightly. The only way to know if there is chemistry is to acutally meet someone. It was good to get me out the door, but what a disappointment. The only guy I liked stopped calling me after the third date (when I slept with him). I found out later that he had been doing that for a year with others. BTW: his profile said he was looking for a long term relationship?:)

  4. Barbara Armfield says:

    After six months internet dating I met only one chap most get their kicks messaging. We dated on and off for a few months but he never offered anymore than oral sex. I was never able to see him at weekends and he never introduced me to his colleagues or relatives. I never had access to his home address or phone number. Family and friends told me he was married but no he was a player. Watch out girls we deserve better.


    Dear Editor

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    Thank you

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