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 toÂ and get it over with.
Vixen is Deputy Editor for Baggage Reclaim. Visit her blog Bad Girls Guide