You’ll see people complain about how bad their online dates have been. One great site for stories regarding this is Internet Dating Stories (I love the tag line: “The good, the bad, and the OH MY GOD, what were they thinking?!”). Obviously after browsing this site you’ll see there are plenty of bad dates out there originating from the internet. I’ve heard men and women describe bad dates and attribute the entirety of those bad dates to online dating itself. I have some bad news for the people out there who think online dating is the reason they are on bad dates: bad dates have existed long before the creation of online dating in the late 90s.
There have always been bad dates for those who actively date. And that’s the key: for those who actively date. Online dating hasn’t introduced the idea of bad dates. Online dating has simply allowed people who would never date actively to now have a tool that allows them to do so. Some of these same people turn around and claim that online dating is the reason they have bad dates. No, online dating is the reason you have any dates at all. Also, are those weird people you meet any less strange on more traditional dates? Of course not.
Complaining that online dating creates bad dates would be like someone complaining that their car creates a long work commute. The car empowered them to work far from their home…it didn’t create a problem, it solved one. Likewise, online dating often provides the dateless with dates. These people then turn around and claim that the tool solving their problem is the source of their bad dates. Well, technically it’s true! Online dating is the source of their bad dates but it’s really the source of all their dates. Try not to complain that Match.com or eHarmony or whatever only provides bad dates if it’s providing you with all of the dates you have.
Now one argument that may hold some water is the idea that online dating is allowing strange people, who would rarely or never find a date otherwise, to enter the dating scene. I suppose this is true but you have to be willing to accept the good with the bad. When someone has a long work commute, they are accepting the risks that are associated with doing so: traffic, high gas prices, bad drivers and so on.
If it’s true that online dating is responsible for the bad dates, then it must also be responsible for the great dates. If online dating is responsible for the date where that charming man turns out to be mildly insane, then it is also responsible for the date that led me to meeting my wife. You must be willing to accept the bad if you are to have any hope of finding the good (unless you’re lucky like my wife – I was the first man she met dating online!).