The flipside of this strength, as Orlando aptly pointed out, is that daters often develop a false sense of connection with a total stranger. But again, this is a human issue — not an online dating one. We all tend to fantasize and assign too much value to a pretty face, great conversation and electric chemistry. All you can do is educate yourself and remind yourself not to get too wrapped up in potential when you're both emailing ten other people online.
More from YourTango: Why Would He Never Ask Me Out Again When We Had Chemistry?
This brings me to a core belief that I teach in all of my dating courses: all good qualities come with bad qualities.
Is it good to meet a guy out at a party? Sure. Nothing beats a real-life connection and some of that priceless non-verbal communication. But if you're a 51-year-old divorced mother of two, how many parties are you going to? How many age-appropriate single men are working in your office and are asking you out on the street? See, it's not that Orlando is wrong that real life meeting is fun and organic; it’s that he's completely neglected to discuss the strengths of online dating.
Online dating sites aggregate single people and attempt to facilitate real-life interactions: nothing more, nothing less. So when the author talks about how men are "predatory" and cites a bunch of sleazy pick-up artists as proof that men only want to get laid? Selective quotes and selective statistics make for an incomplete picture. I can give you 100 testimonials from my private clients who fell in love online. Does that mean that online dating is perfect or that all men are sweet and relationship-oriented? No. But it does mean that online dating works for a lot of people who learn how to use it properly.
To the author's point, do some guys want to play around and never settle down? Of course they do. But these same men exist offline as well. At least online, you can get a sense from his profile, his emails and his phone conversation if he's a player. In real life, you may end up in bed with him before you actually learn that he's not looking for anything serious.
An old Match.com poll revealed that 75 percent of men on their site want to have a relationship. I'd guess that the number is similar in real life. As a woman, your job is to figure out if he's for rea — regardless of whether your first interaction was an e-mail or a smile. That's not an online dating thing. That's a dating thing.
All of that aside, I probably wouldn't have written this reply apart from the author's final salvo, in which he takes the very cynical belief that dating sites want to keep you single in order to make money off of you. Seriously?
This is like claiming that gyms want to keep you fat because that's how they make their money. No. People are fat because they don't use the gym regularly or properly. The gym itself does everything it can to help you succeed. Unlimited classes, a free personal training session, a pool, a limitless amount of equipment, flexible hours, and a babysitting lounge. If you still don't lose weight, you know that it's on you; not on the gym. We haven't yet reached that point with online dating. But let's face it, the world's best and cheapest advertising is if 50 percent of subscribers fell in love and left the site in 3 months. THAT's what online dating sites want; not to keep you single.
Which is why they their only goal is to get you into a happy relationship. How do they do this? By facilitating all sorts of ways of connecting. Match, for example, has Winks, Daily Matches, Mutual Match, Reverse Match, Synergy, Likes, Favorites, Views, IMs, and e'mails. That's ten different ways to connect! The rest is up to you.
More from YourTango: How Do You Let Someone Know You Don’t Want A Second Date?
But we don't want to see it that way. It's easier to throw a bomb like this: "if their algorithms are so good, why would anyone have to spend a year" dating online? Keep reading...