I read this article and felt the need to answer some of Charles Orlando's statements. I have a great deal of respect for the writer and appreciate that he flushed out areas of concern. While I think he brings up some good points that have merit and value, he also presents a rather cynical view of online dating, which I don't share.
The author talks somewhat wistfully about the "olden days" before online dating, when we met people in our neighborhoods and let fate decide without intervening. Well, let's consider that. With a divorce rate that hovers around 50 percent (and has been at that level for years), I'd say the "olden days" or the "old ways of doing things" really aren't that great. (If we really wanted to talk about the "old way," we'd be talking about the man hitting a woman over the head with a club and dragging her back to the cave.) We evolve with the times, and online dating is the next evolution of meeting new people, making new friends and the entrance to relationships.
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He pooh-poohs stories of couples who met online as if they're insignificant. Are they? How many couples do you know who met online? I know many, including myself. My beloved and I would have never met and fallen in love if we hadn't been on one of the popular dating sites. He talks about all the horror stories of online dating. Certainly, we've all had our botched dates and our bad nights out. Just as we did and still do in real life.
He does make some good points about sites that use compatibility tests. A personality test is just that: a test. It's one tool you can use to determine potential likes and dislikes, but I don't recommend relying solely on a test to plan your future.
Now comes the part that really pushed my buttons. He practically labels the online dating process as unnatural. How? You're still screening men before you meet them, talking to them to get to know them and taking things one step at a time. You still have to figure out if the guy's a player, if he's your type and if he's a good match. Which you would be doing no matter where you met him, right?
The world is changing, largely because of technology, so the online dating process is becoming very natural. Adapting to change is natural.
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He says the sense of connection we get from meeting online is a false one. That's interesting, considering that I'm still friends with many of the women I've met online, and I've heard a similar statement from most of my friends and clients. So often, we put more emphasis on a personal connection than it deserves. We put people on pedestals, think we have a deeper relationship than we do, and overlook their flaws—in real life as well as online.
He also comes pretty close to calling people liars who put their best foot forward on dating sites. Certainly, many of us have been guilty of posting pics that are a few years old or fudging our ages down to stay visible to the age range we want to date in. He calls it deception. Is it any worse than putting on shoes with lifts or touching up gray hair?