Online Dating Is Like Jail?


What does an online dater and a cellmate have in common?

Online dating and going to jail have similarities. If you go to jail, or if you're Internet dating, people around you are curious how you got to that point in life. What could have possibly happened in your life that led to this demise. When mentioning that you are dating online, the first thing someone might say is, "Oh yeah? What site are you on?" They ask very directly and seem very interested. It's very similar to when an inmate asks another inmate, "Hey, so what are you in for?" It seems our society is just as intrigued as to how someone got incarcerated for a crime as to how a person is bored seeking love for online in their sweat pants.

While our culture is very interested in how someone finds love, or how they got arrested, it doesn't seem people care about much else. You never hear someone say, "Oh you like oatmeal? What brand do you eat? You like that kind with the old guy on the front? I prefer the variety pack myself." But this same person will perk up when you tell them you are online dating, or very interested in why you got arrested three years ago back in Panama City.

I told my friend I was online dating and his immediate response was, "How long did you sign up for?" which is like asking an inmate, "How long they give you?" But when I told this same friend I bought gasoline down the street for my car he didn't say, "What kind of gas you get? I like Premium." He was only interested in how I was looking for companionship.

Let's explore a few of the ways dating online can be like going to jail:

  1. It's good to break the ice. Going to jail the first time can be daunting and so can online dating. Match.com has a 'wink' feature and likewise a new inmate in jail will 'wink' at you to let you know he's interested. It's all about making someone feel comfortable.
  2. Jail and online dating is sentenced based. Both usually have a one, three, six, or one year commitment and it's going to be hard to "get out early." eHarmony will deny you parole in a second.
  3. Many online daters fail to look like their photos in person. Likewise many inmates often look nothing like their mug shot. It's such a travesty.

So if you are online dating and someone asks, "What site are you on?" I would suggest that you get clarification because if your response is, "Americans Most Wanted," it might be an awkward moment. That's probably not the site they expected to hear, but then again, their next question would most likely be, "What are you on there for?"

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