Welcome to the Meet Market

Relation-shopping, or Internet dating as it is commonly known, has to be fertile ground for social science studies for a variety of disciplines. The “dating” part of the exercise is probably a misnomer, because most of what goes on is trying to get a date, avoiding dating certain people and getting frustrated at the whole process. I know, because I’ve had an extended run at it. Without any pretense as to the ‘scientific’ about my observations, I’m enough of an R-Shop veteran to make a few tentative conclusions about the whole process.

Here’s a shocker: There’s a LOT of lying about marital status, occupation, body type and myriad other stuff. But, you know what’s weird about it? The women are probably worse than the men for dishonesty. You should hear some of the “explanations” when they’re out-ed. I think guys at least have sufficient conscience to be sheepish about being caught in a lie. Not so for some of the ladies.

Despite the potential advantages of numbers presented by the Internet, the Meet Market seems to provide little improvement in the success factor for partnering up. I see certain, clearly high-value candidates, pop up on my screen month after month. When clearly great looking, wealthy and accomplished women, exposed to a broad market of partners, can’t get satisfactorily hooked up, it suggests there’s more to it than just the “distribution” angle.

Perhaps the reason can be found in this (maybe satirical, maybe not) observation in one of the chat forums: “We all think we’re (slimmer and) better looking than we actually are; we all think we deserve better than we’re getting; and we don’t understand why others don’t appreciate us like they should”. I’m certain I’m as guilty of that dynamic as anyone. But I just can’t understand why my mailbox is full of messages from 64 year-old grandmothers who love gardening (I’m 58 and hate it).

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One Response to Welcome to the Meet Market

  1. Trishia Jandu says:

    Even if I didn’t know you, I could easily tell from reading this that you’ve had a few bad experiences with online dating and likely haven’t given it enough of a chance. (Many of my single friends feel the same way as you about online dating). Unfortunately, the EFFORT of finding ‘the one’ (or ‘a quality one’) is no easy task – if it were., there would be no market for meet/dating businesses! The people I know who feel the same as you just aren’t willing to go through the effort that can be involved… it’s just too much work and/or too frustrating a process.

    Essentially, internet dating means altering your expectations and understanding you MAY have to be at it for awhile. Even if you have to get through several hundred ‘meets/dates’, eventually it would pay off – after all, you only need one, and statistically, after that many dates, you’d eventually meet a good match.

    No one says internet dating will be easy for everyone, but given the huge numbers of people who’ve met, fallen in love, and married, I have to say it’s a pretty successful way to meet a partner.

    Here’s an article from 2005 about its success:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050218125144.htm

    You can find LOTS of reviews about it… just Google “successful internet dating”, and there are all sorts of good/bad stories. But I’m willing to bet that statistically, the number of successful relationships that come out of ‘traditional’ ways of meeting people equal the number of successful ones born from internet meets.

    While you’re Googling, there are also lots of great ‘tips’ on how to be successful at Internet dating. I can tell you from first hand experience, a lot of guys DON’T know how to do some of the most basic things to meet a girl, and those tip sites are bang on.

    BTW, I recently met someone online, and am now happily head over heels. Case in point? ;)