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Wednesday, December 06, 2023

He says ...

Dating sites have bad idea written all over them. I've always seen them as nothing more than a relationship-focused Facebook - just another online opportunity to creep on people you will probably never get with.

My main issue with online dating sites is just that: It's online. Not to sound old fashioned, but whatever happened to meeting people in person?

College life serves up ample opportunities to find new people, spend time with them and get to know how they REALLY are.

Skimming a person's online profile (complete with a meticulously retouched picture and bombastic autobiography) comes nowhere close to the real thing.

Selection is another issue with dating sites. No offense to those who have tried them, but if you have to go online to find a partner, then you probably aren't the prize of the dating scene.

Lynzee Marmor, a 20-year-old journalism junior at UF, said she agrees that college students shouldn't waste their time on a dating site.

"The best way to meet people in college is to socialize in class, at parties, in school clubs and at socials," Marmor said. "Most college students aren't busy with a career and family responsibilities where they have to resort to online dating to find someone special."

She makes a good point. College should be the easiest time in your life to find everything from a semester crush to a serious soul mate. Let your fears and anxieties go and strike up a conversation with somebody new. You're only in college once. Make it count.

She says ...

I have sister who is 37 years old. When she was in college, she met a guy at a fraternity party who had caught her eye from across the room as he played pool with a group of friends. The two ended up talking, hitting it off and dating for the next 10 years. Now, they are happily married and have a daughter who is in the second grade.

OK, great. But what does this story have to do with online dating, you ask?

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Well, nothing really, and that's the point. When my sister was in college, the Internet was an infant, an oddity a la "Weird Science" that was finding momentum through the nerd networks.

Fast-forward a few years to find geeks and Greeks alike wondering how they ever survived without the Web. We work, bank, shop, watch movies, snag music and attend class online; we may as well use the ‘net for dating too, right?

The funny thing is online dating remains taboo. Hell, I will be the first to admit that I am absolutely humiliated by the fact that, at one point in time, I had an profile. It only lasted a month, and nothing ever came of it - but I had one nonetheless. Why is this so difficult to admit? I have friends who have met spouses online, yet even they wish they had a better meeting story than "Her profile was just too cute."

I realize that I'm being judgmental, but I will stand by the position that online dating is just embarrassing. Maybe this is because its mechanism is a showcase of brutal honesty. The setup invites millions of people to market themselves as desirable and publishes this information out into a virtual meat market.

"Hi, I'm single and looking."

Only, instead of seeing a congregation at a club, one merely has to scroll through a list of photos on prowl for a hottie.

I get that for some, flirting online is easier than face-to-face contact, but I also think that overcoming life's biggest social challenges brings the most satisfying rewards. Unplug the computer, go outside and spot someone from across the room.

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