True Confessions of an Online Dating Addict
Don't get the idea from this (admittedly somewhat sordid) collection of tales that online dating is all desperation, despair, and disappointment. It's not. For some people it works so well that it becomes a problem. Consider the story of "Shannon" from Washington D.C., as she described it in a Craigslist post:
At times I tried to stop the madness. I'd take down my ads, I'd tell people I was taking a "break" from dating, I'd arrange to see the same guy several times just to keep me from going on new dates. But always, inevitably, I'd log in just to see who was out there, what new ads were posted in my absence ... and I'd get reeled back in.
Soon, Match.com wasn't enough. I branched out to Nerve and Yahoo, even Jdate (not that I'm Jewish). As a result, I started having more dates than free evenings. I became an expert stacker. My performance at work started to suffer. Between arranging dates and answering e-mails, I rarely finished my projects on time. Plus I started coming in late, hungover from the prior evening's activities. And I started taking long date lunches, because my evenings were already chock-full. At that point, my dating itself started to suffer. I started losing track of which one was the human rights lawyer and which one hiked Mt. Everest, which one grew up on a farm in the Midwest, which one liked to make curry, which one was divorced and which one had been in the Marines. My ability to combine witty banter with piercing intellectual observations and shy but come-hither glances (the ingredients, I knew, of a successful date) was plummeting. Slack-jawed, bleary-eyed, I could only listen with faux enthusiasm and nod at appropriate intervals to their monologues.... My entire life was now spent dating, or on the computer, arranging the next date. There were times I woke up and I couldn't remember whom I had gone out with the previous night, nor whom I was supposed to meet that night. And I could no longer rely on just first names--there were scores of Robs, and Daves, and Mikes, and Johns, and Steves, and Jeffs. I had to make up nicknames for all of them, and designed a spreadsheet with relevant details of each to keep track of it all.
Happy Valentine's Day, everybody.