Where’s the chemistry when you’re dating online?

by singlemomseeking on January 12, 2009

Dad’s House is right: going online is a great way to meet random people, but online dating will not help you find chemistry.

Unless you’re darn lucky.

That’s why I just might go offline in order to compete for the next episode of The Bachelorette. Hey, why can’t I be the first-ever half-Jewish single mom Bachelorette?

I’m not being serious. Just cynical.

In the past few weeks, here’s a brief round-up of my online dating experiences:

– A well-known local author and single dad stood me up.

– Another single dad asked if my kid could come with me on our second date “because you’re on your own and it must be hard to find childcare.”

– Yet another single dad came clean about both his age and his location an hour into a phone conversation. (He took four years off his age. He said that he lives in San Francisco, when he really lives an hour outside the city.)

Granted, I had one good date in there. But he has recently found my blog (oh, Google!), and I want to run details by him before I post them here.

~~

It was Dad’s House who first pointed out — tipping his hat to Malcolm Gladwell‘s book Blink — that “the internet may be a useful tool for meeting random people, but chemistry is something felt, not thought about and articulated in check boxes and paragraphs of online prose.”

Re-reading Dad’s House post right now is very poignant. It was almost one year ago –  the day after Valentine’s Day, 2008 — that I discovered his blog. His post on online dating was the first I read. Wow.

My single mom friend Siobhan — who  gave me some of the best quotes in my book — still reminds me, “I have to smell a man! You can’t do that on a computer screen!”

Indeed, Dad’s House isn’t alone in his views about online dating.

But enough! I’m writing this blog post during the commercials for The Bachelor.

So, tell us, Dad’s House?

If The Bachelor asked you to be on the show, would you be game? We already know that you think these women are hot.

Should Dad’s House and I put ourselves into the running for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette?

~~~

P.S. If you haven’t read Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly, she has written the best-ever review of The Bachelor that begins: 

The Bachelor: Tragic Single Dad Edition is, quite simply, the most dramatic Bachelor gimmick… ever. And there’s a lot of drama to cover, so let’s get started, shall we?….”

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Am I a terrible mom for letting my kid watch “The Bachelor”? | Single Mom Seeking...
February 2, 2009 at 11:26 pm

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil January 12, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Of course, you have to meet… but there are as many problems meeting someone randomly at a bar, a coffee shop, or through a friend.

It is possible…or maybe I am just darn lucky.

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T January 12, 2009 at 11:40 pm

OK, now THAT I’d watch!!

Hugs sweetie!

T´s last blog post…Feast or famine

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MindyMom January 13, 2009 at 6:19 am

Maybe there should be a bachelor/bachelorette with ONLY single moms and dads! We could all bring our kids and put them in a house together with some nannies while the single moms and dads find some chemistry!

MindyMom´s last blog post…Saying Goodbye

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Amy Nathan January 13, 2009 at 6:54 am

Well here I go…

I’m going to be the Divorecette. I’ve been married. I don’t think I am a bachelorette. I’m also 44, Jewish and looking for a Jewish guy (not a spiritual but not religious guy) and heaven-help-us, I’m overweight.

No one would watch!

I’ll tell you what I’ve learned is that the internet is a fabulous weeding out experience. Someone who heads for the hills when I say where I live (and I always disclose I am 35 minutes from the city) or when I say my ex is dead or that I’m not thin (which I think is obvious from the photos, they are real) or that I don’t have weekends to myself or anywhere to stow my kids for taking weekends away — I don’t bother with emails when they just want to be penpals.

Don’t obsess about it. I know you have to blog it, but obsessing is only going to bother you – it doesn’t bother the men at all.

Amy Nathan´s last blog post…Are you a fearful parent?

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wandamd January 13, 2009 at 7:11 am

I have found chemistry only once online…and the “relationship” (if you can call it that) turned out to be purely physical. While he knew I was a single parent before we met, in the end the hurdle he couldn’t get over/past was that he would never be #1, but have to share the limelight with/stand in the shadow of my daughter.

It was fun for a while but left me feeling a bit cynical about single childless men whom have yet to be married. I know that is such a double standard because as single parents we are often overshadowed by our responsiblities and not seen as hotties! Alas I was proven VERY wrong in that I met a slightly-younger, single, childless, never-been-married-but-has-been-engaged man who is wonderful and could be the best i’ve met yet! We did NOT meet online.

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Kat Wilder January 13, 2009 at 7:34 am

You can’t have “chemistry” online — it’s just yet another way to meet someone and then you at some point meet and decide, chemistry or not.

When people dump on online dating, they’re missing the point — it doesn’t guarantee anything except, maybe, that you’ll be exposed to more people than you would be just going about your life. So, if you meet more people, there are more chances to discover there’s no chemistry or there is but only you feel it and he doesn’t. So, it feels like you can’t meet anyone online. Actually, you have — just not ones you’d want to keep around.

Instead of looking at it as “THE” option to meet someone, look at it as one of the options. And then, hold the expectations!

And, BTW, I would never be on a “reality” TV show because there’s nothing real about it. I can’t imagine starting a healthy relationship in such a contrived way. But, since I’ve never done it … who knows?

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JulieR January 13, 2009 at 8:03 am

I’ve found most people I have chemistry with online…I do not have it with in person. The wit, the sparkling personality, the fun quotient…never translate in reality. Bummer that textual relationships never work.

JulieR´s last blog post…Well, this sure gives me motivation to date!

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Dee January 13, 2009 at 8:57 am

The chemistry & sweet repartee plays so well inside the confines of your i-phone… that reality almost always proves to be something entirely different LoL!

Dee´s last blog post…Successful Son Raised By Single Mom

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singlemomseeking January 13, 2009 at 10:52 am

Julie and Dee: Thanks for making that point, it’s so true!

Like you two, I’ve had incredible email chemistry with men — flirtatious, smart, witty — and I just assumed it would translate into real life…

Love this Dee: “Bummer that textual relationships never work.”

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Janna January 13, 2009 at 12:50 pm

To date is like getting ready for war. Casualties are unavoidable :-s

Janna´s last blog post…Yet another day in paradise

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wandamd January 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm

My boyfriend and I rely on texting for fluff chatting…but after some serious miscommunications banned any and all serious comments/convo from digital chatting. We call it lost in textlation.

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SDMktg January 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm

As a writer and marketing person myself I found the same thing Kat mentioned, online dating can only help you meet other people.

As for text and email chemistry maybe some people spend a lot of time carefully crafting their emails and real life is also in real time? Even with text you can take a 10 second delay if you need it. I think it’s probably best to jump as quickly as possible from email to phone to meeting to see if there’s any chemistry. Of course I have had the most interesting conversations at parties with people that for one reason or another would have been automatically screened out online. One time after I had become friends with a woman I met in “real life” we realized she had seen my profile a year earlier and passed on it because I had kids.

I have to agree that the bachelor is pretty contrived. Any time people are on TV and there are exotic trips to be taken you’ll get some people who are either there to win or for fame or some other motive.

SDMktg´s last blog post…Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show Coverage Jan 21-23

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dadshouse January 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Kat – I think your online dating experience has been atypical. You’ve blogged that you used it to find FWBs.

I agree online dating is only a tool. It helps you meet more people. But are they the right people? Not too often. Just like meeting in a bar – you don’t often meet the right person.

In my experience, I’ve met most long term girlfriends through friends or friends-of-friends. Real life connections make a difference.

Rachel – that’s awesome if you get on the show! Who cares if a reality show isn’t real. You have more guts than me. Yes, I’d love to meet the women in the pic, but I hate wearing a necktie. Doh!

dadshouse´s last blog post…Sexy Text Messages That Can’t Be Ignored

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Erica January 13, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I’m with MindyMom – I say we have a single parenting dating show!

Erica´s last blog post…Maalox, Anyone?

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Angie January 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Online dating does get you in front of a lot of people you otherwise might not have met. As long as you remember that chemistry is only something you can feel in-person and you meet and not build an online only relationship, I think it can be a good thing. I’m sorry you’ve been having a lousy time at it…but it can take many many dates to find somebody that you click with.

I had a vision of you and Dad’s house having a single mom and dad seeking show. Same format as the Bachelor, but you must take turns dating and watching the kids. make it a little more realistic — single parents ARE NOT available for 24/7 manic bliss when they have kids!

Glad I could help with Megan from last show :)

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Phil January 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm

“They” say that 1 out of 8 marriages now are people who met online, so to say it never works would be incorrect.
You can also say that 7 out of 8 marriages are people who didn’t meet online…

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singlemomseeking January 13, 2009 at 6:03 pm

So, Phil, will you please enlighten us about your online chemistry experience? Pretty please?

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Leah January 13, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I hope some TV producer is reading this because this is a totally hot idea! :) I would definitely watch.

Must say even I watched “The Bachelor” when I found out it was about a Jewish single dad and I never watch TV, LOL.

Rachel I am so sorry that you’ve had a ton of crap experiences. Good luck with the promising one :)

As far as online chemistry, it took me a while to get used to “the fizzle.” That phenomenon really shocked me for a while. Now I try to arrange an in person meeting ASAP (low key, at a coffee shop during the day so I don’t have to arrange child care) with online people to avoid wasting too much time in a potential fantasy land.

Agreed that online is a good way to meet people, especially for busy single parents. But I’d vastly prefer meeting someone IRL first. I’m sort of on the verge of giving up on the online thing for a while.

Leah´s last blog post…Now I’m scaring myself.

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Heather {Desperately Seeking Sanity} January 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm

I did the online thing on and off for 6 years. That’s alot of time. I’ve tried all the sites, and kissed alot of frogs.

I never expected to find chemistry going into it. Yes, there were people that I connected to on an email/chat basis and sometimes on the phone but when we met in person it just wasn’t there. I think part of my problem was that I was spending too much time getting to know them online before I would move to the next level. By the time that we actually got to the date, I had conjured up an image and when it wasn’t what I had pictured, I was disappointed.

But I met my current beau online and we emailed back and forth for a day, short little emails. We then texted for a day or so before we talked on the phone.

What’s funny is that I knew the minute I talked to him on the phone that I was going to marry him one day. I can’t explain it. Me, Miss Cynical (you saw my comment about the Bachelor), Miss Non Committal, made a comment like that.

And when we met, not because we planned a date, but by chance, for the first time offline (yes, he showed up at the track that I was walking at so he met me in sweats, hair pulled back, no make up on, and sweaty) the chemistry was there.

I think online dating is a starting point. Some people seek dates at coffee shops, some at clubs, some at the gym, and some, like me, someone who works from home and only gets out to take the kids to school and church, try online.

The funny thing is? His kids go to school with my kids and I’ve met 4 men online with kids at the same school. Had I paid attention to the PTA meetings, I might not have wasted so much time and money online. Who knew the elementary school was such a breeding ground for single men!

Heather {Desperately Seeking Sanity}´s last blog post…New Kids on the Boat?

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judy January 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

The chemistry in on-line dating is a wonderful thing and can most fulfilling.

I can make up all the chemistry I want, read into anything I want, imagine if we were only closer how wonderful it would be and create the dream I have been seeking.

It’s Walt Disney without the magic

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Lance January 13, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Dude, I hate the Bachelor. This is not good entertainment, and certainly not a reasonable representation of what real dating is like. Plus, I think all the chicks are ditzs and idiots. Let’s get some real people on there! I would definitely watch if SMS and DM were on.

I’m no fan of online dating and I think all the crazies hang out on those sites.

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Dating January 13, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Wow great post, a very interesting topic in relation to chemistry on online dating. Cheers.

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Kat Wilder January 13, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Dad, a minor correction. I did have a few FWB from online dating .. right after my divorce, when that was all I was interested in (and could handle) while I got my shit together.

When I was ready for more, I met two men online with whom I had long-term relationships.

I do think many people online are looking for hookups and that can be a drag if you want more, but not everyone. It takes work — time and energy — to sort through the masses, but like everything else worth having, so what? It’s just another tool to throw into the Dating Toolkit, no better and no worse.

But Heather has it right — you can’t spend too much time online getting to know someone; the sooner you meet and figure out “chemistry or not,” the better.

Kat Wilder´s last blog post…Ann Coulter, single moms and me

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jeanie January 15, 2009 at 4:56 am

As you know, I met my NEW husband (ha ha ha ha ha – still funny that term) online.

I had met a few, but there wasn’t anything to make it do anything but fizzle after first contact.

With him, his profile made me laugh – and we both kept laughing and anticipating for the full month before we met.

It can happen – doesn’t mean it will but it is possible.

Oh – and as for the tv show – I have no idea what you are talking about, as I am not really into contriviality television.

jeanie´s last blog post…Jeanie Hearts Cooking – and V’s Carrot Cake

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Alicia January 16, 2009 at 8:06 pm

I totally agree with Kat. Yeah, it’s just another way to meet people. It’s also what you make it-like any other way you would meet someone. For me, I don’t want to email for weeks before we speak on the phone. I make a point of moving it to the “phone phase” after a few days or so, because I don’t want to waste my time or anyone else’s. Plus, you can tell if a dude is just looking for a hook-up online pretty quickly. If that’s the case, I just stop the communication. Period.

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dating guide June 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I have to disagree with Phil as those statistics are based on North American surveys, though the trend of marriages through online dating is on the rise and will be for some time .

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