Write Team: Online dating is not for the faint of heart

A couple of columns ago, I made reference to the fact in 2021, my marriage had ended.

On this point, I’m not going to dawdle, and will simply say, as we all know, crap happens. We move on. Quick word of thanks to all of you who reached out.

What the event did reveal was after many years of marriage, I was single again and, as some pointed out, back in the dating pool. A pool that is quite chilly with no shallow end for safety.

A friend suggested I try online dating. Let me interject at this point this option is not for the faint of heart.

According to Forbes Magazine, there are more than 2,500 online dating sites in the U.S. alone with perhaps more than 8,000 worldwide. Geez that’s a lot of sites. One of the sites boasts 39% of all current relationships are the result of online dating. I’m only early into this column but so far, the numbers are staggering.

With so many sites, how does one go about choosing the right site? I have no idea. I picked one I had heard about in the media and thought I would give it a try. I realize these sites exist to make money but sometimes they do use, in my opinion, unethical practices to get you to join. For instance, they say you can join for free but once they have all your information, without a form of payment, the feedback you get is sketchy at best. You may get a notice that reads “you have 10 new likes” but when you click on them to see, all you get is a blurry picture, that could be a watermelon.

So, you break down and cough up your billing information and boom, you’re in. Into what is the question. I filled out my profile as honestly as I could and waited for the matches to come in.

At this point, I feel I need to interject some advice if you’re thinking of going the online dating route. First, don’t use a profile picture that makes you look like a kitten. Second, don’t use a picture of your cat as your profile pic. Third, have someone else take your picture-no one wants to see your nose hair. And fourth, don’t have other people in the pictures that make us guess which one is you.

At the end of the day, I decided online dating was not for me. There are too many variables you have no control over and sometimes that rabbit hole is a bit too deep to be safe. Perhaps it’s my age or the terror of the unknown, but I decided if I was going to meet someone, I wanted to do it organically.

There was only one person I connected with to which I gave any serious consideration. She lived in a Southwest suburb, about 45 minutes from Ottawa. She was 14 years younger than me, had five daughters, and contacted me a couple of times. I finally replied “I really appreciate you reaching out, but I have decided online dating is not for me. I want to meet someone the old-fashioned way; seeing you in a grocery store, and stalking you every aisle. Just kidding.”

She responded “Ha ha, I fully understand. I wish you luck. Maybe I’ll run into you in a grocery store some time.”

  • Jonathan Freeburg is an Ottawa transplant for the past two decades-plus and a regular contributor to 1430 WCMY Radio. He can be reached at newsroom@shawmedia.com.