Pros and cons about dating online

What if you started with shared values and interests and then explored the chemistry aspect?The six months I spent online were fascinating, fun, and frustrating.He was tall, had good taste in music, read interesting books, and seemed decent, funny, and hard working. What harm was there in some anonymous e-mail banter?

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Maybe someone else can benefit from the things I learned about online dating. I thought it was a clever play on the Bill Murray film and decided that every man I knew would respond to boobs. Monty, as I’ve come to call him, looked in his Match photos like an all-American golden boy.

A ton of guys took the bait, but it was hard to tell how many were pervert bycatch. There’s a lot of muck to dredge through when it comes to solicitous e-mails. But I’m on a comeback — believe it.” Or, “I find girls that do not shave their armpits attractive. If I had, I could have spent those two hours I wasted with a much-too-old crime reporter from New Jersey who had just asked for a divorce from his Irish lesbian wife who needed a green card, I don’t know, baking banana bread. His e-mails were flirtatious without being creepy and his Facebook profile—he friended me early on—revealed picturesque vistas from a recent trip to Patagonia with his dad (who looked like Paul Newman). He didn’t text, he didn’t e-mail, he called—an utter rarity in the modern dating world.

What were my non-negotiables and what truly mattered in a mate?

For me, relationships always began with mutual attraction.

It was all I could muster after nearly a decade doing this. After fifteen minutes I started thinking of clever things to say when he got back, maybe a joke about checking in with his wife? After 40 minutes, I finished my beer, tipped the bartender, and resigned myself to the fact that I’d been ditched. And what do you know, that’s how I met someone—by flashing a genuine smile at a real guy across a crowded restaurant.

I’m not going to lie and say that when I walked out I didn’t look both ways to see if the reason he never came back was that he’d been hit by a car.

When I joined a second site a year or so later, I was feeling a little disenchanted by the online experience and registered as La Curmudgeon. I like Martha’s: “I’ve been curious about online dating for a long time, but, like lots of people, have been reluctant to take the leap.” It shows vulnerability. “[I’m looking for] someone who’s intelligent, established, and curious; and who relishes adventure and new experiences as much as I do.” There are millions of smart men who will claim to be all those things, but that won’t help if you’re looking for The One. A few I received: “I am socially awkward, overweight and a bit of a contrarian . Is that something you do or would be willing to do from time to time if we hit it off? Well, not armpit guy, but definitely some of the others. When I arrived at the beer garden where we’d agreed to meet, not only did he look like his photo, but he kissed me on the cheek. Online dating is a full-time job, and eventually, it stopped making sense to me to turn down dinner and party invitations from friends because I had to go home and troll for dudes online.

(I was hoping the “la” made me sound continental.) Coworkers said no one would look at my profile. My final go-round I decided to kick the gimmicks and identify myself as girl_5. We saddled up to the bar and he excused himself to make a phone call. So I let a few e-mails and winks go unanswered and started enjoying life in the real world.

I had been married and in subsequent serious relationships, so for me these dates were the emotional equivalent of riding a ten-speed bike next to someone on training wheels.

My friend Jane, an online dating poster child and proselyte, nudged me towards

I hope you'll have fun reading my yeas and nays below — and that you'll conclude, as I eventually did, there's no compelling reason not to start dating again.