Are You Roadkill On The Singles Superhighway?

The most sought after human experience among singles is definitely love. Singles worldwide turn to the growing number of online dating services with escalating memberships. E-dating is the new growing love economy. According to a May 2004 report released by the Online Publishers Association, U.S. consumers have spent $449.5 million on personals/dating content in 2003, up nearly 50 percent from the previous year.

Another study conducted by Just Lunch Dating Service revealed that, “48% of men and 52% of women have used a dating service to increase their odds of meeting someone. This study also found that women do care how much money their partner makes. 88% of women said that money is very important in a relationship. On the other hand, 46% of men say it doesn't matter how much money their partner makes. Both sexes agree on one thing: 63% of men and 67% of women believe that a relationship is more important than a career.”

Apparently, love sells big time to both sexes. With huge inventories among online dating companies, singles expect to find their peacock among the feather dusters. These are the times of Concealed Bathrobe Dating. This dating revolution has made a dress code unnecessary and make up absolute. As you scrutinize faces and bodies you see a new beginning in ever cyber-chat. While it is true that you may collide with your love on this superhighway to passion, you have just as much of a chance of downloading a project. The Internet has become a growing social circle for singles and is flooded with self-promoting profiles, which are often in need of a more truthful interpretation.

In the world of online dating misrepresentation is at an all time high. Janice, a fitness enthusiast, was excited about her e-mail exchange with Rob. He seemed to share her interest in fitness, health and the outdoors. As they e-mailed about mountain biking, skiing and golfing, Rob’s interest in these activities seemed real.

When they met it became apparent that Rob was not a fitness or outdoors enthusiast. In real life he also looked much older than in the picture that accompanied his online profile. He had misrepresented himself to impress Janice. Needless to say, they parted after the first date with mixed feelings. Discovering incompatibility in e-mail exchanges becomes much easier if you use the following tips:

BE TRUTHFUL in your own description.

While mingling among singles in a highly competitive environment you may be tempted to paint your very best picture. Putting your best foot forward does not mean inflating your image or exaggerating your profile. The key to finding a compatible love is being authentic instead of pretending to be what you are not. Being real may not guarantee a huge number of online dates, but if you are serious about love, the bottom line is quality, not quantity. To find a like-minded date, don’t play games. When your profile rings true, you will probably attract someone who is also truthful.

DIG DEEPER once you have begun your email exchange.

Ask questions about his or her life, values, beliefs, hobbies, likes and dislikes. Rephrase your questions in subsequent e-mails and compare the answers. Continue to go back to the person’s profile and look for discrepancies. For example, to verify a person’s age, ask when they either left high school or graduated from university. To find out if he or she really loves hiking, ask where they usually hike or when they hiked last. To check employment, ask what he or she does during a regular workday and if they enjoy their work. Aaron believed he was e-mailing with the kindest girl he had ever met until he asked Susan about her relationship with her sister. Susan electronically flew off the handle describing her sister’s mean-spirited character and calling her names. Aaron new then that he did not like the other Susan he had just been exposed to. The only thing you risk by asking questions is that your new e-mail friend will drop “out of the loop.”

BRING UP ISSUES that are important to you.

If one of your priorities is family, talk about your respective families. It won’t take long to find out if this is a shared priority. If you love traveling, raise this topic to see if there is excitement or if he or she has even boarded a plane. Perhaps education, knowledge or current issues are of great interest to you. In that case, raise these matters in your dialogue to probe his or her awareness and interest. A healthy lifestyle might be important to you. Talk about it! There is no point in involving yourself with someone who has dissimilar interests. Whatever your values, beliefs or worldviews, use the e-mail exchange to inquire about these issues. Read between the lines. This practice will help you to determine compatibility early in the game. Shared values are important ingredients for long-term commitment.

REMEMBER the reason why you are meeting someone online.

If you just want to increase your circle of friends, by all means have fun and meet everyone. If you are searching for the love of your life, be selective and dig deeper. Ask the questions that are important to you. Don’t let the sheer number of available singles distract you from the human qualities you really seek in a life partner. Don’t waste each other’s time. Far too many singles have depleted their dating energy by e-mailing all night long with people who they would never introduce to their parents. Keep in mind, that most singles you meet on the Internet are vulnerable human beings with a desire to be loved just like you. Be smart, trust your gut instinct and cut to the chase!


© 2005 Allie Ochs, Relationship Expert, Coach, Speaker and the Author of “Are You Fit To Love?”