Internet dating may be the greatest show on earth. Or not.
TONI: Online dating services are the equivalent of the circus coming to town with a five-star freak show.
My first online date went like this: We met at a sports bar to watch the Super Bowl. He was the same height and weight as promised in his profile, and he looked the same as his picture. Good Start.
Then he pulled out his laptop computer. (Weird.) During the first half of the game, he attempted to show me pictures of all of his pets. (Weirder.) After he finished the pet parade, he matter-of-factly asked me if I'd like to engage in a sexual act with him in the parking lot during half time. (Weirdest!)
My second online date was with a man so completely different from his online height, weight and picture I didn't recognize him. When I mentioned that he looked different than his photo, he admitted it was 10 years old. Later in the night, he admired the fact that I didn't have "old lady hands" like his other dates.
Because I'm a glutton for punishment — and I had a one-year contract — I had a third online date. Apparently 5'10" is the new 6' because I could see the top of his head. Unfortunately, he was looking for a brunette Barbie doll who doesn't perspire, spends 14-plus hours a week grooming herself and loves to fish. Good luck with that.
I'm fairly attractive (aren't we all?) and enjoy normal stuff like barbecues, wine, pizza and a good comedy. I don't rock climb, compete in Ironman Triathlons, race in the Tour de France or fish.
Perhaps I'm asking for too much — someone with a great sense of humor who's comfortable in social situations and financially responsible. The husband of a dear friend told me that I need to lower my standards.
IRIS: I've been trying Internet dating for the past three years. None of the men I've met were ready to get involved. The allure of online dating is that there are so many fish in the sea, why settle? Even while we were dating, the men would search the computer for more women, sometimes even in front of me.
JILL: I've subscribed to several dating sites over the last 11 years, and I've found them all to be scams. The way it works is when you unsubscribe, they keep your profile in the system. That way, they can advertise that they have a lot more members than they actually have.
Since they don't remove your profile, men will continue to send flirts, views and messages thinking that you'll receive them. But if you want to access these messages, you have to extend your subscription, which is quite costly.
I couldn't understand why I only got a few responses to my profile since I'm told I'm attractive, not overweight and have a very young-looking body. In my photos, I posed in casual, career and dress up clothes. I sent hundreds of messages to men. Now I understand that some of them had probably cancelled their subscription. The others were either married, just wanted to play games or were bored with life.
Have you met people at religion specific dating sites, like JDate and ChristianMingle, who aren't that religion? Or have you met your partner through them? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to email@example.com. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.