by Stacey Farrant

I recently embarked on a little dating social experiment. I have written in the past about not knocking something until you try it and I have been in complete support of online dating. After spending endless hours listening to some very detailed experiences from friends, I decided that I needed to find out for myself what it was all about. What are online dating sites really like?

Not everyone will be happy to read of my experiment. I’m sure that I will have a few people unfollow me on Twitter and Facebook after they read this article, however I did not feel that I could call myself a writer if I didn’t do a little hard core investigating for myself.

I recently signed onto a dating site as a woman and yes, as a man!  I wanted to see what it was like from both perspectives.

I have to say just from the profile photos alone, there was a complete distinction.

The guys are forever posting pictures without their shirts on. Some good some not so bad, and of course a few that made me glad I had digested my lunch! The men also had no clue as to how to stage their photos, most of them would take their own pic in the bathroom with the toilet in the background.

The ladies on the other hand, you could tell that most of them took the picture in just the right lighting immediately after applying fresh makeup. For the most part, the ladies all know their best angles as well.

After checking out the profile pics, it was time to put all that Criminal Mind watching I do to good use, and read the profiles.  Wow…there are a lot of really deep people out there. That is until you get to the part about what they are looking for. That’s when the search is narrowed.

There must be a lot of athletic and toned gals out there to match up with all of the beer bellied guys on these sites!  If your profile’s been on the site for more than six months, I suggest you broaden your search to at least an “average” or “curvy” gal.  Most of the women I find to be a bit more generous with their “wish list”, maybe we feel it makes us appear open minded.

Then there is the dreaded emailing back and forth. To keep my anonymity, I did not include a profile picture, so of course I was completely passed by except for a few guys and gals that I think “winked” at everyone.  I would spend my time scanning the profiles, sending winks, and tossing out a few emails just to see what kinds of responses I would get.

A few guys emailed me back and I managed to get a bit of conversation back and forth before they would request a photo, and same with the gals.  I never did send a photo. That’s when I replied that I didn’t “feel the connection”.

The part that I loved the most about my little experiment was watching specific “connections” and the amount of time that they spent online, and knowing how long they had actually been participating in this way of cyber dating. Some had been on for months while I could barely handle a couple of weeks. I wonder if many of these people actually get up the courage to meet up for coffee or they just find themselves to be playing some form of a dating  video game.

Is it just a challenge to get to the next level and then its game over?  I know people that have chatted on line for months never advancing to text or even a phone call, let alone having to actually give their thumbs a rest and meet for a coffee. Is this just a way to keep our egos in check until we actually meet a human at a club or the supermarket? Is this how the single society figures out who finds us interesting and attractive and helps us narrow down who to flirt with out in the real world?

I still stand by the fact that if you’re looking for love, it could be anywhere. So don’t be afraid to try out all of your options. But if you do try out the online form of meeting someone, I think it’s safe to say that if he hasn’t asked you to meet for coffee after a week of emailing back and forth, he’s probably not going to ever.  But that’s okay, because Mr. Right is likely out there somewhere not hiding behind his laptop!


Stacey Farrant is the single mother of three teenagers, a career woman by day and a self-proclaimed DIVA whenever fighting grime, cooking dinner and running the car pool allows…. all while wearing a 6″ pair of stilettos. Follow her on Twitter.




Related:  Go Fish! Can you really find someone from online dating sites?



Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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