Dear Anon-O-Box: Is Online Dating for Pathetic Losers and Failures?

Dear Anon-O-Box,

Is online dating as pathetic as it seems? Not to insult those who use it, but you have to admit there’s a social stigma of… well, failure about the whole thing. How does one overcome this stigma?

- Don’t Want To Be a Loser, But Want a Date

Dear Non-Loser,

The social stigma surrounding online dating is quickly going away, but you’re right, there are still folks out there who believe that people should meet the “traditional” way.  If you can’t do that, there must be something wrong with you, right?


Let’s build a single guy.  We’ll call him… Jeremy.   He’s got a great job and makes a good paycheck, but it’s about an hour commute each way on the metro, so he spends about 10 hours of his day on work.

  • There are women at his work, but he’s not interested in them or they’re unavailable.
  • There are women on the metro, but Jeremy’s not the kind of guy to chat up a stranger.

He gets home around 6 pm, eats some dinner, catches up on his personal email and the news.  Then he heads to the gym to do an hour workout from 8-9 pm.  Sometimes he skips his workout to run some errands, maybe a trip to the grocery store or Target.

  • There are women at his gym, but again, Jeremy’s not the kind of guy to chat up a stranger.  Plus, he’s seen the guys who try to pick up girls at the gym.   He’s heard the girls making fun of those guys.  He doesn’t want to be one of those guys.
  • There are women at the grocery store and at Target, but really, how many happy couples say they met in the cereal aisle and instantly connected over a box of Frosted Flakes?

On the weekends, Jeremy likes to go out salsa dancing.

  • He’s dated a couple women that he met there, but things fizzled out and they decided to remain friends instead.  There haven’t been any new faces in the salsa scene in months.

He also goes to church every Sunday and attends a Bible study group for young professionals every Sunday night.

  • He’s met some nice women there and dated one for a couple years.  Things didn’t work out between them and she ended up taking a job in another state.  There haven’t been any new faces in the church in a long time.

Is Jeremy a pathetic loser?  Hardly.  He’s dated women that he’s met through his current social outlets.   But he’s out of options at the moment.

Joining an online dating site would give Jeremy the chance to meet women that aren’t in his current social circle, but still share similar interests.  For example, he might find a woman who goes to the same type of church, but on the opposite side of town.  He might find a woman who is a swing dancer, but has always thought about adding some salsa to her repertoire.   He might find a woman who works out at a different gym and really wants a workout buddy.

Are any of these women second-rate?  Nope.  If Jeremy introduced you to one and said, “We met through dancing” would you be able to tell by looking at her that she was from an online dating site?  Nope.

The reason there is a stigma surrounding online dating is because people perpetuate the myth that our society is still small enough that we can meet the person of our dreams just by showing up in the few places we normally show up.  It’s a bigger world now!   The key to getting what you want is ignoring the idiots who question your methods because they don’t know any better.

Happy dating, geek friends.

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