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In July, my friend Bekah (not her real name) calls to announce her engagement. I am shocked by the news.

The last I heard, she was dating a guy named Mike, whom she’d met on the online dating site Match.com. A few weeks into their relationship, Bekah texted me a photo of Mike in striped jeans and a leather vest with nothing underneath. He reminded me of Captain Jack Sparrow.

“The sex is amazing,” she said.

She sent another picture, the two of them in motorcycle jackets, posed in front of an Easy Rider–style bike. In this photo, Mike’s resemblance to Johnny Depp was uncanny.

They broke up a few weeks later.

“The ridiculous way he dressed got old,” she said.

Before Mike, Bekah dated a doctor she met on eHarmony. The site matched them through a personality test. After doing an internet search of the doc, Bekah learned that a local magazine had named him one of her city’s most eligible bachelors.

Their first date was at a wine bar. It went well. The next morning, a Saturday, Bekah was awakened by a text message: “Do you have any STDs or STIs? Are you on birth control? Have you ever had an abnormal pap smear? Being a physician, you wouldn’t believe the things I have seen!”

She never spoke to the doctor again.

Two weeks later, Bekah met a new guy online. She decided to Skype with him to avoid the possibility of a wasted Friday evening. Fifteen minutes into their Skype date, the guy held up a framed picture of his ex-girlfriend and asked, “Do you think she’s hot?”

Bekah told him she was tired and logged off.

She exchanged countless emails with a photographer before meeting him.

“We have a great connection,” she told me.

But it turned out that the photographer looked nothing like his pictures.

“He listed his height as six feet, but he was closer to five-six and had a receding hairline. He took me to tea. That should’ve been a red flag. A cup of tea costs about $2. What a cheapskate.”

When she denied the photographer a second date, he sent a scathing email telling Bekah that she wasn’t “hot enough to be so picky.”

“I am 32 years old! Too old for this BS,” Bekah said. “I should be married by now.”

Then came Mike, the Johnny Depp look-alike.

Bekah gave up hope of meeting a normal guy through a dating site. She stopped looking for something serious. One night, out of boredom, she typed the physical characteristics of her ideal man into Match.com’s search engine. A guy named Christian (not his real name) popped up. She viewed his profile. He sent her an electronic wink. She winked back. They Skyped. Two days later, they went to a tapas bar. At the end of the night, they exchanged a kiss.

Bekah was convinced that she’d found the one. The feeling was mutual.

In eight months, Bekah and Christian are getting married. She has already purchased her wedding gown and booked a reception hall.

“He’s perfect for me,” she says with a happy sigh. “I never thought I would actually meet someone I’d want to marry from one of these sites.”


Twenty-two-year-old Rebecca (not her real name) meets me at Cosmos Coffee Café in La Mesa on a Wednesday night. Her OkCupid dating-profile photos show a raven-haired, blue-eyed sexpot, but when she first walks past, I don’t even notice her. Dressed in a pink blouse over a frumpy maxi dress, Rebecca looks nothing like her online images.

When she started internet dating, she was a 19-year-old college student living in Mobile, Alabama. She signed up with the site Christian Mingle, hoping to find like-minded, faith-based men.

She had never been kissed.

“Immediately, I received lots of sexual messages. I was asked by one man to have phone sex with him, and he asked if I could be loud during it. I was a young, Southern, Alabama girl looking for a relationship. I learned quickly that maybe one out of 50 guys on there really wanted to get to know me. Because of that, I deleted my account within 24 hours.”

The following morning, when she checked her email, she discovered one last Christian Mingle message. It was from a 23-year-old named Chris (not his real name), who lived in Corona, California.

“He told me I had beautiful eyes and a nice smile. He said he wanted to get to know me better. I thought it was cool that he lived in California.”

Charmed, Rebecca talked to Chris through Yahoo messenger. They soon exchanged phone numbers and began to speak daily. Within two months, they were in a long-distance romance. Despite never having met, they discussed marriage.

“I was supposed to go to California for my college spring break to meet him, but my family said no. My dad said, ‘If this guy wants to marry you, he’ll come here.’ I didn’t tell my parents that we met through a dating site till later. My dad was totally creeped out. He said, ‘Whoa, whoa, you haven’t even met this man. How do you know you love him?’ They didn’t understand.”

In the end, Chris flew to Rebecca’s parents’ home for a five-day visit. Rebecca was convinced he was the man with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life. A month later, on the final day of her sophomore year in college, she dropped out of school and caught a flight to California in order to be closer to Chris.

“I had never been out of the Southern states. When I flew to California, it was my first time on an airplane. I didn’t tell my parents I was moving until the day I left. I called my parents on the way to the airport and said, ‘I’m moving to California. If you want, you can meet me for lunch before I leave.’ My dad was so upset, he had a breakdown. My mom was sad. They thought it was insane.”

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MetalllianStallion Dec. 29, 2012 @ 2:05 a.m.

At least Siobhan Braun gave one single man's point of view in this article compared to her man-hater hit piece "Guys are Gross" last summer.

First of all I want to tell "Carlos" from this article that I coined the term Man Diego when I moved to this town for the first time in the late 80's. Now to sound cutting edge I will have to use my back-up 'Sausage-City'. Having lived all over the U.S. I have to agree with him 100% in his analysis of online dating in S.D. from a man's perspective.

For you old school Reader-readers you will remember the dating section (personals/no photo) that used to exist in the pre -internet age. Bad results in my experience with ladies describing themselves with the favorite line "you won't be disappointed" when asking about their looks before meeting.

Here's my tip of the day for internet dating. Get the mandatory picture from that possible someone special, holding a drivers licence under their chin for identity/age confirmation before you take it to the next level. I recently saw a USAtoday article (link below) that says " a quarter of the group's 37 million members are single". So it's not just men lying about their relationships status if only 25% of middle aged dating site members are truly single.

It's not just internet dating as any social setting you go to in downtown S.D. or the beaches, it's raining men. Apply some deductive reasoning with all the military bases in the area and other factors = a perfect 'celibacy storm' for the average single male.

The divorce rate in CA. is 75% as this state leads the the world in superficiality and materialism. As mentioned in the article, even average looking women tend to have a have over inflated opinion of their looks. Literally, I have seen 'WALMART WILDEBEESTS' (that's an original folks) strutting around a night club like they are God's gift (supply and demand). Compared to prime areas of W. LA and O.C. my math is Double the attitude, and half the looks of women locally.

My advice to Carlos if he is looking for wife material and wants to have a family is to outsource out of country. Women in Eastern Europe,Philippines ,Columbia,Mexico are a different 'species', as they have not been totally manipulated by western culture (see link below). If that is not a option, then put your match.com or POF profile in cities where you will get responses by attractive women. If you/she is willing to move, as NYC has 300,000 more single women then men. Other cities that tilt in a man's favor ratio and attitude wise are Atlanta,Dallas, and Phoenix.

Every city has it's +/- as S.D. has the weather, but I find many people here to be unfriendly and uptight as a general rule. Courteous, friendly people makes for a more pleasant existence, A well written article previously written here gave a excellent analysis on social interaction.

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MetalllianStallion Dec. 29, 2012 @ 2:08 a.m.

Here's my personal cliche' list I assembled from my profile on a dating site.

My POF Dirty Dozen Profile Clichés/Translations

  1. Looking for my 'one' and only Soul mate = profile says divorced twice? make that soulmate-s
  2. I give great backrubs/massages = TO CATCH A POF PREDATOR ALERT!
  3. I’m tired of drama / games = Chaos attracts Chaos
  4. I live life to the fullest = As opposed to what?
  5. My friends talked me into posting this profile = you were also forced to post 12 glamour shot profile pics?
  6. I want to be with someone who's my best friend = Who wants to date their best friend?
  7. I appreciate the finer things in life = fax me your W-2 to see if we can do some business
  8. I hate cheaters and liars = Really? How strange - I love them
  9. Looking for a partner in crime = Ex-cons encouraged to apply
  10. My hobbies are fast cars and fast women = Cletus has a bus pass and gets NO women
  11. I work hard, but I play harder = underemployed: I've never seen a Profession: Unemployed
  12. Man must be 6 feet+ tall = Do you really want to limit yourself to 15% of the male population? BONUS: "Cliché of the Day" I'm not religious but I'm very spiritual = Can't you be both? Every one of my tattoos have meaning = So does a Diary with less INK and without the lifetime commitment *Can't change profile AGE = How come no one 'accidentally' posts a # OLDER than their real age? 29.39.49 & HOLDING
  13. Love to Laugh = Hate to Cry?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/02/online-dating-aarp-singles/1735761/

http://endofmen.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/why-feminism-is-a-fraud/

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SurfPuppy619 Dec. 30, 2012 @ 4:52 p.m.

Wow, interesting list-but very true. One left off is the "Love walks on the beach"!!! Yes, but who doesn't??? All I can say is Internet dating is for losers. People who have no personalit and don't want to put in the effort and time needed to make a connectrion. Just my opinion. But there are quality people all over this city and every other city in America. Don't have to be a pretender, just go out and be yourself and be sincere- that is what all people can relate to. When you're resorting to Internet dating yo have already lost IMO.

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mridolf Jan. 3, 2013 @ 4:18 a.m.

Agree with a lot of what you say here. Love the Man Diego part. I've been out of the singles scene for a couple of decades now, but it's been like that since I moved here in 1975. I'll admit I'm a boomer, born right in the middle of my generation. Boomer men have always had a tough time meeting marriageable women. Statistics are against them (I could detail why, but it might be too long). I was getting discouraged dating US born ladies from my generation, especially in San Diego. I looked up census tables (before the internet) and found that in every age group, except over 70, men outnumbered women in San Diego. Between 20 and 40 the ratios were way lopsided. In fact, at that time, there was no urban area of the US which was the opposite of San Diego, with a high women/men ratio. I assume that hasn't changed. So I started to look elsewhere. I almost moved. But I found there's a whole large world of women out there without the major attitudes the ladies of my generation had/have. The internet has to make it easier to contact them now. But I have a few caveats. If you marry a foreign born lady, and her family isn't already here, you'd better plan on spending all of your vacation time taking her back home on a regular basis. You may find a good portion of your income goes toward bringing her family here. Or, as I've seen more than once (hilariously), she's going to deplete your savings account one day to go visit Mommy back in the old country, when you're out of town on business. I'm serious there, I've seen that exact situation more than once.

But I consider myself lucky. My Colombian (spelled Colombia, unless you're talking about someplace in Oregon) born esposa has seven sisters and two female cousins just like sisters. All married, most living locally. That's 10 marriages, if you count, and not ONE divorce between them. So far, anyway. You should see our family parties; it's like the United Nations, with sometimes five different languages going at once. But the whole thing is, if you're a guy in San Diego, you have to broaden your search pattern out of the country. Never a boring moment.

And ladies, if this pisses you off, you can marry a foreigner, too. Lots of foreign guys out there looking for a green card. But don't be surprised when their 'other' wife shows up after few years. Seen that more than once, too

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BruceD361 Jan. 1, 2013 @ 10:47 p.m.

I agree with everything Carlos said. San Diego County is brutal for men on the internet dating services. The women are generally of low quality; frivilous, overweight, unattractive, shallow - they are not what you're looking for. Reading their profiles is enough to make you sick - mostly useless bimbos (sorry baby - don't care that you like to laugh, don't care that you like to have fun, that you like to travel - got any intellectual interrests??? No). You can see why they're divorced or never married. The ones that are half-way decent will get hundreds of emails, so they can be very picky which explains why it's unlikely you'll ever get a reply from any of them. I was on Match.com recently and sent out emails to 10 women I had some common ground with - none of them replied back. It's obvious if you live in San Diego you will need to expand your search range to all 50 states, because it's not going to happen for you in SD County.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 1, 2013 @ 11:24 p.m.

Hey Bruce, did it ever occur to you that you can meet people, real people, in person at various places, without stoopid "dating websites"??? And you will be much more successful if you put in the effort and give it a shot. Seriously.

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MetalllianStallion Jan. 2, 2013 @ 8:18 a.m.

SurfPuppy619, you dealt me a double edged sword, a compliment followed with a 'loser'.

" All I can say is Internet dating is for losers."

I guess you apply the term to "LOSER" to all the websites that cater to the elite(wealthy) men for match making?

Are you a pup or a pup-ette as that would change your perspective, as I guess you see yourself as a winner ,social master-carouser aka (legend in your own mind)?

Put your money where your mouth is, and tell me and Bruce where attractive middle aged men with busy lives can meet attractive women in person who don't have S.D. attitude deflector shields set on stun?. Church socials,Libraries. Supermarkets?

Do tell Super-Pup

Short answer in this town, Fantasy Land., Back to plan B, I'm driving to south O.C. for a date this weekend. Like our Economy (outsource).

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 3, 2013 @ 11:39 a.m.

Are you a pup or a pup-ette as that would change your perspective, as I guess you see yourself as a winner ,social master-carouser aka (legend in your own mind)?

:)

Hey, it is an opinion, relax!

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FlatRabbit Jan. 3, 2013 @ 7:55 p.m.

This is huge! Humans are seriously mutating. I think it is fascinating that I share in a generation of notable pioneering. We maintain this crazy weird balance of history and development that, to me, is the undertone of this piece.

This generation, as children, still played outside, yet invented the technical level that we thrive in today. Computers (along with central air) brought us indoors, first content with a jumping Italian plumber and then soon to a linked WWW where this type of “romantic” interaction can even be possible. We are good at this.

She actually says: “I love it. It’s like a game”. Absolutely priceless! Genuine singles delving through pages of profiles while she Levels-Up.

Right when I want to say that there is a better way to meet someone, I realize that this is the medium we are comfortable in now. Yes, I did meet my wife the “ol’ fashion” way, but if I really examine it I can’t help but realize that it was simply a series of events that could have been triggered in any way possible. Why not an invoked action such on-line dating?

These folks still have to go through that uncomfortable (possibly even more so) first date that everyone endures. They are getting up and meeting each other and not completely satisfied with drawing the drapes and clicking their little hearts out. Sucks that there are so many dishonest people or those just hunting for sex, but you can find that age old scheme face-to-face at the night club or even the produce section.

The fact that this is commonplace is what I take away. Maybe I broke it down to deep. Stop and think it out, people are placing a few basic self-opinions on a website to be scrutinized by potential mates and then putting themselves out there to be sorted. Some results successful, some tragic. Simplistically iconic Siobhan.

Best of luck to you honest folks lookin for love in whatever way suits you. Down with you meddling wrong-doers.

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