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Rebecca’s parents had a hard time grasping that their 19-year-old daughter had dropped out of school and was moving across the country to live with a guy after spending only five days together.

Rebecca arrived in Corona on May 1. By July 4, she realized that Chris had portrayed himself one way over the internet when, in reality, he was a completely different person.

“Chris was happy with my online picture and with the way I planned to look, but never with the way I really was.”

Rebecca admits that she was naive.

“Honestly, it was a little reckless. It was the first time I had been in love...my first kiss.” She sighs. “He was my first.”

After six months, Rebecca moved back to Alabama to live with her parents. She swore off online dating. But she soon grew bored and returned to California. In January 2012, she moved to San Diego.

She signed up for dating accounts with OkCupid and Plenty of Fish. Within a week of living in San Diego, she met a personal trainer on OkCupid. They began a five-month relationship.

“He sent me a message. I thought he was hot. He took me to Benihana on our first date, and to a movie at Mission Valley AMC afterward.”

She liked him immediately. They began to date exclusively. When she discovered, five months later, that he was cheating on her with his high-school sweetheart, Rebecca broke up with him.

“Two months ago, he married the girl he cheated on me with.” She shrugs. “And that’s not even the worst of my dating experiences. I had a guy lie about his entire identity. We started talking because I thought his profile photo was cute. He claimed he lived in La Jolla. But things didn’t add up. He said his rent was $600 a month and that his complex was ghetto. There is nothing ghetto about La Jolla, and you can’t rent an apartment there for 600 bucks.”

The man started sending Rebecca photos. He sent her a penis picture. They had phone sex a few times. Whenever she tried to make face-to-face plans, he came up with excuses about why he couldn’t meet her. After two weeks, he admitted that the photos he’d sent Rebecca weren’t of him; they were of a friend. Also, he lived in New York, not La Jolla.

“He swore the penis picture he sent was his, but the other photos weren’t. He sent me a pic of what he really looks like. He is not attractive.” Rebecca laughs. I am surprised at the ease with which she accepts this.

“I know exactly what to say in my dating profile to get any guy on these sites to email me,” she confides. “I used to be more vulnerable and real about who I was. Now I say things like: ‘I am awesome, I’m so much fun, and you can’t handle me.’ I can get the most attractive guy on these dating sites to email me. It makes me feel powerful. I have dates every night of the week. I leave Wednesday night open, just in case I want to go on a second date with one of them.”

Rebecca says that, most evenings, someone buys her dinner, a different guy every time. If she doesn’t feel like leaving home, she invites the man over to her place to watch movies.

“It’s really fun, though sometimes it can be annoying. I had a Navy guy come over to my place. Less than 20 minutes later, he was begging me for sex. He almost cried when I said no.”

Rebecca shows me her phone. There are dozens of text messages from different men.

“Right now, I’m talking to 12 guys. I’ve met 5 in person. The most promising one is an ugly guy. All the others are just looking to bone me. No one on these dating sites is really looking for a relationship. They’re just looking for sex. That has been my experience.”

Rebecca says that tonight she has her choice between the ugly, sweet guy and a new date. Both are waiting to hear whether she will be joining them for dinner.

“It takes me maybe 30 minutes on any given night to find a guy to go out with. I usually message three different guys. Someone always gets back to me.”

Rebecca has never gone out with anyone outside of internet dating. She has no idea what it’s like to meet someone randomly without checking out stats beforehand: height, weight, smoker, likes or dislikes dogs, does or does not want kids.

“I love it. It’s like a game. My 40-year-old coworker says she wishes she did what I am doing now when she was my age.”


“The problem with online dating in this town is that we live in Man Diego. There are not enough women to go around,” Carlos (not his real name) says. We are sitting in a mutual friend’s living room in Serra Mesa. Carlos is attractive, fit, and could pass for late 30s. He is 48.

“I’ve had a profile on Match.com for over a year and have only gone on five or six dates,” he says. “My profile has been viewed 14,500 times. I recently spoke to a woman who had 12,000 views after just two days on Match.” Carlos sighs with frustration. “The pretty women are snapped up immediately.”

He describes his first Match.com encounter.

“I set up a date with a woman at Wine Steals in Point Loma. She had multiple photos on her profile. It was questionable how recent they were, but I decided to be open-minded. She said she was 45. When she showed up she looked closer to 60. If anything, I thought that maybe the photos she’d posted were of her daughter.”

Carlos knew within a minute that he would never go out with her again.

“I try to date women my age. I want to be realistic. I am looking for a relationship, not just a hook-up. I have my age preference set at 37–48. Women age quicker than men. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same shelf life. I sympathize with older women’s plight, but at the same time, I don’t want to date someone that looks old.”

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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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