Why Internet Dating is Like Buying a Used Car – And Why I Hate Them Both!

I never imagined in a million years that I would ever find myself single again, and especially at my age. My (ex)wife and I were introduced on a blind date by her sister in 1996 and were two of the happiest, affectionate people you’d ever meet. Even after ten years, we’d still hold hands, giggle and whisper silly things back and forth. It was a surprise to everyone when we split. Over time, our goals and values changed and we grew tired of the constant tug-of-war that our separate ambitions created and we finally just let go of the rope.

Yeah, yeah… poor me! It turns out that this happens a lot, and that we’re not the only casualties. In fact, after about a year of getting back in shape and licking my wounds, I got lonely and decided that it was time to take a look around and see if I could find someone new to hold, giggle and whisper with. And that’s when I discovered online dating. I joined match.com, dug up some old pictures that make me look better than I actually do, and wrote a profile that makes me sound better than I actually am, and proceeded to look for love.

It quickly reminded me of buying my last car online. Think about it; men love women and men love cars. We chose the car we’re currently driving, but we’re also interested in checking out other models. We have preferences and we know what we like based on what we’ve had in the past. The parallels are amazing, when you think about it. If you go to cars.com and match.com, they are basically the same. You have a certain “model” in mind, but based on your lifestyle and your budget, you have to make certain compromises. I made myself insane while shopping for my current car, which is a Volvo V70 Station wagon. I wanted a silver one with moderate mileage with as many features as possible and in a certain price range. Each website had the listing, the description and a few pictures of each vehicle, but there are certain things you can’t tell online. You need to see it in person to see if it’s been damaged in a way that is undetectable online. Unfortunately, Internet dating is exactly the same. There is a listing, a few pictures and a general sense that you get, but that’s about it. You can’t tell if someone is a good fit unless you meet and ride a few miles with them. Unfortunately, I just don’t have that kind of time. For now, it’s just my Volvo and me. Maybe I’ll just put a picture of it up as my profile picture and see what happens.

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