Posted by: mindyourknitting | October 20, 2009

Adventures in Internet Dating

 Some people are embarrassed by the fact that they have tried internet dating, but not me.  I’ll gladly tell the entire world that’s how I met the my husband.   But, you ask, why did I do it in the first place?  I had long-term boyfriends all throughout high school and in my early twenties (yes, some were douchebags, but still, I had boyfriends), and never really suffered for a social life, but my late twenties were kind of barren dating-wise.  Oh, I went on dates, they just didn’t really go anywhere.  After a two-year stint in London, Ont., I was living back in the city I had grown up in, working on my thesis (YES, even back then), teaching distance education courses for the military part-time, picking up research work wherever possible, and basically hanging out with the same group of people day in day out.  These activities kept me working from home and socializing with the same bunch of people.  This lifestyle didn’t lend itself to meeting new people all that often, although I had a hell of a lot of fun and probably partied too much.  That a lot of that partying took place in a gay bar probably didn’t help me in the romance department. 

By early 2005 people began to admit that they had met their partners or spouses that way – seriously, they came out of the woodwork.  A girlfriend of mine thought it was a great idea for me to try (I think, though, this was mostly for her own amusement), and one evening she turned up at my adorable single-girl downtown apartment with a bottle of wine and a website address.  We set up a profile for me, and waited to see what would happen. 

There are some real freaks on the internet. But mostly the people I came into contact with on the dating website were nice enough, they just weren’t my lobster.  It was pretty easy to weed out the guys who were too aggressive, or too eager to meet in person, or who carried that particular cologne – you know, the one that smells of desperation and their parents’ basement.  I only met a few people in person, and they fell into pretty distinct categories.  One guy was perfectly lovely, and we had a nice evening out having beers at a pub, but he firmly fell into the “nice guy I’d like to be friends with but could never shag” box.  There was the guy who seemed like a match on paper (grad student in the same discipline as me) but who lied outrageously in his profile.  I met him for an awkward chit chat over coffee, and at the end of that painful hour I realized that A) we had little in common except a broad similarity in academic disciplines, and B) he was not anywhere near the 5ft 8 inches he claimed to be.  He was already at the coffee shop when I arrived, so I never saw him at his full height until he stood up to say goodbye.  He was shorter than me.  That’s hobbit short.  I don’t have anything against short guys but he flat-out lied about his height, which told me that he was insecure about it.  Later dude.

 And then there was crazy Josh.  This is the guy who seems promising at first, with whom you exchange e-mails and work up to phone calls and then meet in person, and whom soon after meeting you realize runs hotter and colder than your bathroom taps.  And of course I didn’t extricate myself immediately, but stuck around for a little while, fully realizing how nuts he was.  Actually that may have been WHY I stuck around at the end – it was just too damn ridiculous, and ended up being kind of amusing to watch the Josh pendulum swing.  And swing.   But watching the crazy happen gets tiring after a while, so he had to go.  The kicker was that two of my friends who have tried internet dating also had run-ins with this guy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on the dating site still.  For those of you ever tempted to settle, you should look him up.  It’ll cure ya of that compulsion, right quick.

Thankfully my entire adventure in online dating only lasted about a month and a half.  What can I say, I work fast.  It was kind of exhausting, all that reading and vetting and deciding, but I do think it was much safer than meeting boys in bars, and provided a way of filtering the initial contact that instituted a bit more control and less harm to the spirit.  I don’t know if it is less or more superficial because you can screen people out based on an online profile without ever bothering to speak to them or meet them.  About a week after meeting Erik we made the decision to date exclusively, and the rest is our history.  In the end I’m glad I was cajoled into trying online dating.  I owe the friend who talked me into it a debt of gratitude (and I wish her good luck too, she’s due to have a baby anytime) and I’m glad I was brave enough to try it, to pursue it, because my reward for that risk-taking was pretty amazing.



Have you ever done something against your better judgement?  Oh, of course you have.  How did it work out for you?  Was it worth it?  Would you do it again?

**I’ve put the offer to my husband that he could guest post on this blog, so now he’s trying to think of something to write about.  Do you have any ideas for him?  Any burning questions about casa Mind Your Knitting?

***Update five seconds after posting:  Erik read this post and his first comment, as I knew it would be, was “…you didn’t put anything in there about winning the lottery.”  This stems from a comment I stupidly made in his earshot ages ago.  What I said was that meeting him (on the internet, like I said) was like winning the lottery.  In other words I thought that a number of things (stars, moons, IP addresses) had to align for us to meet. What he heard, and what he repeats, is that for me, meeting him was like winning the mother of all jackpots – a huge, shiny, sparkly pot-o-gold-coins carried by unicorns.  You can probably hear my eyeballs rolling.


  1. Shaun and I met on Lavalife :o)

  2. Joel & I met on Plenty of Fish…
    boy oh boy, are there some pretty “interesting” people out there!

  3. See! Coming out of the woodwork. I knew it 🙂

    I had no idea there were so many (normal) people who tried online dating until I did it myself…@Renee, you’re awfully diplomatic – “interesting” indeed. As I said, there are some freaks on the internet – present company excluded, of course!

  4. I’ll admit that it was partly for my own amusement but mostly because I wanted you to meet someone as amazing as you are!

    P.S. I’m still waiting for you to name one of your children after me!!

  5. Aud and I met online too. I started “looking” on January 6th and by February 3rd…there he was.

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