Online Dating...WTF

Hey all,

This is my first blog post here -- guess I've just never had the time to sit down and throw some words together before tonight. As the title suggests, I want to share a few thoughts about online dating. Yeah.

But first, some backstory (in case anyone cares):

I moved all the way across the country (live in the States) to attend grad school in August of 2010; when I say "all the way across the country," I mean that I moved about 2,912 miles away from home (that's 4,686 km for those of you in more civilized countries). Now I'm about half done with a Ph.D. in Physics, specifically classical GR theory (e.g. self-force effects in perturbative GR, EMRI waveform analysis, stuff for LIGO etc.). Take away: I have very little time to do fun things.

Alright, so starting out I was in a new city, about the farthest away from any friends I could be while remaining in the same country, not knowing a single soul and swamped with school/work. Off to a good start. But how do I find a nice girl to date?

Go to a bar?

Not really my thing, and the types of women looking to get picked up at bars usually don't appeal to me.

Meet someone through a friend?

What friends? I have -- of course -- met and made quite a few friends over the past 2.5 years, but all of them are other physics grads in my program, and the female grads all came with significant others to begin with. No dice.

I don't know man, just get out there and meet people!?

Easier said than done, but I tried! I'm fluent in German, so I joined the uni's German club, but no one seems to care about grad students there. I could try to date one of my students, but that would not only be highly unethical, it would also be really, really creepy! I'm also not religious in the slightest, so I'm not going to church -- yes, people have suggested that before.

Cue the online dating:

Right, so I'm stuck in this town with no friends to make connections and no luck in my own searches. Last resort: go online. So I did; I made a profile, filled it out with all the stuff they deem important, and answered several asinine and bizarre questions to help "find my match."

As a guy, it seems that the onus is on me to search through all of the matching profiles and send out messages to possible "love connections." I'm now going to compare online dating to going to a butcher's shop. I feel like I'm searching through the glass cases, looking for the best choice cuts of meat, all sitting there, arranged to attract my eye. Seriously, I've only been on the site for two days and I'm already sick of it. It feels wrong! I'm shopping around for a love interest!

Everyone is confined to a small package of interests and likes/dislikes, with a fancy profile picture to wrap it all up nicely in a bow. I'm not meeting people, I'm selecting a model. Blond, Brunette, or Redhead? Something about the whole process just feels extremely degrading to the women I'm looking at, and I feel a little sick doing it. It's probably the same way for women looking at the male profiles, but since women don't seem to send out messages (according to "the Internet" -- a very reliable source I'm told) I don't know how they feel about it.

Not sure if I'm going to keep it up; all depends on how much more I can stomach. Does anyone have a success story with this online dating thing?

Anyway, carry on!


P.S. I am in no way asking for any advice about dating or relationships (For god's sake: it's a website, about video games!), and I already know the number to call should I have any questions:

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