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Monogamy And Online Dating

Are online dating services undermining American monogamy?

(KennethMoyle/flickr)

(KennethMoyle/flickr)

Okay, we’ve got issues all over the world. But also close to home. And our hearts. People looking for love.

Online dating has become a huge avenue for seeking relationships. On any given day or night, it’s going on on a giant scale. Maybe too giant, says a new buzz.

Maybe the click and pick ease of digital date-making is undermining ideas of commitment, of standing by your man, your woman, of monogamy – let alone marriage. Making it too easy just to move on. Or not!

This hour, On Point: Online dating and its impact on relationships, on what will last.

-Tom Ashbrook

 Guests

Mark Brooks, CEO of Courtland Brooks, a consulting group that serves internet dating companies.

Eli Finkel, professor of social psychology at Northwestern University.

Amanda Hess, writer for Slate.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic “The positive aspects of online dating are clear: the Internet makes it easier for single people to meet other single people with whom they might be compatible, raising the bar for what they consider a good relationship. But what if online dating makes it too easy to meet someone new? What if it raises the bar for a good relationship too high? What if the prospect of finding an ever-more-compatible mate with the click of a mouse means a future of relationship instability, in which we keep chasing the elusive rabbit around the dating track?”

The Atlantic “Unfortunately, neither Jacob’s story nor any of the evidence offered compellingly answers the questions raised. Now, let’s stipulate that there is no dataset that perfectly settles the core question: Does online dating increase or decrease commitment or its related states, like marriage?”

Slate “Why have a real relationship, Slater asks, when there are so many attractive, successful partners waiting online? I don’t know—maybe because we’re not all aimless and lazy thirtysomething straight dudes? Jacob may be meeting a buffet of sexy professionals and college students through his online dating profiles, but those women are meeting … Jacob.”

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Here’s the way I like to think about it:
    There are about 6 billion people on Earth,
    One half of them are too young or too old, leaving 3 billion,
    One half of them are the wrong sex, leaving 1.5 billion,
    One half of them are too unhealthy, leaving 0.75 billion,
    One half of them are too poor, leaving 0.375 billion,
    One half of them are too fat, ( sorry I’m just not into fat women ), leaving 0.1875 billion,
    One half of them are married or involved, leaving 0.09375 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.046875 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0234375 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0117188 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0059594 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0029297 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0014648 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0007342 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0003663 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0001831 billion,
    One half of them are ( blank), leaving 0.0000916 billion, probable compatible matches. That is 91,600 women that I stand a reasonable chance with, given 16 categorical “cullings“.

    My problem is I don’t have enough dancing shoes or time left to date that many women ! I guess I will have to get pickier !

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Remember, it’s like Dino used to sing, “ Your nobody ‘til somebody loves you, so find yourself somebody to love”.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hey, once you’re done eliminating all the earthlings, I hope you’re prepared to do the math of the Drake equation.

    • hennorama

      Wm_James_from_Missouri – an interesting perspective.  One point – there are now over 7 billion people on Earth. (7,090,616,200 as I type this).   So all you need are 31 similar cullings to get down to a field of 3 or 4 people.  No problem, right? ;-)

      See:http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        I did know that there are more than 6 billion people ( but not exactly how many ) , but I was trying to be conservative in my reckoning. I assumed that about a billion people were either gay, in straight jackets, or somehow inaccessible in some way.

  • brettearle

    The movie, “Fatal Attraction” isn’t just a movie.

    The one-night stand, who leaves before you wake up with a departure note, saying, “Welcome to the AIDS Club”, is standard operating procedure for this particular promiscuous lover.

    The overnight tryst, amid alcohol and drugs, turns into panic and ugly regrets in the morning–leading to false accusations and malicious prosecutions….

    WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO MEET ANYONE ELSE, FROM AN ONLINE AD?

    They’re likely filled with perverts, crazies, malcontents–even though there may be some real, eligible candidates from which to choose.

    How do you know?

    Ted Bundy was charming….

    • Don_B1

      I agree, but there are a lot of people that don’t belong to interest groups, etc., where they can meet people. From what I here, bars are not necessarily a better location to find a mate.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I read in a book (pre internet age, no cite) that in the original story the crazy woman wasn’t a one night stand, but rather an entry in the protagonist’s little black book. Sorta changes the whole tone of the movie.

      • brettearle

        Gender destruction goes both ways, in many different venues, from many different angles.

        The point was not to make my example a feminist’s issue.

        For you to do that, demonstrates a tired neurotic political issue, on your part–that noticeably detracts from an example of a potentially tragic point.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I accept your point about your not making it a one-gender destruction issue.

          However, I believe the movie wouldn’t have entered the zeitgeist, been such a well-known touchstone that “boiling the pet rabbit” is recognized today, if the original idea had been kept.

          And the way the movie fleshed out the tragedy is a very “man bites dog” situation compared to real life.

          • brettearle

            You may have taken my point–but, basically, you STILL don’t get it.

            You….couldn’t…..leave…..it…..
            alone…..

            Which therefore shows a lack of objectivity….and which therefore shows up the political and neurotic calamity of being part of the problem…..

            Until now, I held back from pointing out the OBVIOUS in my original comment:

            That the “Welcome to the AIDS Club” comes from a TRUE story, a note written by A MAN, NOT written by a woman…and which is basically, a potential death sentence….

            The Glenn Close character was exaggerated to make a point:  Most scorned women do not try to kill their lovers.

            BUT AIDS CAN BE A DEATH SENTENCE….MORE LIKELY TO BE TRANSFERRED BY A MAN to a woman, than the reverse.

            But nooooooo, you simply had to HARP on the movie and not recognize the objectivity of the entire comment–that included false accusation (more often by a woman) and the note written by a man.

            You simply had to make it a much pettier issue, by comparison to the ENTIRE point.

            You just don’t get it.  You had to  force me to POINT OUT THE OBVIOUS….something you simply didn’t wish to see objectively….if you had, YOU WOULD NEVER HAVE COMMENTED IN THE FIRST PLACE.  

  • LinRP

    Online dating doesn’t kill monogamy, people do. 

    • 1Brett1

      Yes, but there should be a ban on speed dating sites. (And don’t give me that “we need chaperones on every site as a deterrent” argument!).
      :-)

      • hennorama

        1Brett1 – Perhaps a 10 partner/site limit might be appropriate? ;-)

  • Gregg Smith

    Three cheers for monogamy!

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Cheating was invented long before the Internet… It’s in our genes. With or without http://www.looking2cheet.com, people will be compelled to hunt for whatever reasons. The Internet just helps people do stupid things faster.

    • Ray in VT

      Agreed.  Even without the Internet, people will still have the workplace or their neighborhoods to seek out partners should they so choose.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Inevitably people have to meet face to face and their clever facades begin to crumble, either immediately or slowly over time.

  • Ray in VT

    I don’t know if online dating is, but I’m interested to hear the argument that it is if one of the guests is going to be making it.

    I know a few people who have used online dating services to successfully find spouses, but one could certainly use those sites, and others, such as Ashley Madison, to cheat.  The online world may make it easier for cheaters to find accomplices, but the really determined ones were probably going to make it happen without the Internet.

  • Kyle

    Everyone I know who has used online dating has stayed with that person longer than someone they might pick up at the bar. A few are married.

    • LinRP

      Personally, I have one good friend and two women who live on my street who married men they met through online dating.

  • JobExperience

    Here’s one of those promotional shows tempting with the naughty. The Manufacturers of Consent are laughing at the populace. I have no inclination to hear this infomercial. I know Tom will tank up on coffee and feign excitement. He’s excellent at faking satisfaction.

    • geraldfnord

      I don’t think they care enough to laugh. All they want is for Things to Run Smooth—they don’t even mind if we’re happy or feel fulfilled, whether by being good consumers or whether it’s by refusing to be good consumers and pointing out their existence and maleficence—they’re much more afraid of each other than they’ll ever be of us.

      (Pro-tip: they get an Happy every time anyone calls anyone else ‘sheeple’!)

  • Jasoturner

    I would speculate it might be the opposite of “undermining” monogamy.  In on line dating, I believe you need to think about yourself and your interests so that you can find like-minded people with whom you can share experiences.  Whereas in, say, a bar, you are much more able to wing it and present a face that may be more tactical than strategic.  Which is much less likely to lead to a monogamous relationship.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Why do we have to take everything and make it “controversial”?

    “Online dating and its impact on relationships” is a good subject and worthy of serious discussion.

    “Maybe the click and pick ease of digital date-making is undermining
    ideas of commitment, of standing by your man, your woman, of monogamy – let alone marriage. Making it too easy just to move on. Or not!” is just silly.

    • Jasoturner

      That’s a pretty controversial position you’re takin’ there…

  • Ray in VT

    One thing on this front that I’ve found interesting are hte specific sites that have emerged for particular groups, such as jdate, Christian Mingle or farmersonly.  I’m sure that there are others, but those are the ones that I’ve seen advertize on the various networks that I watch.

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT – this is simply another example of the “nichification” or customization of our lives.  Algorithms are allowing us to sort to increasingly specific items in a range of categories.  Whether this is good or bad is for others to judge.

      As an aside, I thought I might be coining the word “nichification,” but found over 3500 results using my favorite search engine.  So goes the world.  Speed and algorithms rule.

  • adks12020

    I have friends that have used online dating pretty successfully. It’s especially helpful when you are past college age and spend a lot of time working and not as much simply socializing at bars and such. 

    Sure, there are sites specifically for sexual encounters but those aren’t really dating sites….they are sexual hookup sites. People don’t go on those sites to date. They go on them for one nighters or cheating.

  • nj_v2

    I wonder what real topic fell through at the last minute that this thing was thrown together substitute for. That’s what it feels like, anyway.

    These breathlessly exciting, intro teasers have become self-parody.

    “Okay, we’ve got issues all over the world. But also close to home. And our hearts. People looking for love.”

    Ugh! I mean, that’s just embarrassing.

  • geraldfnord

    Well, high-but-not-hurricane winds are great threats to some houses—houses that are ready to fall down if you ‘look at them funny’ .

  • ToyYoda

    It’s not just dating, but social network sites that do this.  It’s not dating, but it’s marriages that are threatened too.  And it’s not just only buyer’s remorse that cause this but the anxiety of keeping up with the Jones’.

    My coworker was married to a stay at home mom.  They had 3 kids.  When the wife found her high school friends were successfully working and “making it on their own”.  She wanted that too.  She wanted to live separately from her husband to see if she could do it aswell.  This caused all sorts of friction and their marriage ended up in a very bitter, and nasty divorce.

  • ensteph

        I live in the Adirondacks where most of the wild life is outside of my cabin door rather then fifteen miles away at the few Waterholes available. The Woodpeckers around here have adapted to the limitations of their territorial peckings through use of technology- the metal sign or roof, a quantum increase in decibels and I would suspect with more fruitful results. In the use of any technology, as we have seen, there comes the full range of advantages and disadvantages, the good, the bad and the ugly. A few years ago I watched a Red Tailed Hawk swoop down and take a Downy Woodpecker as it was tapping out its code on my metal shed roof. Despite the fact that this Hawks feeding range is expansive I have a feeling that the tapping below was synonymous to a dinner bell. So, while your tapping out your code, watch it, there are predators about ~

  • Ray in VT

    I wonder if the rise in online dating can be said or seen to be a result of the increasing isolation and social loneliness of Americans.  It brings to mind the book Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam.  Many of us have stopped participating in some of the community social activities whereby people met potential spouses in the past.

    • brettearle

      Very good point.

      Yet another downside of Technology.

      • Ray in VT

        Like everything, technology has it’s benefits and drawbacks.

        I also have to wonder about how these products are marketed.  “Find your perfect match”, etc.  My wife hates to hear it, but I don’t believe in that or fate.  Our relationship is flawed, and it has at times been difficult, but we have persevered and are stronger, I believe, because of it.  We’re quite happy, but I’m not sure if any of these sites would have matched us.

        Has anyone here looked on these sites to see if they would match them with their spouse?  My wife and I have often thought that it would be funny to see if they would.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          A friend, once-engaged (long ago) to someone they stayed on good terms with, said that they both went to a site which, naturally, matched them up.

          Disclaimer: At that time one of them was taking more than a normal (sic) amount of psychoactive Rx meds, and I’m guessing that wasn’t part of the dating profile.

          • Ray in VT

            I guess that your latter point is sort of addressed in the Brad Paisley song that they played.  People can be, to a certain extent, who or what they want on these sites.

            When I was in college, way back in 20th, one of my suite mates was always chatting with “hot girls” online, and we constantly told him that they were probably fat, middle aged guys in Ohio or something.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yeah, I can imagine that particular bit of info not being “headline” material, but I was told (after the fact) that this person didn’t hide this about them for long. I mean, it never got to where someone was making plans to marry them, and then they said “Guess what meds I’m taking!”

            No matter how someone meets someone, how to deliver that kind of information is a subject to be handled with care.

            Re chatting online, the following is distinctly not about dating sites: There is an aphorism that self-claimed “15 year old girls” on the internet don’t exist. They’re all either 13 year old girls trying to act older, or vice squad agents trying to catch adult pervs preying on teenage girls.

          • Ray in VT

            That latter possibility never crossed our minds as 18-20 year old college kids in the late 1990s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sonia.c.shapiro Sonia Caroline Shapiro

    My sweetheart and I met on-line and while it was relevant at first now that we have been together three years it seems like it doesn’t matter how we met

  • keo

    Women get exactly what they want: handsome sex toys.  Don’t complain about poor relationships when your goals are primarily driven by aesthetics.

    • Clint Cavanaugh

      That’s not necessarily an online phenomenon, you know.  And from my experience, that generalization is much more applicable to men.

  • MarkVII88

    When I’m shopping for a product, I look up the product number from Amazon and then run it through Google to compare and get the best price, cheapest shipping etc.  I’m not surprised, but somewhat disturbed, that this same sort of process is occurring with relationships.  More men and women seem to be looking at dating more and more like shopping for widgets online…with a pre-printed return label included! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sonia.c.shapiro Sonia Caroline Shapiro

    What I liked about on-line dating was that whenever I met someone in real life they would say they weren’t looking for anyone. On the dating sites I was sure that the guy was actually interested in a relationship.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Hmmm, the “new sexual economy”. Really doesn’t sound too different from the OLD sexual economy. It’s just a matter of massively increased volume & speed, with 24/7 availability of “fresh meat” at one’s fingertips.  Never been a better time to be a professional John or a worse time to be a serious, faithful woman who has no interest in becoming a whore, either online or off. 

  • NP

    I met my fiance online, and in the beginning of our relationship, we broke up for a couple of weeks.  He immediately went back onto Match, while I was not interested in doing that.  He quickly realized that the grass wasn’t greener, which ended up solidifying in his mind the connection that we did have. 

    Online dating is often not fun and exciting, but actually the opposite: disappointing, stressful, and frustrating.  It does make it easier to go on dates, but not to form meaningful, lasting relationships.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/garret.woodward Garret K. Woodward

    As a 27-year-old single man in the modern dating scene, I look at the increase in this online dating phenomenon as a way to escape and cut corners of actually making a connection. Shows like “Sex and the City” and books like “I hope the serve beer in hell” have destroyed the idea of what a real relationship is, creating this world where we are all rockstars and nobody is good enough, but then we get lonely at night with that attitude so we “take the easy way out” by online dating…it’s a mess…

  • Walt B

    The assumption here is that monogamy depends on a lack of other options – if that sort of relationship is threatened by online dating, then I don’t think much has been lost. My wife and I both agree that each of us could be happy with multiple people, but the key to our relationship is that we have chosen only each other. Monogamy is a choice, not a pigeon hole.

  • Jerry Mcguire

    There is a great book about today’s dating scene. It’s quirky and funny and True. It’s called The Truth About Dating. Full disclosure: the author is now my wife.

  • GPMicro

    Actually, I don’t think it’s undermining anything.  I think it’s a perfectly natural outgrowth of our overly-crowded lives. In western society, we try to organize our lives by putting everything into a box that we store in the room that each of us calls a life. We presume, in our own infinite wisdom, that such is possible in all things.  Certainly it’s generally possible with food selection, daily routines, etc.  But choosing a mate?  Not so simple – especially when each and every online listing contains a bit of dishonesty.  The listing is, after all, only the person that the poster WANTS people to see, even if he or she answers all the questions as honestly as the person believes it can.  There are some things that cannot be so easily selected, categorized, and fit neatly into a person’s life, yet we try with so many things.  This is most inappropriate as it relates to relationships – those between romantic couples, those between God and individuals, those between co-workers, friends, and relatives.  Lives are dictated, and often defined by intimate relationships – it’s not the other way around, or at least it shouldn’t be.  It feeds the all-to-common over-inflated sense of self, which becomes primary over others, for whom we have, and continue to care less and less.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    “Are online dating services undermining American monogamy?”

    Monogamy? Seriously? Just because people more readily put their shallow and self-centered nature on display these days doesn’t mean the rate of true monogamy is any lower. What about adultery? Has the interwebz caused the rate of adultery to spike or is it pretty much the same as it always has been?

    Also, is there a situation now where those who are impoverished are now able to interact with people they never would have had access to in the past? Is Gold-digging becoming an equal opportunity endeavor? Sounds like Miss Hess thinks so.

    As much as I dislike saying it, what a silly show Tom. What a silly, silly, show. We’re all hos because the interwebz is the devil. pft.

    • hennorama

      “American monogamy” was already in sharp decline long before the Internet was even an inkling in the brains of anyone at DARPA and elsewhere.

      Technology simply speeds up the process and allows access to a wider range of possible companions.  As usual, the American penchant for all things “bigger, better, faster, and more!” rules the day.

      We’re Number 1?

  • http://twitter.com/KeithBenoit Keith Benoit

    But wasn’t it the great Hannibal Lechter who taught us that we covet what we see every day? Does seeing a Match.com jpg or a youtube vid replace bumping into someone at the supermarket?

  • Julie Christensen

    I dated online for two years.  For those of us who are out of school, it may be one of the only ways to meet people.  I certainly didn’t change my attitudes about monogamy because of this new way to date.  And I have a few friends who met and married their spouses via the internet.  I did not have their luck, however, I wrote a book about my experiences and an aquaintance who read my book was inspired to set me up with a co-worker.  I married that co-worker!  Six years and two kids later, I feel that, in a unique way, I still met my husband thanks to internet dating.
    Julie Christensen (author of The Truth About Dating)

  • briann74

    online dating is just another way of lazifying our culture..why get up and go find someone when you can sit at your computer and play a video game…order a pizza for delivery..and now meet a mate…rediculous…

  • Roy-in-Boise

    This brave new world seems to be more about “serial monogamy” than anything else.

  • Talisker23

    I divorced by choice 12 years ago. Met my wife on Match.com about ten years ago. We’ve been married for 7 years now. I thank Match.com whenever I think about how lucky I am now. I would never have found her otherwise. She actually found me. She expanded her search to 60 miles and I popped up. So glad that she did.

    You get out of it what you want to. I wanted a wife and I wanted a child. That is what I got.

    • CeeBeee

      Almost identical situation here – both my former husband and I found our current spouses online.  Our son met his girlfriend (now fiancee) online two years ago.  Lovely folks all around, IMO.

      It’s just a tool, people.  You still have to meet and get to know the person – presumably, you can still figure out how to do that.

  • Talisker23

    People have to be careful when talking about men who are simply trolling the waters. What I found was that women were just as likely to do that as well.

    We are all the same. Men are no more guilty of this behavior than women.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Maybe the question should be asked whether online dating facilitates monogamy? That is what many people who are online dating are looking for.

  • mjb881

        I wonder how far this can go if we are using the term ‘economy’ when talking about online dating. Might as well save time and go to henry James’s “Wings of a Dove”. James covered all this right to the core. 
        but for the conversation we might better talk about community: what is it that requires online search? no opposite sex in your  neighborhood? Move !
        this is not new, marriages were arraigned in the wilderness of the west in 1830 America, but I know of no place now that is so isolated. maybe better to look at why you are internet searching, 
    and in the nature of that kind of interacting, in its objectification,
    will enable the bad in our free will. 
        in other words, the message is the meaning…..

  • J__o__h__n

    This technology is just an interim step before the sex androids arrive. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    One of the main drivers of online dating are the volume levels in places like bars – it’s impossible to talk.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Seeing as how we’ve had a caller from Vermont, we may touch on population density here. If one is in a small enough place, like the island off of Maine a relative of mine grew up on in the 20s, the dating pool is much more shallow.

    (Edit anecdote: In the service, in WWII, he met his wife-to-be in the proverbial big city near an Army base. Until death did them part, they were together for 60 years.)

    • Ray in VT

      Yeah, if you’re in Victory out in the Northeast Kingdom (population 62), then your local options in the analog world are a bit limited.

  • Alex Wesselhoeft

    psh monogamy…

    we evolved to be polygamous creatures, the sooner we get over our social control hierarchy the better

    • Walt B

      Well then it’s a good thing we’re not beholden to all of our animal urges.

      • Alex Wesselhoeft

        Aww I think people would be much happier. After all, when we follow other parts of our nature (like sharing) we tend to be happier

        • Walt B

          Whether polygamy would make us happier than monogamy is a good question, but saying that we should merely accept that we evolved to be polygamous and for that reason will be happier is fallacious.

          • Alex Wesselhoeft

            Yeah, maybe you’re right. But on the other hand, it’s a biological fact that organisms do best under the circumstances in which they have evolved to live. You can’t expect a fish to live a full life out of the water. 

          • Alex Wesselhoeft

            I should also add that happiness is a manifestation of compliance with evolutionary bounds

          • Walt B

            Evolution is driven by reproductive fitness, not by any measure of happiness. We’ve evolved to do things that make us reproduce more successfully, but there’s no reason why these same things couldn’t add to our stress and pain. For example, we’ve evolved to be tribal animals, because the evolutionary fitness of our genes is improved by taking care of family, but you could argue that tribalism is the root of much human conflict and that we’d be much better without it.

    • Talisker23

      I don’t believe that for a second. Maybe you feel that way but we are not all the same.

      • Alex Wesselhoeft

        hmmm well you can only deny biology to a certain point (look at structures of the human body for insights). Culture is a very powerful force and it can supply a wide range of worldviews, and most of them are wrong

    • Don_B1

      @google-c716aae9a377087ec8192a34f9159c79:disqus @google-ae89b5f175f81f3a73d0f6cd20048dd5:disqus @Talisker23:disqus 

      It appears that the widely “known fact” of the male penchant for promiscuous behavior is largely a myth, at least for the vast majority of men.

      But when a marriage or relationship becomes unhappy from internal conflicts, an outside relationship certainly appeals as source of comfort to provide what the original relationship no longer does.

      See:

      http://www.salon.com/2012/11/18/expert_guys_dont_want_casual_sex/?source=newsletter

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Patrick-Dwyer-Jr/100002088204784 James Patrick Dwyer Jr.

    I wasn’t worth a damn at dating when I was in high school, and I’m still not. Someone needs to find a way for folks like me. Just too damn shy and cannot change.

    • hennorama

      James Patrick Dwyer Jr. – I’m no expert, but my experience is that honesty is highly valued by both women and men.  Your raw honesty may be quite attractive to others.  I suspect that if you used any of these sites and used “Just too damn shy and cannot change” as your first line, you’d be flooded with women who would either love the chance to change you, or who may also be “too damn shy” and find your honesty irresistible.

      There’s someone out there for you, maybe many more than one.  But you need to be brave enough to try to find her.  Good luck.

  • Talisker23

    4 or 5 dates a month? I was having 1st dates of up to three a week. I had to keep files on the women I spoke with and would check the file just before a date so that I would remember who I was speaking to and who I was going to meet.

    Again, I was not on a mission to meet and drop women. I was on a mission to find a wife and have a family. It was like a second job and I was busy all the time. I could write a book about the things that happened over about two years. 

    I found what I was looking for and have nothing but good things to say about online dating. 

  • Peaches9

    Trolling? Men  don’t have to.  Click on any on line sports web site, and there will be naked women wanting you!  I have to click, click, and click again to get to the soccer game! Since I am a 70 year old grandmother who is a sports nut who only wants to watch Man City, I am shocked by the pictures!

  • mjb881

    I think using a term like sexual economy in itself describes a decision already presumed about relationship. without community there is no relationship, thus looking ‘outside’ wherever you are , mean you have decided on the objectification of relationship. this is not 1830 America , no one is in a wilderness [unless by choice] , thus online dating is precisely the same limpid act that having 1000 friends on FB is. it is an abstraction, not real. i

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=24803595 Allison Provaire

    In my experience I have seen both sides of this coin. I have been with my boyfriend for over a year, whom I met online, however while dating online I also saw the side the writer at The Atlantic speaks of. I dated several men whom after dating me for under a month admitted that they were afraid of settling down, wanted to see what else was out there. I often had the feeling that they felt as though, “if it is this great with her, surely it can be even greater with someone else.” Eventually these men ended up in long term relationships so it may have just been a case of “we were not compatible” but I often felt as though it was more a case of “let me see what’s out there before I settle.” However, having met that special someone online, even knowing the number of people I could meet with the click of a mouse, I have absolutely no desire to jeopardize my relationship in order to entertain the idea of someone else.

    • hopeful61

       Currently experiencing this very phenomenon.  I have had a handful of really great dates with a man I met online, a man I’m very attracted to.  It’s too soon to know which way this will go and just like any early stage of dating (only a month), it is anxiety-provoking.  Yet he is still active on the site we met on, daily.  Even a few times a day.  I am quite sure he is thinking that if it is this much fun with me, that there has to be someone even BETTER he can have this much fun with (read: younger, prettier, wealthier?)  My gut feeling tells me he better damn make sure that none of the competition appeals better to him before he “settles” with me. 

      To me as a woman, this is the biggest drawback of online dating.  For men, who reportedly crave variety, having hundreds if not thousands of attractive available women at their fingertips can make it difficult to choose JUST ONE.

  • mystic_man02155

    Just heard a ridiculous comment made by Amanda regarding a color indicator associated with most men that suggested they were simply trolling for dates.  I can’t speak for all men but when I’ve used on-line dating systems, I replied to every woman who took the time to write me.  Nearly every time I simply thanked them for contacting me, rejecting them politely, and wishing them luck in their search.  Nothing is worse than taking time to put thought into one’s first attempt at contacting a person and wondering when or if you’d here from them.  I call it courtesy and would hate a green color next to my name suggest I’m not ready to commit to a woman who is a good match for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663443784 David S. DeLuca

    The need for online dating is a result of our increasing isolation in society. It seems like a much more pedestrian process than meeting people through traditional avenues like school because you have to set up individual blind dates, one at a time, when if you meet a group of 100 or 200 people (work/school) you automatically filter out those that don’t fit. A blind date doesn’t allow you to see how the person interacts with other people which is important.

    Since we are so isolated, we do need online dating. Monogomy however is only undermined by the people involved and online dating can enable those people in an isolated society. If match making in school (or similar) is more efficient then the question would be whether people of the same age meeting in large groups is undermining monogamy, which is just silly.

  • CeeBeee

    Seriously, Tom?  You’d think of moving if your house started falling apart after a few years?  I suppose everyone fantasizes about a new, perfect home from time to time, but the reality is most of us just fix things up and happily carry on.

  • AnnFranklin1984

    Although it is now mainstream online dating is still dangerous! Be careful!!! You will be making connections with people that you would otherwise be unlikely to meet in real life.

    My best friend is in the middle of a divorce and decided to try online dating to meet new people. The SECOND person she met gave her his real name and even let her take a photo of his ID and text it to friends the first time they met. It didn’t take her long to find out he had just been released from prison. Unfortunately, he already knows her name and personal details and is now threatening her if she breaks contact.

    • jefe68

      Yikes. If he was in prison he is a felon and if it was recently he is on parole. What he is doing is a violation of parole and she should report it.
      She needs to get a restraining order.

      • AnnFranklin1984

        How is he violating parole? By threatening someone or by using online dating services?

    • hennorama

      AnnFranklin1984 – one might take the rather simple precaution of a background check prior to any actual meeting.  They are widely available at relatively low prices.  Better safe than sorry.  It’s similar to buying a used vehicle – check the CARFAX, get a mechanic to check it out, and take a test drive before the actual purchase.

      Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.

      • AnnFranklin1984

        Yes, good point. But of course if he had been lying about his true name, the background check would have done no good. That was the idea with meeting in a public place and swapping IDs.

        In any case, I would imagine that there are many unsavory characters using online dating sites. And if you count serial daters looking for short sexual relationships as unsavory (which may be fair if they are representing themselves as real relationship material), then it is quite realistic to guess that their may be a higher likelihood of meeting the unsavory types then would be your likelihood in real life (not only because the playing field is leveled, but also because the serial people are going through more dates than the “honest” searchers.)

        • hennorama

          AnnFranklin1984 – TY for your response. Indeed your friend did take some modest precautions which were unfortunately ineffective. The point is that if you are meeting someone for the first time, someone neither you nor anyone you trust knows, considerable caution is required. This is true for either sex but more so for women, given the higher incidence of sexual and physical violence. Sad but true, and one is better safe than sorry.

          I can’t speak to the “unsavory character ratio” in online dating compared to “in real life,” but the relative anonymity allowed by the Web can be a concern, as can the speed and frequency of contact the Web allows. For example, one can maintain multiple contacts without the knowledge of those on the other side of the screen.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • AnnFranklin1984

            Thank you for your response. All well said.

  • http://twitter.com/FHAndersonJr Fred Anderson Jr

    My wife & I met over 40 YEARS AGO via Computer Dating – (Thank God for computers and Martha:)
    What has changed is the number of users (millions not just early adopters) – infidelity is as old as marriage – Don’t blame the internet, or PCs – just human nature

    • jefe68

      40 years ago via computer dating? That would be 1973.
      I was a kid in 73 and I don’t remember anything resembling the internet let alone computer dating.
      Are you mistaking a dating service that used computers to match people up? 

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Punch-card dating ROCKS! lol

  • albertthelion

    Online dating is convenient for seniors who have, perhaps, limited possibilities of meeting new people.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D6Q6ZCMSW27KPX7ZITIKEWI3WQ Fred S.C.L

    OK, who’s music closed out this segment? 

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Don’t know but it was pretty atrocious.

  • psinotte

    Online dating mirrors real life dating. I’m 55, attractive and in great shape, look younger than my age, and have many interests. All the guys my age range, in similar shape, etc., are looking for the youngest woman they can find. Very disheartening. I’m not ready to date retirees and have given up on online dating.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Disqus.

  • mjb881

    I have to wonder the reason for online dating……we are not America of 1830, where you might be out in wyoming and arrange a mail-bride. I am guessing many are not living in/as  community, thus they think connection is somewhere ‘else’.
    if you are too busy to be involved in where you live, how do you expect to be able to have a relationship? why not meet people where you socialize, work, pray, do charity? I find it very strange to seek in the desert of an abstraction [online dating], any more than I wonder how a 1000 friends can be had on FB. in all it is unreal, or I am missing something ?

    • hennorama

      mjb881 – you wrote “in all it is unreal, or I am missing something ?”

      Well … it’s both unreal AND real.  It’s real in that it is actually occuring – i.e. people are logging into these sites, reading profiles, etc. and then sometimes meeting in person.  Some use the shorthand IRL (In Real Life) to denote occurences in the physical world.  And it’s  unreal to the extent that much of the interaction takes place via electronic switches and enormous strings of 1s and 0s.

      There’s a bit of a mismatch between the usual rules of the physical world with concerns about distance and time, compared to the digital world where 0s and 1s flow freely with little regard for distance and in nearly no time at all.

      Witness your use of this forum.  It has allowed both of us to connect without having met (presumably).  The connection is both real and unreal.  Individuals and societies are still adjusting to these changes.  The old rules are becoming largely irrelevant, and few new ones have replaced them.  That may be what’s led to your unease.

      See:https://projects.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html

      • mjb881

        mmmm, not sure I would link my intellectual attributes [curiosity,judgement, reference, reason,education...] to relational ones. I am in control of my intellect and can read junk If i choose, but when i get involved in a person, it it no longer material world, but spiritual. the qualities necessary to have relation [honesty, virtue, integrity, openness] are choices of character………and the net allows me to do things,,like erase that connection…w/o consequence……..thus it is unreal, because it is not actual as it is only in the mind

        • hennorama

          mjb881 – TY for your response. I understand, respect and appreciate your views, especially your discussions of community. My point is that online dating has both aspects of unreality and reality.

          You seem to be saying that when one is “involved in a person,” there are ONLY spiritual elements to the involvement. While I respect that viewpoint, it does not represent what most would define as a well-rounded relationship, especially in terms of a dating relationship.

          I note also your use of the word “in” rather than “with.” It may be a matter of perspective, but it seems to imply a more unilateral relationship rather than a bilateral one. As such, it may lack the “community” you seek.

          This is not a criticism but rather an attempt at understanding your views through this rather limited forum. The lack of immediate back and forth, and the non-simultaneous nature tends to make this more like writing notes back and forth rather than having a conversation. My apologies in advance if I have misinterpreted your comments.

          • mjb881

            sorry, very poor word choice, with s right word
            and the fact i ‘insist’ [sort of] on real contact in fact means physical & spiritual
            we are in the internet unable even to read body language for example, and hear the lilt and swag of the voice of the other, etc etc
               not to mention touching, smiling, laughing, crying, ……..the internet is all mind, no body 

          • hennorama

            mjb881 – TY for your reply. I suspected as much as to your word choice.

            I’m not at all disputing your ideal of “real contact.” As I said, this forum and similar sites, whether they be online dating sites or exchanges of commentary, have limitations. But don’t forget that there are webcams and Skype, for example.which can assist in assessing the sight and sound aspects of a potential partner. That does leave the other three senses of touch, taste and smell absent, which is a significant limitation as you point out. No one is disputing this.

            The point is that the Web and these sites can give one a different way to connect. This can lead one to the goal of the ideal – a spiritual and corporeal connection. – a communion if you will.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I wanted to see who that I know (ahem) had posted on this topic.  My computer was down doing a security update, so I was twiddling my thumbs, waiting, listening.  We’ve heard this topic before.  I had just heard an hour from the BBC talking about the girls in India basically sold into marriage/slavery in a wild world where girl-children have been aborted, leaving untethered men, and women being held hostage, often in essence by their own mothers who had made the deal, passing on the pain.
        Near the beginning, a young female panelist said that in the past women were “not allowed in the labor force,” and therefore couldn’t indulge in flings, something like that.  I’m thinking once upon a time, before women were independent here, a woman couldn’t indulge in this sort of thing unless she was a prostitute and could be paid for the indulgence, and if she was crafty, she could be choosy too.  So now the escort service is more bilateral, but it signals a society with lots of extra stability.  I mean, one squanders the chance at what I’ll call an “architectural” relationship by putting even the sexually intimate components out “into play.”      I don’t think in terms of “commitment,” but rather in terms of stability.  The more we are fragmented, mobile, with cars taking us both away from nuclear communities and nuclear families, as well as toward adventure, the more I’d think people would value not the tryst but the structural alliances.  Perhaps people are a lot more secure in their emotional core than a generation ago? And therefore less tethered to the particular social fabric into which they are woven?  (I suspect betrayal and abandonment in early years lurks still.)
       (Also, can social fabric be digital?)
        I do think that relationships, both intimate and nonintimate, are far, far more productive/creative when the parties are maximally different, not same.  It is the working out/working through of those differences, both genetically in reproduction and culturally aside from that, which makes “relationship” a multidimensional experience.

  • 1Brett1

    I missed the first part of this show, so I didn’t hear the set-up, so to speak. But I did keep hearing about a “Jake” or “Jacob.” He seemed to be presented as some sort of archetype. “Jake,” the poor sot…it was as if I had inadvertently tuned into a local horse-trading radio segment, the guests were traders and “Jake” was the horse up for inspection, continually having his teeth checked and mane/coat assessed…sounds as though he’s all ready for the pasture–or worse: the glue factory (yet he didn’t sound mature).

    Most of the people I know who’ve sought a mate online have been successful in either marriage or long-term committed partnerships, so it seems a reasonable option, that is if people (as the one guest put it) see online dating as a tool, and one to be used properly applying the right tool to the right job, as it were…It does, however, not effectively address the gestalt of the whole dating/seeking a mate experience, which seems still the inherent risk, i.e., somewhere along the line a chance has to be taken and a face-to-face contact has to be made; chemistry has to form some basis, no matter what the so-called stats seem to be. 

    If there would be a criticism (not necessarily with the tool itself but with how the tool may be used in certain approaches), it is the idea that some quasi-scientific methodology can be applied; there’s nothing scientific about chemistry, or “chemistry” I should say. Going through a list of potential suitors trying to find that one bit of an amalgam of stats and chemistry, the proverbial “whole being greater than the sum of its parts” kind of thing, can get exhausting. One would have to rely on math/probability to keep one’s spirit up.   

    • Walt B

      There actually is real chemistry underlying at least some parts of “chemistry”

      Check out http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/14/5/668.full and other articles about MHC complexes and scent/sexual attraction.

      • 1Brett1

        Yes, and thanks for the link; I find attempts at demystifying such things interesting. 

        But, of course, you can see my overarching point: one can not feel the effects of “chemistry” online and can not effectively assess such things without an actual date. So (of online social dating services, as it were), this is (and should be seen as) a tool. 

        “Chemistry” is often unable to be consciously and “scientifically” caged within the throws of such encounters (although whomever were to patent such a device which could effectively record optimal chemical compatibility would make billions), often helped along by desires, social “lubricants,” etc., rendering any actual data analysis skewed. 

        I suppose at some point, if chemical attraction could become measurable, and one would only need to show another, prospective companion a spreadsheet of results, on the spot, that will (no doubt) become a part of the virtual, social world. 

        Imagine a database set up with one’s, say, pheromone levels recorded from certain social situations being kept on file…I can hear it now, “‘Jake’ said he felt chemistry/immediate attraction upon our meeting, yet his pheromone profile didn’t seem to bear that out.” I can also imagine big pharma getting involved (and, even earlier, “vitamin” companies), with all sorts of patents on pheromone therapies, etc…oh, the possibilities…

        • Walt B

          Hah! I like it! Remember mood rings? Neither do I…

        • hennorama

          1Brett1 – c’mon now.  No one would “show another, prospective companion a spreadsheet of results, on the spot.”   There’d just be “an App for that” and one’s implanted mobile device would trigger an autonomic response (increased heart rate, dilated pupils, etc.)  and/or lead you to the optimally compatible individual(s).

          I’m confident that if I’ve verbalized it, someone’s already working on it.  I’m usually just slightly behind the curve.

  • 1Brett1

  • Penny Powell

    This topic seems so incredibly light. I’m trying to find the answer to the question, “Who cares if online dating is destructive to relationships?” 

    I think that I feel this way because of a deeply held belief that the real issue in successful relationships is one’s character and integrity. The Internet’s threat to relationships is simply one of many threats that have to be navigated in a long-term, monogamous relationship. 

    CHARACTER & INTEGRITY are what keep a relationship committed and healthy. If you don’t choose your partner well, you may indeed find yourself alone and single, having survived the betrayal of an unfaithful spouse. That’s what happened to me. But it wasn’t the internet, or an out-of-town conference, or any number of things that caused this. It was the lack of character and personal integrity of my spouse and I’m the one who chose him. That’s what it always comes down to.

    I think that this whole show misses the point. There have always been distractions in marriage. The internet is just one more, but you have to look at what is at the crux of the distraction: the human brain. Don’t cancel your internet subscription in the hopes of avoiding this calamity. Choose carefully and wisely the human brain that you align yourself with, because if you don’t, you could end up in a miserably unfortunate situation. I know this well.

    • Penny Powell

      By the way, I forgot to say that I eventually signed up for Match.com in December of 2009, as a way to meet someone new and at the urging of a friend. There was a free 3-day offer and I took a chance. I met my partner (of over three years now) two days after signing up. He was the only person from the online experience who I spoke to and actually met. We had lived just 100′s of yards apart at one point in our lives (across a small pond on a country road), I knew all three of his children, yet hadn’t ever met him in 9 years of living in the same town and going to the same places. 

      That is the incredibly good fortune that you will sometimes encounter when you look online for someone with whom to share life.

      • hennorama

        Penny Powell – thank you for your well-expressed views.  I agree that this is a very light topic, perhaps intended as a bit of relief from the recent spate of quite serious topics.
         
        I agree with your post and have only one added comment.  Successful relationships also involve well-communicated and discussed expectations.  For example, one person in a couple may have the expectation that Sundays are for church and family dinners.  If they do not express this to their partner, they will be constantly disappointed when the partner expects Sundays to be for sleeping late, lounging in bed reading the paper, and for watching sports on TV, and acts according to these expectations.
         
        We all have expectations of others but only rarely express and discuss them.  This makes it difficult when the other person acts in a way that’s contrary to our expectations.  Without the expression of said
        expectations, it’s unreasonable to hold the other person to account if they behave differently. For example, I expect people in this forum to be polite, and am often disappointed (admittedly sometimes by my own actions).  Silent expectations often result in disappointment and failed relationships.
         
        Thanks again for your views.  I have high expectations of your future commentary.

        • Penny Powell

          From my own experience I can say that you’re absolutely right about communicating clearly what your expectations are before getting too far into a relationship. Or if paths begin to diverge at some point in the long-term, communicating what is and isn’t working is essential. Sometimes needs become so different that it is healthier to move on, but sometimes people abort the mission without deep contemplation and self-reflection. I’ve done that myself.

          • hennorama

            Penny Powell – thank you for your response. My use of the Sunday example comes from personal experience as well. I’ve found the answer to “What’s your ideal Sunday look like?” to be a helpful clue as to compatibility.

    • brettearle

      Character and integrity goes beyond monogamy.  Sometimes, far beyond it.

      • Penny Powell

        I think that goes without saying!

        • brettearle

          But your summary was devoted to infidelity.

          I realize that sexual cheating was a large theme of this program.

          Nevertheless, it seems that many spouses too often measure integrity and character, as a measure solely connected to sexual faithfulness.

          • Penny Powell

            By using the words “committed and healthy” in the following sentence, I certainly meant to suggest overall commitment and health, not singularly a commitment to fidelity: “CHARACTER & INTEGRITY are what keep a relationship committed and healthy.” 
            Unfortunately, that didn’t come across well to you and perhaps others.

    • 2Gary2

       when you get into a relationship with people all people have issues.  Some big and some not so big but all people have issues.

    • mjb881

      if we don’t care about others, ['who care if online dating.....etc] then there will be no community, we will fall back to tribes and believing trees have spirits.
      we live, learn, become in the context of community
      [neuroscience, even science, "mirror neurons" ]
         love is not a feeling but act, and to go to online is a choice, ‘i do not want what is around me’ , I mean for dating……activities, daily routines, church, work-somewhere one is not connecting, so question is why?

      • Penny Powell

        You mention falling back on “believing trees have spirits” in what I think is a disparaging way and then mention going to church. Is there somehow more proof that a God exists than spirits in trees?

        I’m just wondering, because I hadn’t heard from the scientific community that either could be proven or disproven. Maybe you know something that I don’t.

        • mjb881

          so sorry about that: I would say mirror neurons demonstrate our need for others, even at the level of biology …..but I would no more go to a scientist about God [as science studies physical world*], than I would go to a saint for surgery
             there can be no proof of God [medieval philosophers tried it, and its not convincing
          except logically]……..we can only experience God, just as we can not prove love but experience it …..* Hume tried to prove miracles do not exist for example in a small book, as a scientist he decided miracles do not exist because they are impossible…..which of course begs the question   …………..I would just say the internet is an abstraction, good for facts, reading newspapers, looking at friends photos, but too feeble a thing for real human connections …………..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000031666450 Karen Martin Turner

    I am 59, newly divorced, and online dating.  I’ve had to get past a lot of scammers but have started to connect to some very nice men.  I like it because I am a political liberal, agnostic, brainy, own my own business and live in the bible belt.  I have a VERY difficult time meeting like-minded, single men.  I’m very attractive, so I get a lot of attention, but online I can get past people who are just interested in looks.  Online dating is wonderful for weeding out people I won’t be interested in and who won’t be interested in me.

    • brettearle

      When you say scammers, do you mean men who claim to be a certain way–but turn out, when you meet them, to be something other than the way they advertised themselves? 

  • 2Gary2

    I may be naive but why would a person want to pretend to be something they are not on the online dating sites.  as soon as you meet you will know that they were lying which would immediately end any chance for a relationship?   would you not rather have someone be interested in you for who you really are and not just a pretend you?  I must be missing something.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1009491244 Robbie Samelson Bracken

    Tom, you sound like a bit of a voyeur and also you seem to be trying very hard to make on line dating sound sordid and promiscuous. Your guests all seem to be politely disagreeing with you.

  • BrettW44

    One way online dating sites are dealing with the issue of people not being completely accurate in their profiles is a trend where they are either offering an online/offline option like Match’s Stir single mingle events or they are hybrids like http://www.dinnerdate.com and then there’s purely offline events like speed dating events that http://www.pre-dating.com puts on. In any of these cases, you meet in a safe group environment face to face so you at least have gotten the whole photo, age, height, weight thing out of the way and these are typically the points in an online dating profile that are fudged. Point is, even behemoth Match.com is seeing offline live events are a good solution. Whether these events undermine monogomy is another topic but the answer is probably less so because you are out in public in more of a group setting or popular venue in the city and the odds of being seen are much less which probably means the quality of daters is likely better on average.

  • Bob Jones

    I am in a great relationship with a wonderful woman. We are committed and moving toward marriage. I met her in real life. I never went online to seek a partner. I grew up in the 90s so for me it’s kind of lame to get with someone like that. 

    But, I have to admit, after reading all these stories, I am thinking of going online to find someone to cheat with. 

    Just sayin! I like variety and I like sex. Monogamy is BS.

    • Walt B

      I didn’t realize that Bob and Jones are actually your split personalities. Good evening to both of you.

    • hennorama

      Bob Jones – the French say “à chacun son goût” meaning “to each his own” or “there’s no accounting for taste.”

      If you chose to be non-monogamous, you certainly should inform your “wonderful woman” with whom you are “committed and moving toward marriage.”  I’m certain this information would be relevant to her.  It is also relevant to the person or persons you select as “someone to cheat with.”  And of course, safe sex is a must.

      “Just sayin!”

      • Gregg Smith

        “And of course, safe sex is a must.”

        I’m reminded of the public service announcements that end with, “Please drink responsibly”. It’s 8 AM and I’m heading to church but okay, if you insist.

    • jefe68

      “Some people claim that marriage interferes with romance. There’s no doubt about it. Anytime you have a romance, your wife is bound to interfere.”

      Groucho Marx

  • featherojo

    In studying sociology of human relationship, I found that due mostly to my education level and gender, my likelihood of marriage was about equal to my likelihood of being in a highjacked plane (and I rarely fly). Would on line numbers change that figure?

  • featherojo

    In studying sociology of human relationship, I found that due mostly to my education level and gender, my likelihood of marriage was about equal to my likelihood of being in a highjacked plane (and I rarely fly). Would on line numbers change that figure?

    • mjb881

      why not use free will, ignore the so called “evidence”….facts mean nothing, in fact they must be explained, Ursula Le Guin [not quite exact quote but same understanding....]
      we are more than our biographies

      • featherojo

        unfortunately, in a world where “facts mean nothing” we seem to regress to “might means right…” whether force is by word or deed… There are so many examples in the world these days that i would not know where to begin. I don’t believe “facts mean everything”
        but they do mean something, and establishing what they mean for ourselves/ our worlds makes a balanced perspective,
        and giving some respect to those who study things in whatever kind
        of focused way (science or art or experience over time…)
        can go a long way to the kind of life I think Le Guin (and many others) might have been after…
        My comment was mainly aimed at critiquing the narrowness of the radio discussion. We don’t all want the same thing, or have the same assumptions about either relationship or online experience…, and what we want is more in line with factors around us than we might be comfortable acknowledging, but it is a part of our reality none the less…

        • mjb881

          no no, it means facts ‘in themselves’ have no meaning, context is required
              but to your second point ‘we do not all want same thing’ …..want and desire are two things, want is self searching world…desire is part of our being

  • Amy Bercher

    My husband and I met online in 2006 and married in 2010. We are well matched and happy. Online dating was so much work! All those first dates and then finding a polite way to say your not interested! I certainly don’t see it as a long-term lifestyle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540755592 Lilly Inverse

    Where does Poly come in on this? Why is ‘non monogamy’ seen as an evil thing? Why is ‘monogamy’ and ‘marriage’ seen as the ideal?

    • http://twitter.com/jiao_tu Winston

      The same way as being a non-theist, or out of any set norm, is seen as “evil”.

    • mjb881

      children, death, we are not in charge so we have to take charge, including protecting nurturing, etc….otherwise we live like brutes  …….. but is man just an individual being, with no set of needs, just going along ? it seems history demonstrates our capacity to be inhuman, thus our need to be human in all things, and we learn our humanity from mom and dad [if we are lucky]
      not moms and dads 

  • Regular_Listener

    A couple of comments – I have done some online dating and may do it again, but it does have shortcomings.  Many of the dates I went on were similar to job interviews, as I was quickly assessed by a woman with very little time to spare.  Others were bonkers, or seemed to be using the dating site as a way to play games or get even with the male gender.  I found I did a lot better and had more fun meeting people through friends or activities that I enjoy.

    Re the Amanda vs Jacob debate – I don’t see anything that new here (with the exception that young women are now making more money than young men – is there some illegal discrimination going on in some quarters I wonder?).  Young and not-so-young men have often resisted settling down in favor of the pleasures of playing the field, and young women have often played the dating game in hopes of finding a husband sooner rather than later.  But of course this is a cliche and does not apply to everyone – I have known plenty of women who had no interest in marriage and children.

  • humbow

    I read the Atlantic article and thought it was silly. I’m surprised that it was considered seriously enough for Tom to devote a show to. (It’s interesting that there are these media memes that make the NYTimes-Atlantic Monthly-New Yorker-NPR circuit–and most of these topics are pretty light.) The interesting question is not whether online dating is changing how we view monogamy (and I say the article was silly because the author didn’t actually make a compelling case that it is), but how technology is changing our relationships. Perhaps we can only digest this larger question in bite size chunks, but still … incredibly light and fairly vacuous.

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Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

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