The Good Part of Online Dating

Most people hate online dating. I understand why.

Too many choices. Too little quality. People who lie about their age and photos. People with lame, poorly spelled profiles. People who want to meet as quickly as possible. People who just want to text. People who just want to get laid. People who flake. People who say the nastiest things hiding behind their phone or computer.

These are all valid criticisms. And yet.

And yet my first book was about online dating.

My TEDx talk was about how to screen better to ensure higher quality first dates.

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

My first product, Finding the One Online, is a comprehensive guide to mastering the medium, enjoying the process and attracting the best guys online.

Oh, and pretty much every married client I’ve had in 16 years met her husband online.

Which is to say that online dating is a perfect glass-half-empty/glass-half-full situation.

Which is to say that online dating is a perfect glass-half-empty/glass-half-full situation.

And since we hear so many complaints about what’s wrong with it, I relish the opportunity to share with you some more positive words about this flawed medium that somehow allows you to meet more men on a consistent basis than any job, school, bar, church, social network or salsa class ever created.

Written in the New York Times and entitled In Praise of Online Dating, Katherine Smyth takes the bold (and EMK-approved) sentiment that it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey, too.

“Now, over three years and seven dating apps later, I’ve gone out with 86 men and counting; I know because I keep a list that reads like free verse (“David the orphan … Nathaniel bone broth … Shawn with rainbow tattoo … Shane sheepskin sex”). I haven’t met anyone I’ve liked enough, or who liked me enough, to cancel my accounts. But I am nevertheless here to offer a defense of online dating, not necessarily as a tool for finding a partner — I have no idea if the internet will ever yield me true love — but rather as a world-enlarging enterprise, and a means of rebuilding one’s self in the wake of separation.”

“Thanks to Hinge and Bumble, I have dated German poets and Indian bankers, Australian contractors and Brazilian waiters. I’ve met United Nations diplomats and my favorite movie star’s ex-husband. I have spent a summer dog-sitting in Los Angeles and flown to Jamaica for a third date; licked cocaine off car keys and undressed at midnight in a Barcelona square. I’ve had my air- conditioner stolen, inherited an Eames chair, expanded my music library a hundredfold, and made a dear friend, who, now that our fledging romance has failed, will be with me for life. I have learned about spearfishing and Oceanic art, about life in the merchant marines and urbanism in late antiquity. I have learned how to sext, how to plant tomatoes, how to drink mate, beat box, and navigate the bars of Bushwick. I could introduce you to men who believe in God and men who live in their cars; men who have slept with their sisters and others who have followed the Dead.”

I love this paragraph and can certainly write my own version of it.

But that’s ultimately a framing issue; you can look at all the men who are not your future husband with scorn and resentment, or you can do what the author does here.


You know what I would recommend.

I understand if you feel like, “I don’t want to DATE. I just want to meet my husband NOW.” Alas, that’s not how it works. Dating is an iterative process that allows you to see the world in a different light, hold up a mirror to yourself, and try on different people to see who fits (or, more likely, does not fit.) The more you date, the more you should know about what kind of man works best for you in the long run.

In the short run, concludes Smyth, “the flip side to the disappointment of each mismatch or aborted romance was a mounting sense of strength and self-sufficiency, a hardening of character, a greater understanding of the woman I am when I’m intact. There’s little like ghosting to delineate where we as human beings begin and end; and little like ghosting, too, to lay bare our own infinite reserves.”

That is called a growth mindset and it’s what you have to have to succeed in love.

Click here so you can get it. 

Your thoughts on online dating, below, are greatly appreciated.