There are many reasons why I don't do online personals, most notably, because I'm skeptical that I could meet someone based on checkboxes and drop-down menus. I'm also kind of morally opposed to people making money off of my misadventures in dating. If anyone's going to do that, it is going to be me.
But every now and again, I wonder if it is worth giving online dating the old college try.
And then I read a story like this one:
Online daters sue matchmaking Web sites for fraud
By Martha Graybow
NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - It's not easy finding love in cyberspace, and now some frustrated online daters say they were victims of fraud by two top Internet matchmaking services and have taken their complaints to court.
Match.com, a unit of IAC/Interactive Corp. (IACI.O: Quote, Profile, Research), is accused in a federal lawsuit of goading members into renewing their subscriptions through bogus romantic e-mails sent out by company employees. In some instances, the suit contends, people on the Match payroll even went on sham dates with subscribers as a marketing ploy.
And suddenly, being dateless is not looking so bad.
Can you imagine finding out that someone you dated was literally paid to go out with you? I'm sure the Alleged Match.com Fake Dater went back to work and dished about the Fake Dates she went on, just like I'm sure teachers secretly gossip about their students in the teacher's lounge.
This only makes me more skeptical of online dating services and their free personality tests. I can barely handle classic rejection, let alone manipulated Cutting Edge rejection by some money-hungry corporation who, in all honesty, has no reason to WANT you to be happy and meet someone. They want you to get enough physical attention to keep you happy and subscribed to their service, but not enough to where you don't need them anymore or gain enough confidence to go out and seek dates offline on your own. They want you to be hungry and single instead of full and committed.
Of course, if this were a Cheesy Romantic Comedy, the plaintiff in this lawsuit would take the Alleged Match.com Fake Dater back and they'd get married, because even though they dated under false pretenses, she would repent and they'd be in love.
Blah blah blah.