Then Jack Happened: Jack Tackles Internet Dating

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Question

Hello Jack: As a 50-something woman who is now single, I was encouraged to join certain dating sites. I did. Here is what happens, and I’m wondering if these “actions” are age related or gender related. OK…here goes: What happens is this: A man will send me a “wink.” Sometimes the “winker” is for me, attractive, witty and seems to have it together; (2) we correspond online; (3) we exchange phone numbers and speak once or twice; (4) we make plans to meet; (5) at the “eleventh hour” I get a text stating he has to cancel or even more demoralizing…being stood up. This has happened to my friends and me several times. In all of our cases, the man was open, seemed fun, enthusiastic, energetic and looking to date. My friends and I are certainly not “desperatos” and aren’t necessarily looking to marry again. We are accomplished, fit, fun and just want the company of a gentleman who is all that too. My question to you: is this happening in your generation of dating? OR is it that the men of my generation are jaded in some way? Maybe to them, just getting a phone number and date is enough? I realize that as soon as men come into puberty, they become “little wolves”…that grow up to be “big wolves”…and wolves love to hunt. Has cyber-dating become another “hunting” venue for men? Thank you for reading. “Jolie”

Answer

Welcome back to the dating pool! Your frustration is understandable. The shortcomings of the singles dating scene, electronic and otherwise, are numerous and well documented. You should recognize the pratfalls of the scene you’ve joined, be wary of them, and, this is the toughest part, try not to jump to conclusions despite what you think you know. Although I haven’t joined the Internet dating scene, I know many people who have, with varying results. I have friends in committed relationships that met on-line, I have friends that use it as a casual sex apparatus, I know people that use it to meet new friends, and I know married couples. In other words, there are all sorts of people out there, just like off-line. Sure there are ‘wolves,’ but there are also guys looking to meet fantastic, newly single women. The medium itself might encourage some flakier activity. The Internet provides a buffer zone for people that might not be as forward, honest, or dishonest as they would in ‘real life.’ And while this becomes a problem when a guy ‘winks’ at every woman on the website, the site can also facilitate a meeting with someone that you might never meet otherwise. Use it to supplement your dating life, not as a replacement for ‘traditional’ methods. So what to make of all this? Don’t assume a guy is a bad egg on the Internet, but don’t be surprised if he is. Don’t take it personal because the impersonal nature of Internet dating is it’s plus and it’s drawback. Also, don’t assume he is ‘fun, enthusiastic, and willing to date’ either. Actions outweigh words. The Internet allows you, and everyone else, to cast a much wider net into the dating pool, thus it stands to reason you’ll get more opportunities, but more that are meaningless. If you’ve noticed that after a couple of emails most people still don’t meet up, try communicating for a longer period of time to establish a stronger bond with potentials before arranging a face-to-face. As to your generational question, I’d, once again, tell you to keep an open mind. Younger single men will likely gravitate more to the casual because we’re usually more casual, but every person’s intentions are different, you just never know until you find out. But number one, you’re single now! Have fun! You don’t owe anything to anyone. Accept that, and you’ll be blowing off fellows in no time. My interests are always honest, and my profile pic is up to date, so send a question to: andthenjackhappened@gmail.com.