He said at first he was just going on online dating sites as he was feeling a bit lonely (though he didn’t use the word “lonely”, that’s just how I interpreted it). He is in his 30s, works in bank, bought a house last year and living on his own. He has rather limited social life as his work occupies almost all his time (13-14 hours a day, sometimes more, weekend too!)
He went on multiple dating sites to increase the chance of meeting “the one”, some popular sites and some not so, but he’d make sure there’re at least some [female] users in the country (well, it’s still not so common a thing in Malaysia). He said some dating sites had literally no female users in his area.
Over the months he chatted with so many girls. At any one time he could be chatting with 3-4 girls on 2-3 different dating sites. “As long as they responded. But I do filter – religions, ethnicity mainly. The rest, it doesn’t matter, but I do check their pictures. I don’t talk to those without pictures. Who knows you may be talking to an old man or…”
But to my surprise, when I asked how many he had met in person. “None. We’d always mention about meeting in the future, or doing something together. But I never do it. Initially I thought it was due to my work. Well, at least that was the excuse I gave myself and them girls. But slowly I realized I had no intention to meet any of them.” ??!!
“I only enjoy talking to them, flirting with them, perhaps imagining how things would go with this particular girl in the future (then with another girl in “another future”). They fill my time, which isn’t much, anyway, due to my commitment to work and house loan”
“I feel good. I laughed genuinely, and I’m sure I made them happy, and they’re also laughing, giggling in front of the phone. It uses up my leisure time and I constantly feel accompanied, day or night. This one stops writing back? Fine, there’ll always be next and next, next one. So my problems of being alone and not having much social life are solved. Why still bothered to meet up? Especially it probably would often lead to disappointments anyway.”
“I know I’m not the only one being this way. Some people met up and found someone that they’d regularly see, but they continued to surf the dating sites and flirt with others. Why stayed committed when you have so many more constantly waiting for you [in your phone]? They said this more often happen in guys, but I think the girls are doing it, too, but perhaps in a more discrete way.”
I didn’t bring up the word “addiction”. I’m not even sure whether this is ordinary or unhealthy or… At the time of writing he’s still on dating sites, happily. Hopefully I get to come back to update this post as of what happens to him in the future…
Here are some of the interesting experiments done on online dating sites:
OKCupid: We Experiment on Human Beings! (The site did various experiments on its users!)