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Love at the click of a mouse?

We examine the pitfalls and positives of online dating

Ana Hine

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 09:44:12 GMT | Updated 4 years today

From the first woman to ever flirt with me (in a chatroom in 2004) to the date I had last week, the internet has been an integral to the way I meet women and express my sexuality. I appreciate the distance created by my monitor and yours, glad of that little red box with the white cross in the corner of the window as an exit sign in case I lose my nerve.

I'm not shy, but I tend to assume the women around me aren't gay. I don't flirt with women unless we are literally standing in a gay bar (and then only when I've had a couple of drinks). It's easier to be rebuffed online than it is face to face. Online dating is so much easier in that respect.

Unfortunately for me, it seems that going from the messageboard to the bedroom isn't. When my eyes meet somebody's at a bar, I know within minutes of talking to them whether I want to snog, marry, or avoid. Online, it's a lot harder to tell whether there'll be sexual chemistry when we meet IRL (in real life).

Kate*, a coder from Brighton, reckons this is a fundamental problem with online dating. Her own experience has shown that while you might find people whom you are compatible with on many levels, it's no predictor of sexual attraction. "Usually I don't have chemistry with people I'm intellectually/emotionally compatible with," she says. She met a woman earlier this year with whom she had an intense online connection but when they met Kate found that they just didn't fancy each other: "We talked about it. I think it was the first awkward conversation we had. Our friendship is still good, it's just not as intense (nor as full of sexual hope) as it was at first. Pretty much, my online dating life ends up with awesome friends, lots of drama and a distinct lack of relationships to compensate for the drama."

She does however recommend OK Cupid for its compatibility algorithm: "It was the only site I've come across that has an actively developed and well thought out algorithm. Ideally, I want someone in the >80% for both friend and relationship match (two separate scores) and reading the profile generally confirms that match."

Lauren tells a different story. "Just over a year ago, I met a girl on a website called We got talking a bit and it turned out that this girl was already friends with all my friends and my cousin; they all went to the same college. Not long after, we met up for the first time with some mutual friends and really got on well together."


Read the rest of this feature in DIVA's November issue, on sale 25 October, 2012.


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  • Joanne Gregory - Thu, 25 Oct 2012 13:05:16 GMT -

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    Online dating has been great from my experience. I used a site called Plenty Of Fish (POF) I met a two women my soul-mate Sarah who I married a year later the second ended up a best mate who was my witness at my wedding. I would recommend it to anyone.