Confessions: Addicted to Internet Dating
By Christopher Farah
I waited until she closed the bathroom door.
Click. That meant two full minutes until she came out — two full minutes for me
to grab my computer, check my online dating profile, and — inevitably, guiltily
— slam my laptop shut just as she snuggled up next to me on the sofa.
What was I doing? Just days earlier I had been ready, even eager, to take my
profile down for good. After almost a year of searching and scouring every
Website in Los Angeles for the perfect match, I had — I thought — finally found
her: the One for Me. OFM had it all: intelligence with a streak of creativity,
the ability not just to hear but to listen, a searing sense of humor with a
tang of sarcasm, and a really great rack. We started seeing each other
regularly — quickly moving from making out in my car to doing much more in my
bedroom — and talked on the phone every day. Everything was perfect.
Except for this: I still checked my profile once, twice, three times a day.
Even when she spent the night. I was an addict, and my drug was online
At first I tried to rationalize my behavior. What’s the harm in doing a little
casual “people watching,” right? Like being at a café or a park. And who
doesn’t wonder every now and then if maybe they could do a little better than
their current mate?
But this was different. On the Internet, I had an actual catalog of
available women, listed with their quirks, characteristics, and measurements.
Finding someone better was no longer innocent curiosity; it was easy — and it
became an obsession. Yes, OFM listened, but what if someone else listened
better? True, OFM was smart, but couldn’t I find someone smarter? And fine, OFM
had a really, really great rack, but don’t flat-chested women also have a lot
Soon, looking became winking, winking became hot-listing, hot-listing became
e-mailing, and e-mailing became seeing other people. I never found out if OFM
knew. Unlike me, she stopped checking her profile soon after we met. There was
no official breakup; I just didn’t return calls as quickly, started canceling
dates with her so I could try out new potential matches, and eventually we
drifted apart. With so many new “opportunities” out there — with the illusion
that a life-changing upgrade was just a click away — I couldn’t maintain my
focus on our relationship.
That was a year ago. I’ve dated many women since. None of them has quite
lived up to OFM...but there’s someone better out there, right? I’m sure of
Christopher Farah is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. He has written
for the New York Times and salon.com.
Originally published on June 17, 2008
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