‘It’s left men and women on a never-ending hunt for the perfect partner, thinking: “A few more dates and I’ll find The One.” In my work, I’ve met plenty of women who think there’s always a better guy out there.‘The danger is that it results in a string of meaningless flings.
Apart from the risk of sexually transmitted disease, ultimately a never-ending quest for grass that’s greener means that women (and men) don’t face the realities of relationships.
Before she started online dating, Jo Elliott had two ‘semi-serious’ relationships.
While she had plenty of male friends, nothing developed romantically, so she signed up to a dating site. But they got back together, probably when he first disappeared, and later he wanted a bit on the side.‘Some are upfront, but many are not honest.
There are men who say they’re looking for a serious relationship, but when you chat online it becomes clear they don’t or they’ve already got a partner.
They’ll write anything women want to hear on their profile.’ She admits she found internet dating addictive.‘It’s exciting when you get an email in the morning that says you’ve had 20 views. Unfortunately, you then look at who’s shown interest and your heart sinks.
Over the past decade, she’s tried ten websites, had dates with 40 men and chatted — online or over the phone — to countless other potential suitors.
But after one serious heartbreak and hundreds of pounds spent on subscription fees, love still eludes her.‘In many ways, internet dating is a great way to meet people, but it’s such a whirlwind of highs and lows,’ she says.
‘I’ve met some lovely men, but I’ve also met many who lied about themselves and their intentions.’Her experiences are mirrored by many women, who find that internet dating is great if you want a casual fling, but not for anything longer lasting because there are so many dishonest men seeking cheap thrills.
Today, nine million Britons will log on to look for love.
But is this a trend that could change the very nature of romance and turn long-term commitment into a thing of the past? There is striking evidence to suggest that the web is causing social change.
Traditionally, women might have had one or two boyfriends before getting married; now, they are encouraged to date lots of people in a quest to find a perfect partner.
With an unlimited number of other people on offer via the internet, there’s little incentive to work it out if things get tough.
And with the cloak of anonymity the net provides, it’s never been easier to be unfaithful.‘The internet has opened up this sense of “Where do I stop? ‘In previous generations, people met a partner and accepted they wouldn’t be perfect in every aspect, but internet dating is like a chocolate box that never stops giving.