According to StatisticsBrain, over 41 million Americans have tried online dating, or about 76% of all single adults in the country. It’s a $1.2 billion industry, so it’s safe to say the old stigma of it just being a fleeting thing for nerds is well and truly over. Damn near everyone tries it, at least once. And with that many people doing it, you have to assume a few of them are complete jackasses. So, Craigslist killers aside, what kind of awful stuff is happening to people in the world of online dating? What kind of stuff do you need to watch out for? This stuff!
Do you trust OKCupid? How much? $70,000? Congratulations, you’re an idiot. Just like the New York man currently suing OKCupid for the money he lost to his would-be love because he had no idea dishonest people could be found online.
First and foremost, if you haven’t read some of the abominable OKCupid profiles that the human roaches and monsters of cyberspace have produced, please do that before signing up. OKCupid attracts freaks like dog shit attracts flies and also those same freaks from OKCupid. They collect it and bring it home.
Turns out this man signed up for OKCupid and thought they were so reputable and so trustworthy that they’d be watching his back 24/7 and never let anything bad happen to him. Unfortunately, his cyber buddy was just taking him for a ride and somehow scammed him out of $70,000 before he realized shenanigans were afoot. How do you get bilked for $70,000 without realizing you’re being taken for a ride? Ask all those people who sent money to Nigerian princes. People believe anything.
Rather than accepting his own foolishness, OKStupid opted to sue OKCupid deciding they should have protected him like some kind of internet sex nanny bot. They should have warned him ahead of time of the dangers of internet dating. But they didn’t! So he’s suing!
Now assuming you’re on the ball enough to realize OKCupid isn’t responsible for your finances, you do need to be wary of people who need you to wire them money. No matter how awesome they are at sexting, it’s just not worth it.
Matched with a Murderer
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What’s the one fear every single human has had about meeting someone on the internet since about 1993 when the idea of meeting someone on the internet became a plausible thing to think about? Meeting an axe murderer. Humanity was convinced from day one that the internet was probably going to be some kind of axe murdering paradise with mad men skipping from victim to victim, lopping off heads and downloading porn on dial-up connections.
Mary Kay Beckman ended up meeting Wade Ridley on Match.com and four months later he was in her garage, stabbing her 10 times until his knife broke, after which he resorting to stomping on her. Ridley was also wanted for the murder of another woman in Arizona and likely would have been prosecuted for both attacks had he not committed suicide in prison.
Beckman decided to sue Match for not letting her know the potential danger while Match claimed they had no way of knowing one of their customers was a lunatic.This in turn means you need to be aware that, when you meet someone, no one on that dating site knows or cares if they make lampshades out of human skin, that’s on you to figure out.
Feed the Poor
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Say you meet someone online and decide that they seem not homicidal, maybe they’re worth dating. So you guys chat for a while and you arrange to meet – what’s your first date? If movies and TV are any indication, odds are you’re going to dinner. It’s all we do on first dates. And that’s cool because people like eating, it’s a social situation and it’s in public to cut back on that murderousness we’re so worried about. But what happens if every date with this person is just dinner? And you’re paying every time? And this happens week after week after week?
A couple of years back an anonymous woman shared her story of not being able to get by as well as she’d like on her $45k salary, so she opted to take up serial dating on Match.com. 5 nights a week she’d date different guys and get them to pay for dinner and drinks, each and every week, stringing them along until it became clear they would want to escalate the relationship, then dumping them and starting over with a new guy. This allowed her to save thousands of dollars on food and focus spending her money on other things, such as whatever the hell she wanted. Essentially she’d turned Match.com into a free food truck and used it as she saw fit.
In light of this, you’re going to want to keep a close eye on your own dates and make sure by date three you’ve shaken it up to include a non-meal activity. Ideally something the other person has to pay some amount of cash for. Because while a man can pay for everything, it’s 2014 and screw that.