The Agony And The Ecstasy: Memories Of Online Dating

shutterstock_242614333Before I got married, I had a love/hate relationship with online dating.

JDate and I had a torrid romance, an on-again, off-again love affair, filled with highs and lows, starts and stops, and plenty of hits and misses. There was never a dull moment for me and JDate; we broke up a million times, but somehow managed to always kiss and make up until I finally kissed it off for good.

Whether you’re on JDate, Match, OkCupid, Bumble, etc., most of you already know internet dating can be fantastic place to meet new people, make new friends, find true love, lift your spirits, boost your ego, or get laid.

Or, it can be living hell if you let it.

Dating online is a lot like a real relationship: when it works out, it’s great, but when it doesn’t, you hate its guts.

So how do you stay in love with internet dating? First, keep reasonable expectations so that you’re never disappointed. Second, don’t take it too seriously. If you don’t roll with the punches, you’ll go from dater to hater faster than a left-swipe on a Tinder dating app.

Looking back, JDate and I had some great times together. We had lots of conversation, coffees, and cocktails, but nothing that involved a real meal since that was too much of a commitment.

Most of my dates were “one and done.” Some lasted longer; some became good friends; and some I think back on and laugh (which is what you need to do with internet dating).

Like the E.R. doctor-turned-actor (always a red flag), who actually lasted for three months – practically a lifetime in the world of online dating. I can laugh about it now, but at the time, it wasn’t so funny.

After weeks of dating and courtship, and spending Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine, he dumped me on New Year’s Eve. Just like that, with no heads-up, no warning, nothing. His reason? He said I was the “marrying type.” He felt bad dating me since he wanted to have fun and I was holding him back.

His timing may have sucked, but at least he wasn’t lying. I saw him back on JDate trolling for more “non-marrying” types the very next day.

There is a fair degree of lying online, I’m sorry to say. Typically, the online dater is 10 years older, 20lbs. heavier, or a few inches shorter than what’s on their profile.

I realized this early on in my online dating foray when I arranged to meet someone for drinks at a popular bar on the ground floor of an office building. It was crowded with after-work business types. Going on my date’s profile picture, I scanned the place but couldn’t see him.

Minutes later, a much older fellow who had been practically right in front of me the whole time, introduced himself. It was my date, but he looked nothing like his profile picture. In fact, he kind of looked like my grandpa.

Not that older men aren’t attractive, they are. So are bald men, short men and chubby men. The problem is that some men (and a lot of women too) feel the need to misrepresent themselves online and don’t have to.

You know what’s attractive? HONESTY.

Sometimes though, they’re not older or heavier or shorter, they’re just jerks – like the aforementioned doctor-turned-actor, and others of his ilk who think internet dating excuses them from bad etiquette.

I remember my very first online date showed up 40 minutes late, without an apology, wearing a bad toupee, and carrying no money on him. The actual “date” last 20 minutes. And when the check came, he laughed glibly and said he “forgot his wallet.” So I paid for my wine (which I was going to do anyway) and beat a gracious, yet hasty retreat.

Then there are the guys online whom you suspect are still married or juggling multiple women. How do you know? Because they text too much. They text all the time, at all hours, and will not pick up the phone to save their life. In lieu of texting, they often times show up on social media to say hi or compliment your new profile pic. Guys like that also use their kids, their jobs, or travel schedule to get out of having to actually speak.

NOTE TO THE LADIES: If you meet a guy online and he prefers to TEXT AND NOT TALK, do yourself a favor and RUN DON’T WALK.

After being on-again, off-again too many times with online dating, I finally called it quits. We broke up for good and went our separate ways. There’d be no more winks, flirts, chemistry tests, or e-cards of any kind. Instead, I threw in the towel, and gave it up to the universe to find the man of my dreams.

And when I wasn’t looking and least expected it, he appeared on Facebook of all places–quite possibly the greatest online dating site of them all.

15 replies


  1. Meredyth
    Meredyth says:

    Once again this hits the nail on the head! Having just started in the last two years dating again after 22 years of marriage I can say”yes” to all the above! I find myself saying I’ll never sign up again and then trying one more time with lots of hits and misses. Mostly misses but there’s always the ever hopeful heart that hopefully I will keep!

    • Treva Brandon Scharf
      Treva Brandon Scharf says:

      Online dating isn’t the end-all-be-all, it’s just one of many ways to meet people, so I say do it (even if it’s a pain in the ass sometimes). The goal is to get yourself out there any way you can without expectations. Remember the old saying: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.”

      Thanks for reading my stuff Meredyth! You’re the best!

        • Treva Brandon Scharf
          Treva Brandon Scharf says:

          As I like to say, you can have ASPIRATIONS, just not expectations. It totally sets you up for failure if you do. Thanks for the nice words, you’re quite the writer yourself Kevin! Keep up the good work – your single brothers out there need you!

  2. jane_gassner
    jane_gassner says:

    I had to laugh (yes OUT LOUD) at the ER doc turned actor. Was his name Mark? Did he used to be an entrepreneurial hydroponic gardener. That’s the guy whose break up was so unexpected that when he said, “We have to talk…” I actually thought maybe he was going to propose.

  3. Jacqui
    Jacqui says:

    Treva,you have such a wonderful way with words!
    I try and remind my single friends to look at those bad dates as practice for when the right one comes along! I kissed many frogs and a few princes, before I met my Prince Charming. I also love the idea of “recycling” the good guys! I can’t tell you how many nice guys, I met during my dating days that I felt might be better a match for one my girlfriends! 🙂

  4. Amy
    Amy says:

    hey, i’m just about to publish my first book, which is about my adventures in online dating. cruising around to see what others are saying, i found this! i loved your article. 🙂


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