Sometimes it seems that all single women can agree on one thing: There are no good guys out there. Because relationship-worthy men appear to be lacking – at least in college – an increasing number of young women have turned to casual dating. So, for this issue of POISEfashion, I set out to discover why casual dating is more appealing than serious relationships. To do this, I signed up for, an Ohio University online dating service for students, faculty and alumni. I created a profile, added photos and then ... waited. Within a few days, my mailbox was bursting with “winks” from various types of Athens men, including one professor, I might add. Okay, “bursting” might be an exaggeration, but I was pleasantly surprised nonetheless.


After thoroughly analyzing each potential date’s profile, I chose to respond to a 22-year-old OU student, who will be thus referred to as Guy. From his profile I gathered that he was a seemingly normal guy who just wanted to have some fun and meet a good girl. We first communicated through e-mail and then through Instant Messenger. Guy was nice enough and seemed interested, so we planned to meet – in a well-lit public place, obviously. However, as our date neared and we spoke more, I became increasingly nervous. Do women really meet men this way? Could he possibly be normal if he’s using an online dating service?  Is it normal for a semi-complete stranger to tell me about his pirate-girl fantasies? I wasn’t sure.
   Needless to say, I postponed our meeting and continued chatting him up via AIM. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be needing a restraining order in a month. Our conversations became increasingly awkward, and I decided to bail on the whole idea of meeting. Call me crazy, but men shouldn’t constantly insert weird/creepy smiley faces into their messages [ex: ;) ]. Frankly, it makes me nervous and insinuates a somewhat perverse undertone.
   Regardless, I knew I had to write something for the magazine, so here’s what I have to offer: If you’re anything like me, don’t use dating services. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with and I’m sure many a happy couple are products of this new romantic community. But it just isn’t for me. If you think men can be deceptive in real life, just wait until you try to decipher fact from fiction in an online profile.
   Being single isn’t that bad and it’s a heck of a lot better than being with a creeper. So, forget dating services; if you really want to date around, meet men the old fashion way: In a bar.



story by Kristin Abbott


graphics by Jessica Derstine

copyright 2006