Online Dating: Where do we go from here, Darwin?

Many years ago I ran into a High School friend at a comedy show after party with his 'new' girlfriend in hand. Seven years had gone by since we last chatted and I felt the need to say hello. After a cordial if brief re-acquaintance and a polite introduction to his lovely girlfriend, I asked how they had met. They looked at each other, smiled, as if sharing some dark secret before admitting, 'We met online.' Then they smiled to each other some more. As if somehow by dating they have breached a rare social contract where it is stated people must meet by having one partner pick up the other while participating in some sort of mysterious community-based liturgy.

During this time sites like Lava Life and Plenty of Fish had just begun to flourish and meeting over the web was still not quite in vogue. It is amazing what a difference a few years make. These days, it is not only socially acceptable but if you dare denounce online-dating, you risk the chance of on-lookers to well, look at you as an archaic individual more at home at a cave with only dial-up than a citizen of the new millennium.

Indeed, the search for the perfect partner is now hotter and easier than ever! As online dating is now not only considered normal but is in fact one of the fastest growing ways to chat, meet and bed members of the opposite sex since the invention of the mini-skit and the sport convertible. So... now that it has gotten this far, where do we from here?

Sure if you are hot, you can post a picture, toss some lines on your profile and sit back, sip on a glass of wine and let the matches pile up. Although just like in a club, you are bound to get a plethora of 'undesirables.' Both men and women vying for your attention, with their funny quips and insights and claims of how they are different than those who just posted funny quips and insights on how they are different then the first people who posted something about just how different they are. It is like the bar scene just set to fast forward. You can do three weekends of bar-hoping without leaving the comfort of your living room. No dancing, drinking, friends or fresh air required. Anyone can see the advantages in that.

But now what? How can they this fun be taken to the next level? Well, some enterprising people have. At first I thought it was a joke but I recently found out about this site called Darwin Dating. A dating site which only accepts 'HOT' people. People with genetics south of Homo Sapiens need not apply! So now you can reject hot jerks as well!

Enjoy the snobbery of clubs in the comfort of your own home! But there is more! Have you ever wondered if you are a chimp? Now you can find out using their questionnaire!

Not sure if you are hot? They are more than willing to let you know through their easy to follow 41 point check list. Obviously not only they think you are ugly but not very smart as well. 'Lack of visible skin between eyebrows? Pocket protectors? Crooked or webbed toes?' Damn! So close!

Since the service is free, they surely make some of their expenses through distinctive and well placed ads. Which by the way point to other more idiotic dating services such as '' and the more ludicrous sounding where their tag line is 'Where the classy, attractive and affluent can meet.' Followed by the ever affluent statement 'As seen on Dr. Phil, Richard and Judy and WB11 WPIX News TV!' Since when do we take dating advise from news shows? Or a pseudo-crackpot, pop-psychology who found fame at the fancy of Oprah? And who abused the practice and ended up pay $10 million in a class action suit because he told people if they bought his weight loss supplements they would 'help you change your behavior to take control of your weight.'

Food does that? How come McDonald's have not put some of that magic pixie ingredient on their burgers. Oh, yeah, the $10 million class action suit. But Dr. Phil can't be wrong!

My God, and I have been meeting women through face to face encounters all these years? How retro am I? Don't get me wrong, online dating has its advantages. They do help to plow through the profiles of jerks, assholes and psychotic-rabbit-loving women who litter the path to the perfect partner. In the end I can't help wondering if we are transcending and complicating what started off as a good idea to the point of lunacy. What is next? Marry an Ugly Millionaire Online service?

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