Ripped off

Have been too busy lately living life to write about it (cliché time) but a thought occured to me. I finally realised why I hate online dating websites. They are exactly life self-help books.

They make money by preying on your insecurities. You are wonderful, of course: look at all these hobbies you have and witty things you write when you fill in the profile. But you have a PROBLEM: you are single. It’s a BIG PROBLEM: you are lonely and your friends have partners and you have to stimulate your own genitals. But THIS website — with its handy 10-commandments guides to writing the best profile and finding a date and posting the ideal photo — can solve your problem. For a mere US$40 a month.

Yet, like self-help books, the best customers for online dating sites are repeat customers. In my experience of the things, there’s a constant flow of new people coming through and either pairing off or getting sick of it, but there’s also a core of regulars who sign up for the long-term deal and visit every day.

Isn’t the purpose of these things to get you married off and having kiddies or at least shagging someone on a semi-regular basis? Or is it to keep you strung out on false hopes and spririt-crushing rejections to make money? An online business that aims to make money, who’d have thunk it?

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