Meet Joel, our resident dating expert. He’s no Tony Robbins. He won’t ask you to pay a zillion bucks to attend his seminars. He’ll just tell it like it is, from the wise POV of someone who’s out there dating — just like you! Ask Joel “What’s the Deal” or anything else.

Post your questions/comments to Joel in the comments section below. 

Dear Joel,
What’s the Deal?!?

I’m not meeting any good guys and my friends tell me I should try online dating, but I always thought it was just kind of phony and weird. What do you think?

—Afraid of Online Dating

Dear Afraid of Online Dating,
Here’s the Deal:

It depends what you’re looking for. If you’re searching for Mr. Right, and have the patience to do so, then you should embrace every opportunity to meet new people. It’s a numbers game. Online dating can be tiring, but you are getting exposed to people who are outside your circle of friends.

Sure there are going to be a lot of weirdos online, but there are a lot of weirdos in the real world as well. At least with online dating you’re the gatekeeper and can weed out potential awkward dates before they start. You can’t do that with your mom’s friend’s blind date that is such a nice boy but really… isn’t. 

My point is that if you’re even bringing up this question, you’re starting to feel like your options are dwindling. It would be a shame to prevent yourself from meeting an awesome person just because it was online. All that matters is that you meet. After that you can tell people whatever story you want. I met my last girlfriend New Year’s Eve in Chinatown when I saved her life by deflecting an errant firework with a roundhouse kick an hour after getting my wisdom teeth pulled (translation:

The Internet has changed the way we shop, the way we watch movies, even the way we stalk ex-lovers. It only makes sense that it will change the way we date. After all, one-out-of-five commercials trying to tell you that one-out-of-five relationships start online get one-out-of-five customers to sign up. And with those odds, who wouldn’t want to pay to meet strangers?


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