For an urban dwelling, atomized person as isolated as myself, it is suggested that online dating should be used as a venue for meeting other single individuals and arranging for social encounters and possible relationships. Seems to me to be far less effective and more extortionary (in the financial sense) than the old fashioned method from yore of organizing singles' "get togethers" where unattached people can meet face to face. But online romance is the best alternative which our declining age offers us.
In some ways, the online route is superior. For losers such as myself who have the eternal knack for off-putting virtually everyone we cross paths with (save trailer court rabble and underclass incompetents), the lack of direct communication can be a blessing. It is not that one should misrepresent oneself in this manner. However, the online medium serves as a buffer from instant rejection.
Yet overall it is a far inferior method. There are certain arrangements and conventions involved which, if not mastered perfectly, can doom all online pursuits and lead to failure and fruitless efforts. In many ways, online dating etiquette is an outgrowth of knowing basic social skills. If you have absolutely no knowledge, experience, or skill in this area, no amount of training can bring any onling dating endeavors past the point of fishing from a dry hole. A very dry, unforgiving hole.
So for people like me who frittered away our childhood memorizing encyclopedia articles in isolation instead of obtaining a basic social skills education through substative human interaction, more doors are closed and more walls pose themselves insurmountable in our face.
True loners spend their entire existences virtually alone, interacting with others only for functional ends. There are no connections made, no relationships forged. Indeed, the concept of close relationships and human interaction is virtually as alien to the loner as life in space. Their lives turn inward, toward whatever petty interests amuse them. External intrusions, no matter on what level they are desired, are ultimately perceived as foreign and alien intrusions into a hermetically sealed lifestyle.
Social situations of the 'normal' sort are so alien to me, it is like attempting to interpret a foreign culture - at least that is the analogy that sprouts to mind whenever I encounter such a situation. That is how out of the loop folks like me are.
So if we cannot cut it in the real world, then how is online dating supposed to be any different for us? When the time inevitably comes to meet person to person (supposing it ever comes to that), what happens then?
In my online dating experience, it is apparent that 99.5% of all attempts to 'outreach' and connect are fishing down dry holes. For every interest notification sent, about 1 in 1,000 are reciprocated. For every reciprocation and response to same, about 10% (at most) are additionally reciprocated. Beyond that, the chances for further connection are so infinitesimal as to be unmeasurable.
I suppose for most folks, online dating is generally quite fruitful and active, and great benefits and even lasting relationships come of it. Socially balanced individuals find online dating to be useful - otherwise online websites would not exist, much less be so popular amongst the unattached. For the loser who demonstrates no ability to communicate effectively in real life without eliciting extremely negative reactions from the people around him, it is no surprise that online chatting should be no different.
If you don't know how to talk to people, you aren't going to be able to compose a message that will grab the attention of the opposite sex or otherwise make them interested in you. If you agonize over every word, every syllable, when writing a message or a response to a message via an online dating service, that's a very good sign that you are absolute shit at the business.
I would suggest for the social isolate not to waste one's money on online dating services. You are too fundamentally flawed for it to be much of use for you. If you are really, really determined to do the online dating thing, I would first suggest radically altering your personality, outlook on life, and general comportment around other people before even contemplating such a move.
Overall, the social isolate is too flawed to exist in civilized society. That should not amount to an abridgment of his civil rights or denial of opportunities based on merit and/or native talent. For the social isolate, that is all he will likely receive out of life. You get out of life only what you put into it. Lazy, indolent personalities eat shit and breathe lifelong misery, as they rightly should in a morally proper regime.
(I apologize for going off topic somewhat. But what's stopped me before?)
Anyway, take your personal situation into consideration and seriously consider the odds that you will find happiness or companionship via the online route, before parting with your hard earned money. They don't call it discretionary spending for nothing.