Don't Look Now, Part 4


by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I’m online dating and I’ve met the standard amount of freaks, guys looking to cheat on their wives, and jerks who just want to get laid. I’ve met some nice guys too. But I’ve noticed that after a few dates with someone nice who shows some promise, he gets back online—even though we’re still going out and things seem to be going well. (I only know he’s online because I go on to look at his pics again and read his profile—dorky to admit, but true.) I’m not looking for commitment after the third or fourth date; I guess I just hoped that after a few quality dates, guys might be interested in focusing on one person and less likely to still troll for women. It really kills the momentum in my opinion. I feel deflated when I go on to look at my crush and see, “Online now!” Any thoughts?—SB

Chris    The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy

As you know, with online dating you get the whole kit and caboodle—freaks, jerks, nice guys, etc.

Despite what these sites may be selling you, online dating doesn’t have any more or any less quality people than you can meet anywhere else in this world, so take it for what it is—another avenue to meet people. Perhaps you’ve started to learn how to be more discerning so that you can at least bring the freak show to a minimum.

As for your “nice guys” who go back online. Well, you’re back online too, right? Granted you say it’s just because you are checking up on them. Okay, sure. But, you are back online. Maybe they’re also checking on you? Or maybe they’re on there to get more dates or just to read your profile again to gain more insight into you? Who knows? You shouldn’t really care.

You should view online dating under the same standards as real world dating. If you had a few good dates with someone you met offline, would you have any way of knowing if that person was looking for or even dating other people? Probably not. A few dates doesn’t mean you have any sort of commitment, and neither you nor your dating partner has any right to ask the other not to date other people until one of you expresses the desire for exclusivity. A few dates seems a bit premature to do that.

Another flaw in online dating is that it provides so many dating choices that people using dating services may never feel like settling down. Why wouldn’t you think there might be greener grass out there when you see pages and pages of available folks every time you click “search?”

You’ll just have to deal with this online dating thing until you do meet a guy who wants to run off—and log off—with you.

Check in next week for another Q&A series with The 4-Way.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.

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