The Dark Side of Online Romance

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Photo Credit:’s BrianAJackson

On this special day of love, when half of the world is fantasizing about romance, we shall explore the downside of online dating and romance.

A Low-Friction Dating Market

The economic term is rather unromantic to discuss the notion of love but it is apropos to describe the lack of sufficient friction in the market of online romance. A frictionless market brings buyers and sellers together in an effortless and less expensive way.

Similarly, dating game is also kind of a market which used to be expensive and inefficient. One had to go out, meet new people, and challenge his own comfort-zone. Whereas, all we need to do now is to make a profile on a dating website to search for a romantic partner and even then the knowledge of having better options out there deters a person from making any serious effort in establishing or saving the relationship. The emotional labor and risk of failure have significantly reduced.

Dan Slater, author of “Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating,” discusses two ultimate outcomes of a low-friction dating market. First is that the value of your find diminishes because it is simply too easy to find it. Secondly, it reduces the cost of moving on to something new. Not only is what you have less valuable but finding a replacement is less expensive as well.

There may still be a break up drama, but online romance usually means no strings are attached. Hence, you won’t be sitting at home listening to sad songs and smoking cigarettes. The trade will happen within days.

Too Many Dating Preferences

We recently scanned some profiles on dating websites to get a better look at the situation. Most of the partner expectations we came across ranged from being cheesy to downright unreasonable. Some female candidates put an additional requirement of high salary for their male suitors. For example, a 30 years old Latina is looking for a single man with great family values. He should have a “muscular body,” “Caucasian origin,” and an annual income of about $250,000.

Firstly, she wouldn’t find such a combination online, and even if she did, there is a high risk of being deceived by someone for reasons unknown.

Another negative trend is the demand for Caucasian partners by literally any race of daters. These are troubling signs of harmful feelings of racial inferiority among our nation. How is this online world a genuine reflection of what we are today as a nation if this is the generation raised on the principles of tolerance, self-affirmation and the greatest equality of opportunity in the history of the world?

Preferences are natural and very much acceptable by any reasonable person, but making such demands is out of proportion. This jeopardizes the online dating scenario for any serious suitors looking for viable prospects.

Online Romance Scams or “Sweetheart Scamming”

On Valentine’s Day, it’s not just cupid aiming at your heart, there are a number of scammers ready to target unsuspecting members at various dating websites.

Any good dating website will have a strict code of conduct mentioning clearly what not to expect from an honest love interest to help you identify phony daters. If someone starts asking for gifts or money, it’s on a dater’s own risk to carry out the exchange. Mostly the online crooks succeed in swindling the gullible all too easily.

Other “Sweetheart scams” include the greeting card malware attacks, shopping deals spamming your email inbox, gift related search word dangers, fake gift vendors, etc.

Another serious one is the romantic masquerade on social media networks where scammers trick you into taking surveys that could set the stage for identity theft. Avoid the applications that pretend as romantic wall postings.


Successful online dating requires utmost cautiousness and vigilance. Otherwise, the darkness might engulf the light of hope that the online romance brings to you once and for all. Let us all stay sincere to ourselves as well as to others so that no one is harmed in the way of love, be it in real life or online.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.