I decided to try online dating. About a month ago. And I needed to have a screen name. I didn’t know what my call myself. So I looked up my fellow online dating rivals. They looked like this:

HotocmaleEurodudeMBA. Meetmeatsunset245. BrothaMan71. LonelyJ105. 

As I stressed over the required online name, I questioned myself.

Should I be doing this?

It’s the stigma. Friends might find out. (Some surely have now.) They might judge me desperate. Or, slimy. So I did some quick research. I was right. The Pew Research Center ran a study in 2005 and 2015. People were asked to respond to the statement, “… people who use online dating sites are desperate.”

Twenty-nine percent in 2005; 19% in 2002.

The study also showed that if you’re single, or a younger adult, or both, online dating’s great. But if you’re married and older, you think it’s wrong.

And most of the people I know are older, and married.

Married people should have no need for online dating. It’s only us singles who truly understand the allure. We’re the ones who go to bed every night, alone. It’s only us singles who often crave monogamous companionship, especially if we’re middle-aged and can compare the loneliness of being single with the companionship of marriage.

Only divorced people get what it’s like to lose the companionship that they once took for granted. 

Anyway, I decide on my screen name: iiiaaammm. No rhyme or reason to it. Except it has a Cartesian flavor. I realized that only I would amalgamate the French philosopher, Descartes, into my online screen name (and then proceed to feel pretty smug about it).

I fight off these thoughts:

They might read my profile. They might see my photos, the shirtless one especially.

Then they’ll judge me and think, “I can’t believe Paul these days.”

Why is it socially acceptable today to keep a Facebook account, with buckets of information about yourself? Events, family shots, thoughts, feelings?

But if you put carefully scripted information about yourself on an online dating site, with just a few pictures, some consider it morally base?

Anyway, I compose a hack-summary, upload a few photos, and I’m officially baptized into the online dating universe.


Weeks later, I’m so glad.

It’s given me one of the most unique educations on the nature of love and relationships, and mankind’s innate desire to be known. You just have to look at the countless number of pictures, and read the volumes of summaries.

We are all screaming, “Look at me, hear me, see me, notice me, call me, related with me.”


We are all exactly the same; we long for relationship.

We long to know, and to be known.

I have tons of things to say about my 21st century Match.com experiences.

And I just might share a few of them here in the days ahead. If I can get past the stigma, that is.