When I was doing online dating, there was always the one creep who would answer, “I’ll tell you later” under the relationship status on match (or wherever). I suspect there were many more people who fit into this category of “I’ll tell you later,” but they were smarter than to answer that question truthfully, or to evade the question in this totally obvious red-flag waving way. Although the degree to which dishonesty is a part of online dating is definitely exaggerated, I do think there are a few on every service who are already married or in a relationship, just as I think you should subtract two inches to most guys’ reported height, and ten pounds to most womens’ reported weight.
That said, I don’t know which side to come down on this new website I heard being advertised on the radio this morning. Ashley Madison is an online dating service that says it caters to those “already in a relationship, but who want more,” and the ad on the radio I heard suggests that it is for people who have one foot out of their current relationship and want to find a new girlfriend/boyfriend before they let go, which is a pussy practice if ever there was one. But, if you go to the site, they are much more open about it: “Life is short. Have an affair,” they suggest!
I have to agree in that among ways of making your life seem to last longer and be more tedious, affairs must be right up there in the rankings of causal factors. As a former online dater, I do like the idea that they are trying to ghettoize the cheaters into one area and keep them away from the real singles, since I’ve heard of more than a few situations where a girl was dating a guy from one of the major dating services who turned out to be married. I think there was only one guy in my own personal experience of online dating who had been in a relationship–I only went out with him once, and was clued into his status by the fact that he always wanted us to meet out of town for dates. No big loss there. But some people really do get hurt–the daters, and the families of the cheating spouse, no doubt.
So, yeah, take them out of the regular population, that’s great. And I suppose I have to admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the service–they identified a gap in the market and are trying to fill it.
But having said that–WTF?!
A dating site for people who want to find other people to cheat with? What good could come from this? Well, I’m sure there will be a few “If you like Pina Coladas” moments where the husband and wife pick out each other’s ads from the service and live happily ever after getting caught in the rain. And maybe it will cut down a bit on friends cheating with their friends’ spouses, which causes and extra element of hurt that is harder to get away from.
But seriously, this seems like a magnet for gratuitous litigation and possible death threats. Do they have a package deal with eHarmony–meet the girl you want to bear your children, and then find your secret gay lover on ashley madison? Do they have a special VIP login for politicians? Are we not all going to hell in a handbasket?
Edited to add: Oh hey, look! They have an affiliate program. Awesome! Sign me up.