Online internet dating for lonely singles

For socially weird or anxious or shy people, trying to meet a stranger in public is a nightmare, and even for someone charming and outgoing, it’s a grueling task that requires a lot of luck.

The alternative that often happens is meeting someone through friends, which can work, but it’s limiting yourself to single people your closest friends and family happen to know.

Many women prefer meeting men in real life because it creates the opportunity for a more natural connection.

Accompanying photos occasionally include kids and pets and sometimes are taken in (and of) exotic lands, the point apparently being to make the rest of us depressed about the repetitive, prosaic, embarrassingly local lives we — and apparently only we — are leading.

Most of all, it seems that every woman, regardless of age, despises the indoors.

You spend part of your time trying to recover from, and make sense of, all these potentially lovely people who won’t give you the time of day, then the rest flicking off people in whom you have no interest. In theory, though, it should at least be less uncomfortably urgent for those of us of a certain age: somewhere between the first biological clock (gotta reproduce! We can treat the process itself — the search, the exchange of messages, the one-off dinners — as intellectually intriguing, diverting, amusing, and perhaps even a path toward self-knowledge.

It’s not a waste of time even when it doesn’t lead anywhere. Alfie Kohn (alfiekohn.org) is the author of 14 books about human behavior and education, including “The Myth of the Spoiled Child,” due for release in paperback this spring.

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