(Why) I Hate to Date (Online) is a new publication from MaryAnna Donovan which outlines her 5 years of online dating. I thought it might be fun to look at this book since Judie had just finished writing a series about online dating in July. In the book MaryAnna provides commentary about a few of the men she met as well as the online dating sites themselves. The book summarizes the online dating experience very accurately and provides excellent points about the world of online dating. If you’re thinking of online dating – could you benefit from the book?
What’s most ironic about this book is that while the author spends 192 pages railing against the concept of online dating – she points out that she’s currently in a relationship with someone she met – online.
The book is an easy read. MaryAnna is a teacher and has a smooth writing style. What’s missing here are specifics from her fives years of experience with online dating.
She spends most of the time discussing the generalities of online dating without providing enough details about the men she met and dated. At several points in the book I wondered if she’d actually done online dating or had spent more time researching it. While she talks about a few of the men in very vague terms – there are not enough specifics to help someone who buys this book to learn more about the reasons behind her hatred of online dating or how to improve their online dating results.
The book is a good choice for someone with a limited amount of online dating experience looking for re-assurance that they are not the only person experiencing the ups and (lots of) downs that come with online dating.
Having done online dating myself several years ago, I can say that her thoughts about online dating are pretty accurate. It’s too bad they aren’t more specific with examples from her time online. For example in Chapter Six – Lies, Lies and More Lies she provides an overview of where people lie – height and weight are the two biggies. But there are few examples to back it up and give the reader a feel for the extent of the issue.
Some portions of the book about safety made me cringe. The advice about meeting in a public place and letting someone know where you’re going is sound. However there’s no warning about sharing cars with someone you don’t know (a huge no-no) or recommending against having a date pick you up at home (two big first timer mistakes).
In my experience some of the top questions online daters ask:
- Am I alone in finding that online dating is a tough task?
- Why isn’t anyone responding to my profile?
- Is xxxx online dating service any better than yyyy service?
- What are the overall rules of online dating – how quickly to meet, how do I write a profile, is long distance dating ok?
(Why) I Hate to Date (Online) covers question number one very well.
The remaining questions are glossed over with little to help an online dater other than reassurances that online dating is tough and the author hates it. For example if you’re wondering at the start of the book whether the eHarmony dating site is better than Match – you’ll still be wondering at the end of the book.
MaryAnna talks about profiles (one of the most difficult topics for rookie online daters) in general but provides little in the way of helpful tips about how to write them. Aside from recommending care in choosing a photo – there’s little that will help a first time online dater stand out in the crowd.
I did like the overall summary of online dating that MaryAnna provides. She’s right on target with her criticism of the wacky screen names that people give themselves and provides a very accurate description of the online dating experience complete with the seemingly constant sense of frustration that can accompany it.
When I started the book I was very excited to see that someone captured the overall challenges of online dating and was eager to read about her experiences in more detail. Unfortunately the book doesn’t provide enough detail for the experienced online dater to learn about ways to improve their success.
The title of this book is very accurate. It provides information about the online dating world that turns off most daters – including the author. I was however left wishing that the information would be more detailed and contain some recommendations for other daters that might improve their results.
Overall this book is a great read for someone already experienced with online dating who is burning out on the online experience. It will provide re-assurance that you’re not the only one out there experiencing frustration with cyber dating. If you’re looking for a detailed “how to” guide then you’ll probably want to look for a book specifically marketed as a “How To” guide.
What I Liked:
– Accurate overall portrayal of Online Dating
-Easy to read
– Good overview of online dating that would be helpful as a “read me first” for the new dater or to re-assure a more experienced dater that they are not alone in their frustrations.
What Could Be Improved:
– More specifics
– Provide details on increasing success with online dating
– More details on the pros and cons of different dating services
– Provide more details on the common mistakes people make and give detailed ways to avoid them
– Provide more profile examples