SHELLEY HOWELLS braves the netherworld of internet dating and finds many well-adjusted enthusiasts as well as a few weirdos. Few words so rapidly conjure images of sad, desperate geeks/weirdos/social cripples.
Apparently the show's participants were a rather strange and sad lot and the web dating community is still smarting over it. It quickly becomes clear that net Datingland does not necessarily equate with Geeksville or Pervert County. Then there were the stupid, rude, the egomaniacs, marrieds looking for some extramarital fun and two men who sent nude photos along with some startling ideas of how we could spend our spare time.
Reasons for joining dating sites are as varied as the individuals.
One 34-year-old Leo says she has no problems finding dates in the real world.
"I joined because I thought the internet might be a useful way of getting to know someone fairly well before meeting them and having the whole sex issue clouding judgment," she said.
Rachael Truman, 25, joined a variety of online dating sites to meet people before moving cities.
She met her two best mates online, as well as her partner.One woman, 26, met her de facto husband in a Yahoo!chat room but joined dating sites to catch him cheating after discovering that his previous relationship had broken up because he was cheating with women he was meeting online.She caught him cheating on her too: "I went through the profiles of 300 men and I picked his out.Got a girlfriend to ring him and arrange to meet him."Now," she says, "he knows I'll find out if he does anything else." Paulo, in his early 40s and studying for a masters degree, says he joined a dating site "because I'm not a good approacher of women in bars or clubs".