My return to dating websites this week has been like getting reacquainted with a crack habit. That familiar warm, fuzzy feeling came flooding back as I perused the legions of smiling thumbnails, luring me back into their lonely world with hot promises of everlasting love.After a recent period of cold turkey from online dating, I was apparently rehabilitated. I had no cravings, no regrets. But now that I'm back online, chatting to a brunette from Dulwich calling herself "Sandy80", that's all gone out of the window and I'm wondering why I ever left. I've got the buzz again. And it has brought with it waves of clarity. I've suddenly worked out why online dating is so addictive
One of my long-standing issues with these sites is the amount of ugly people on them. I'd estimate the proportion of monsters at roughly 85 per cent. Very often a message will pop into your inbox, prompting a jolt of excitement, and then you'll see the sender's face and be disappointed. It stands to reason that this will happen, because the unattractive are more likely to be unattached.
But I've now realised this doesn't matter. If there are 1,000 girls online and 850 of them are butters, there are still 150 left, which is an enormous amount to choose from.
Invariably, most of these will also be culled for various reasons: poor spelling, inconvenient height, flabby arms, racist views. But as these undesirables are weeded out, you'll gradually form a fairly promising shortlist. Like X Factor finalists, they have passed numerous cruel auditions and beat off huge competition. So by definition, those that remain will be close to perfection - and it's much easier to attain perfection on paper.
That is why online dating is so addictive.