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Top Ten First DateDating ain’t what it used to be (nd it never will be again). The net, craigslist, and all the big online dating sites changed everything forever. Behold: an anonymous 24/7 sea of potential partners. Whether paid sites like Match or eHarmony, or free wheeling craigslist personals, anyone can and everyone does. In fact, online dating is so mainstream that it’s almost boring. Unless you’ doing it.

Not only has the internet changed dating, it’s changed cheating too. Partners (future, current and ex-) Google each other, scour Facebook and Twitter, read and re-read blogs, and more. Heck, craigslist is woven into more than one epsisode of Law & Order (for good reason).

Online dating carries little stigma and one is no longer labeled a loser for using the net to hunt, shop, and forage. craigslist has surpassed newspaper classifieds and online dating sites like match, nerve, eHarmony, et al. have replaced traditional face-to-face dating, let alone matchmakers (shadchen).

Ladies, if you’re going to use craigslist to shop for a man (or any other dating site for that matter), please read my advice for women and craigslist. Being a free country, you’re free to ignore any or all of what I say. Otherwise you may find yourself guilty of any number of craigslist sins. You may, just may, find that heeding some of my suggestions will aid in your search for Mr. Right (or Mr. Wrong if that’s your kink. See “samsara”.

Fact: women and men are different. Duh. Feminism and PC aside, never underestimate social inertia coupled with evolutionary hardwiring. Equal protection and equal rights are not synonyms nor equivalent. Not even close. One size does not fit all.

To The CurbNever confuse great sex with true love. Cherish the times when they happen to overlap. But don’t be blind to which one is before you. Misidentification has its price. One of the joys of being older is sex is no longer about procreation. It’s decoupled from making babies. In fact, for many of us our babies aren’t babies any more. BTW, non-menstruating women are great! Why? Because you’re dealing with only one personality not 28 cyclical ones. You stand a very good chance of knowing who you’re dealing with; today, tomorrow, and next week.

We all have baggage. Compatability can be defined as a matching set. We’re often cobblers for each other. All said and done,most people want family, however that’s defined. This too is hardwired in. As always, YMMV.

One of online dating’s shortcomings is the ease with which connections are made and broken. A shallowness can seep into one’s online life because the anonymity of one’s online persona allows for behavior one would admit was rude and somewhat callous in person. The social checks and balances are missing without face to face contact coupled with personal identification. Be nice, play fair, and don’t hurt anyone.

Alas alack. It appears that the balance of power still rests with women, online and off. I’m always shocked when I hear women talk about the flood of responses they get. The inverse of a man’s experience I’m afraid.

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