Alison Berkley: Online dating |

Alison Berkley: Online dating

I have been shopping for a new boyfriend on the Internet.

Doctors and lawyers and bankers, oh my! Add that tart to my cart and proceed to checkout, boyyeeeeee! Online dating is so much more fun than I thought. It really takes Internet voyeurism to a whole new level.

Until recently, I flat out refused to go there. No way. I am not that desperate. I don’t need to “seek” anyone, thankyouverymuch. I am just fine on my own, even if I am 33, single, and wrought with pain from a recent breakup.

But I have this friend Shanti who swears by it, and after watching me suffer with one dead-end relationship after another, insists I try it. This is what quality people, who have a career and grown-up responsibilities and don’t want to deal with “the bar scene” do when they’ve run out of patience or time and are ready to find a suitable mate, she says. This is a sign of the times.

After all, she found a rich, successful guy on who totally fell in love with her pit bull, Kailee. Even though he turned out to be a total pompous ass, she now has a dog sitter who drives a Porsche. She also found a handsome, loving, anal-retentive fashion photographer who is terrified to fly. She has been living with him, somewhat happily, for over two years. So what if he took five valiums and still couldn’t get on a plane to NYC for a business trip? His work speaks for itself.

I explain to Shanti that a) I don’t date and b) every date I have ever been on has been a total disaster. I believe in fate! I believe in synchronicity! Six degrees of separation! Everything happens for a reason! You can’t force it, it’ll happen when you least expect it, just like everyone says.

I tell her that in Aspen, relationships start over tequila shots with friends I want to … get to know better. My boyfriends have always been friends of friends, someone I knew within the context of my world, someone who knows someone I know, so I can find out everything I need to know beforehand, like whether they’re good kissers or womanizers and of course if they’re well endowed or not (yes, women do care about that sort of thing even though we say we don’t).

Unfortunately, most of those relationships drag on past their maturity date and eventually fail. The men I’m always drawn to are fun, loving, and wild, but also tend to be poor, irresponsible and without a reliable vehicle or a full-time job. They love their bong more than they love me.

Still, I would way rather be in a relationship with someone who’s too stoned to know any better or die alone than subject myself to the humiliation I experienced during the only two dates I’ve ever been on in my entire life:

Spring of 2000: A guy from work asks me out for dinner. We know each other casually and I find him attractive, but we’ve never really hung out outside the office. We meet at a nice restaurant and it seems like things go OK until he insists we split the bill, even though he had the most expensive entree on the menu and I ordered a salad. Then he hastily walks me to my car like he might have to pee or puke or both.

I turn to put my key in the car door and he runs the other way, fast, before I can say goodbye. He throws in a wave, his arm high over his head, without turning around and shouts, “Good luck!” from an almost inaudible 50 yards away.

Good luck?

Date two, winter 2001: So I am on a protein diet. When I do something, I stick with it. I’m not going to let some restaurant taunt me with carbohydrates. So maybe it’s against my better judgment to go out with a cocky little 22-year-old, but I simply can not resist those heavy, thick eyelashes and that buttery, raspy voice. After all, boy toys are very hip these days, just look at Demi and Ashton!

Throughout the meal (sushi), the pile of rice on my plate grows bigger and bigger. I pick out the fish and leave the rice (bad white food!) for naught.

“What’s up with the carnage?” he wants to know. He seems disgusted.

I look down at the soy sauce and wasabi stained mountain of rice, the mangled seaweed that I tore apart to get at the precious insides of each delectable roll, and realize that it’s pretty gross. I wear a sign that reads, “psycho diet chick” on my forehead.

After I pay for dinner and drive his sorry ass back to the condo (of course he didn’t have a car), he kindly suggests that I not come up. Services paid for and not rendered. Bastard!

So, I explain to Shanti, not only am I skeptical about subjecting myself to dating some shmuck from the Internet, I’m skeptical about dating, period.

Then my boyfriend dumps me a few weeks ago, right before leaving on a vacation we had planned to go on together. Screw it. Let’s give a look-see.

I find an assortment of men from all over Colorado who love to cook and wander in the rain, men who are close with their mothers and enjoy fine wine. Men looking for a date, a relationship, marriage. Men that want women who are honest and true, intelligent and funny, athletic and adventurous. Men who aren’t that bad looking. Men that, if I’m lucky, might not be ax murderers or serial killers.

Men that might even be for real.

[If all goes as planned, The Princess has her first date (nice Jewish boy!) this weekend and will be sure to let you know how it goes. E-mail your online-dating horror stories to her at]

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