In the world of online dating, it's a tale as old as time: You meet somebody online who's funny. Genuine. Charming. Until the IRL date happens ... and you find out that he's not quite the person you found yourself engaging in witty banter with on the Internet.
Virtual dating assistants
exist exactly for that reason -- to give those (primarily guys) who lack the capacity to reel in a potential date a little help in the profile-creation department.
We asked you guys: Is this a useful service for the busy and/or socially awkward, or an unforgivable deception that answers the rhetorical question "Could online dating get any worse?"
says, "Frankly speaking, I think those who resort to this type of dating are very posssibly courting disappointment. I think that those who don't want to put the effort into getting out there and meeting people or who can't seem to get anybody interested after the first boorish attempt to be macho are just the guys who go to these places."
, a psychologist, finds it misleading to use a virtual dating assistant. He says, "I'd think a woman who found that an interesting man on line was only shilling for a client would call it quits on them both. I seek and communicate directly with prospective dates on line and off ... and present myself with my own charm."
Another reader who met her now-husband on a dating site advises against letting anyone else handle your romantic life. Having written her own profile, Happywithesitematch
says, "The 'virtual assistant' could never have gotten to know us well enough to write for us. There was no chance of incorrect information being available to the other, unless one of us had provided it. Despite the horror stories about how people can lie in their profiles, the truth is that any discrepancies will become apparent eventually. Anyone who truly wants to meet someone has nothing to gain by an inflated or outright dishonest entry."
argues that not everyone has the writing skills to market him or herself in the right light. He says, "People who communicate easily on paper have a huge advantage. Some of the men who pay for help are probably real duds -- but not all of them. I was lucky and found someone I really fell in love with - but it didn't happen overnight. And when I wasn't successful at first, I didn't take it personally. I understood from the beginning that this was a marketing problem. Making a good first impression in person doesn't mean you know how to attract someone's interest on the internet -- and that's not a moral failing or a sign of a crummy character!"
At the end of the day, it's not as big a deal as people make it out to be, according to Thelegendaryjhartley.
"This is just another example a market ripe for outsourcing. You find people who are better than you are at an activity and hire them to do it. The goal here is the date, and you still need to swim on your own when that happens, so I don't see what the big deal is. Sure, it's controversial but I don't think it's as immoral as some people are saying."
Is hiring a virtual dating assistant inappropriate? Acceptable? Absolutely warranted? Would you ever do it?