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The perils of Internet dating

August 21, 2003

Re: "Web Dating Only Netted Bad News," by Samantha Bonar, Aug. 14: After finding myself single last November, around February I decided to try Match.com due to relentless cajoling from friends. After four months of blind "coffee or tea" meetings, replete with anticipation and excitement and subsequently a lot of disappointment, I then realized what was happening: E-dating is dating backwards. Let's get to know each other, learn all about what we have in common, become good friends and then meet to see if we have any "chemistry" -- the buzz word of e-dating.

There are some things that can't be replaced by technology: that first moment when you meet someone and your heart beats faster, their smell, their energy, their smile, their voice, their laugh, and, dare I say it, their chemical makeup. That first moment is the heart singing, the spirit jumping and it allows me to realize that I am really attracted to this person.

John Baker

Santa Monica

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A hundred years ago, if you gave a coward a gun, he became "Billy the Kid." Now, all you have to do is give a man a computer and he will be transformed into a modern Romeo or Don Juan.

But believe me, it doesn't happen only to women. I would like to share a little experience. I ended up talking with a woman in a chat room. I sent her, by regular mail, a few pictures of me and she sent me, by computer, some of hers. She was very attractive and looked as if she took care of herself. As I told her, I am still a student, so I am not rich and not to expect much from me money-wise, and she told me: "Money is not an issue for me. I will take care of you. I can even take you shopping, if you want. I worked for movie stars, so there is plenty of money."

I ended up meeting her. On our "blind" date I ended up wishing I was blind. She didn't lie at all. The picture was hers, but she had sent me a picture of her when she was 23. She is now 45; I am 29. She worked in the movie industry, but not exactly for movie stars. Her job was to set the red carpet and entrances for events.

After that experience, I decided to go back to the old ways: to meet people face to face.

Armando Botello

La Puente

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Samantha Bonar has my sympathies for dealing with the weaker sex.

I, too, have taken the cyber plunge as I have reentered the community of singledom, and it has been scarier than getting an envelope from the IRS.

I understand how you might shudder when your computer announces, "You have new male" ... I mean "mail."

Brent J. Rosenbaum

Los Angeles

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