People in general have a damning image of the sort of folk they’re likely to meet online.
Specimen A – let’s call him Hector – is grossly obese, and he lives in his parents’ basement. A dark, dank, Wotsit-strewn case study in epidemiology, the room smells of festering underpants and the remnants of week-old kebab. He does not have a job. He does not have a social life. Having achieved nothing over the course of his thirty-five years – save for a rather spectacular fungal infection – he slobs in his hovel playing World of Warcraft. He is a prime candidate for online romance, probably with someone like specimen B.
Specimen B – let’s call her Winifred – has cats, and many of them. It is difficult to count her cats because they all look similarly mangled. She works from home manning a premium rate astrology phone line. She hasn’t looked in the mirror for a long, long time – largely because the cats obstruct it. She is waiting to be rescued by her hero, whom she hallucinates as a tall, dark Persian Prince with the ripped body of a demigod and blazing eyes like celestial storms. (He’s hanging round in Persia at the moment, but soon he’ll move for good to Stoke-on-Trent.)
Do people like this actually exist, and if so, are they a legitimate reason not to try online dating? I don’t know about the first bit, but the second bit’s an emphatic no. The Hectors and Winifreds of any site are hardly compulsory encounters. As to whether your perfect match might turn out to be secretly like that – well, either your sleuthing skills are very poor, or Hector and Winifred are cleverer than I’ve given them credit for.
In short, whether or not you meet weirdos is entirely up to you. If they moan too much about the price of cat food, that may well be your cue to keep on looking…