A Man in a Box: The Trap of Online Dating

by Eric Disco
Oct 2

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Online dating offers a very seductive premise: there are thousands of women attractive enough to date within a 20-mile radius.

You have the opportunity to match your desires with theirs to find the perfect person. All it takes is a long enough timeline—and the timeline is near infinite.

You can wait as long as you like to meet the perfect person from behind your screen with negligible energy involved. You could spend hours a day if you want, dropping fishing lines in the water.

With the swipe of your thumb, you load the app onto your phone.

Photo after photo of attractive women present themselves to you–a world of women.

You would never, ever be able to reach this many available, attractive women in the real world.

Hottie after hottie after hottie after hottie after hottie. It’s endless.

It has to work!

The problem isn’t all those women you’re seeing on the screen. The problem is where you are when you do online dating.

Your entire value is put into a box the size of a phone screen. Everything attractive about you is squeezed into that box.

Aside from a clever initial message you’ll send to these women, there is nothing else you can do outside that box.

So, from the safety of your home, you spray and pray. You send out message after message after message on the same device where you work, surf the internet and play games.

You turn into a beacon, moored by cement into the sand.

While it feels like you’re choosing women, in actuality, they are choosing you.

As you send out more and more messages, you are left helpless, like a piece of meat on a rack.

If you happen to be particularly attractive physically, more women will choose you.

If you’re funny and intriguing, a few more may choose you.

But whatever choices you make, you are always a static, stationary entity, locked in a tiny box, waiting for a woman to choose you.

And women know this. They too have thousands and thousands of options. But every single one of those options has something in common:

They aren’t ballsy guys who walked up to them and talked to them in person.

Women try to detect whether this guy that guy could do something like that, but they can’t know for sure.

There’s no test for these men, no cliff these men had to climb to make it to her. Only tiny, static boxes filled with the promise of courage and nothing to back it up.

When you choose to walk out your front door and meet women in person, it’s a freefall, a herculean task.

There are no guidelines. The world isn’t telling you that this is the way you should meet women. There are no neat little boxes you can stuff yourself into. No screens you can hide behind.

It scares men to death to walk up to a woman and start a conversation. Anything and everything could go wrong.

There are a thousand different pitfalls you’d never have to deal with online. The potential for embarrassment and humiliation is limitless. Your body fights you, telling you to stay safe.

But as you walk out into the world—and do it over and over again—something in you changes.

You are no longer left to the whim of thousands of women.

You turn from the hunted into the hunter.

At first, it’s a scary prospect; your life is in your own hands. But then, with the tiniest of successes, you start to realize that this is what makes you a man:

Your life is in your own hands.

You stop waiting around for one of these women to find you sitting at home alone in front of your device and you take charge of your body to go out into the world.

You face the headwinds of reality, whipping you in the face on the bleak, white tundra.

And it molds you into the fiercest of beasts.

Women see this too. As she walks out into the world to do her shopping or get her nails done, she carries around in the phone in her pocket countless men in boxes with unknown stock and fortitude.

And then you come and break down that invisible wall that all those other men can’t.

You make the hardest of tasks look easy: you walk with your feet toward her and open your mouth.

You act upon your desire when countless other men couldn’t. You relentlessly accept the possibility of failure because you are a man like no other.

And she has proof standing there in front of her that if nothing else, you’re a man who refuses to remain in a cage.

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