1. You miss out on meeting strangers from the internet who may or may not purposefully manipulate the online representation of themselves to acquire dates with better-looking and more desirable strangers from the internet.
2. You miss out on wondering what it is about yourself that attracts people who distort the image of themselves to attract others.
3. You miss out on wondering if you’re the kind of person who distorts the image of yourself to attract others.
4. You miss out on dick pics.
5. You miss out on forgetting the names of people you once met and maybe kissed or did more with but still you can’t remember their name, or even what they looked like.
6. You miss out on the feeling of nervous regret as you wait for a stranger to meet you at a place you’ve never been.
7. You miss out on taking in convoluted lies on why someone can’t see you anymore.
8. You miss out on making up convoluted lies on why you can’t see someone anymore.
9. You miss out on staring at your phone or computer for minutes, hours, days, perhaps years, so you might find companionship during your short time on earth.
10. You miss out on meeting people who you treat badly or they treat you badly and you don’t expect to see them again but later they’re the boss at a job you want or are an integral part of a “scene” you want to enter in but by now they’ve said things about you which have excluded you from being part of said scene or getting said job.
11. You miss out on STDs, if you’re already stupid, and many people who online date are already stupid, so there’s a good chance you’re missing out on STDs.
12. You miss out on inconsequential stories about someone’s pet or cousin or job.
13. You miss out on sad stories regarding previous relationships which broke an online dater’s heart and how that heartbreaker has set the one across from you against the opposite sex, or the same sex, or whatever sex it is you are.
14. You miss out on stalking people on the internet.
15. You miss out on making judgments about those you stalk on the internet before you meet them.
16. You miss out on creating – or reading – fiction in the form of texts or emails explaining why it is you cannot see someone on the same night you have planned a date with that person.
17. You miss out on forming memories at bars and restaurants – a neon sign, a certain booth – which later remind you how going on dates with strangers never seems to make you feel less alone.
18. You miss out on buying drinks for someone you have no intention of seeing again but you feel compelled to buy said drinks because of a preconceived shared notion that one gender is the one who pays for things on a first date.
19. You miss out on disapproving looks from roommates, both yours and the roommates of those you online date.
20. You miss out on hours spent crafting text messages, both in the hopes of securing another date, and in the hopes of dissuading someone to ask for another date.
21. You miss out on being disappointed with the size of someone’s genitalia.
22. You miss out hairy backs you didn’t expect and gnarly thickets you expected even less.
23. You miss out on sleeping on creaky single beds with a stranger’s cat or dog that is used to having the side of the bed you are on.
24. You miss out on countless hours, sometimes days and weeks, of willing your phone to light up for a text message from a stranger you saw once.
25. You miss out on composing messages to strangers based on three or four pictures and a couple sentences.
26. You miss out on meeting a variety of failed artists, mostly male writers.
27. You miss out on meeting those who take roller derby and burlesque very seriously.
28. You miss out on denigrating people you meet once and treated you well but since you weren’t interested in them you feel free to say disparaging things about them because you met them on the internet and it’s your social media, you can do whatever you want with it.
29. You miss out on reading those words.
30. You miss out on complaining about online dating.