Online Dating: Bringing People Who Already Know Each Other Together?

This weekend, I joined an online dating site for the third time in a year. Every time I meet someone new and start dating him, I end up deleting my account. Maybe this is the kiss of death, actually. Maybe the next time I meet someone, I should keep my online dating profile active, as a signal to the universe that I am not about to be fooled into thinking I found someone long-term.

I’ve only been on the site (again) for a few days, so I have no dates to report on, but I have noticed a new trend among my matches. Apparently, online dating is now a great way to meet and ask out people you already know.In two days, I have come across five people I know via other channels, including a guy I made out with, like, eight years ago! Ahh … memories. We were coworkers at my first job in New York. We flirted for months before finally going to happy hour after work one night — we ended up going back to the office to make out on my desk. When his profile popped up among my matches, I considered whether I should wink at him or send him a message. Yeah no. I hid him from my matches going forward instead.

Also among the fellas I could be lucky enough to date — my former work nemesis who possibly, probably contributed to my getting laid off. Funny, he forgot to mention that he’s a total alcoholic in his profile. Hide!

And look! There’s a former boss who I once had a huge crush on. Eww, he looks skeezy now. Thank God, as it would feel quite skeezy to message him, even if he’s not my boss anymore.

Uh weird. Is that the guy from tech support who I always call on to add memory to my laptop or explain why I can’t connect to the server? He probably already knows everything I put in my profile — and more — I suppose, since he’s likely been reading my emails and IMs for months now.

The only recognizable face to put a spring in my typing fingers was the one belonging to someone I’ve had a little crush on for awhile now. It felt like, I don’t know, the sign I needed to just buck up and ask him for a drink. I guess that makes sense though — technology does provide a magical distance that makes the possibility of rejection easier to handle.

Have any of you encountered people you already know while online dating? Did you end up going out with any of them as a result?