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I can't imagine Sid saying it's a bad idea to try and meet new people. However, I don't think it takes a man on the path to enlightenment to know that a romance fueled by wishful thinking and set expectations is not going to be a lasting one.

So go ahead and join OKCupid (hey, it's a free dating site, at least).

Even though I said all of the above, I don't think Sid would denigrate online dating.

In fact, I think he would say it's a perfectly valid way to meet people.

I think that they're making things a lot more complicated. Here's my level of education and here's how much money I make and here's how important it is to me that I date someone smarter/dumber/richer/more traveled/fatter than me.

You basically take all the spontaneity out of who you can meet.

Like us, Sid is not yet a buddha, he's just someone struggling to maintain an open heart on a spiritual path while facing numerous distractions along the way. So let's take on the first question, from Justin: With so many people out there looking to meet other singles, it's no surprise that online dating has become a big trend.

Why actually go out and risk face-to-face awkward encounters with strangers when you can browse the internet and discreetly check people out without their ever knowing?

From e Harmony's website: Our patented Compatibility Matching System® narrows the field from thousands of single men or single women to match with a highly select group of compatible singles -- singles who have been prescreened on 29 Dimensions® of Compatibility: scientific predictors of long-term relationship success.

I, on the other hand, think it's just because they are encouraging people to get out of their shell a bit and go and meet new people.

Still, I remained gun-shy—thanks to overexposure to online dating’s downside.

After all, according to marketresearch.com, the dating services business is now a .1 billion industry in the U. alone, with niche websites gobbling up ever-larger slices of that pie.

He gave her the once-over, and just as she raised her hand to wave, the car sped away. Stunning tales of similarly dehumanizing behaviors abounded, and it also became clear that pretty much everyone was lying on their online profiles, often underreporting their age and weight.