Dear V: The spark is gone from my online lover. How can we get it back in person?

Dear V,

I just met this great guy on MySpace. We hit it off great online! We’d stay up for hours chatting, and things would even take a sexual turn every once in a while. The problem started when we decided to meet in person. For some reason all of our chemistry is gone. What happened to the charming, funny, sexy guy from MySpace? What can I do to get him back?

-MySpace Mystery

Dear MySpace,

Ah, the Internet, the world’s biggest singles bar – open 24/7. It seems as though we all have that story when a friend’s coworker’s cousin (or anyone of an obscure relation) met his or her fiancée on JDate (or any one of those dating sites).

But the World Wide Web holds a number of key differences to the local nightlife scene. For starters, the Internet is an easy way to hide. You can portray yourself in any way that you’d like simply through a few false photos and information. People who misrepresent themselves online often come off as more confident than their true-life personas, because they can fill a mold they are more proud of behind the computer screen. Therefore, they can appear cooler or sexier online.

Moreover, it is easy to put your best foot forward on a computer. Think about how easy it is to come up with the slickest, funniest thing you could possibly say when each of your responses is displayed on a screen. You can edit and contemplate your words as much as you’d like, and the person on the other end would have no idea until you press “send.” No awkward pauses! This could be the reason that you and MySpace guy are not hitting it off as well as you hoped.

Sadly, my answer is less optimistic than you might have anticipated. This guy simply might not be the smooth, charming, sexual deity that you had him out to be. The Internet makes it all too easy to fake chemistry.

Take your real-world interactions at face value: he’s just some dude who chatted you up and who now has no chance with you. It’s not a letdown, it’s a selection process! So let it go, and move on. If you prefer not to go out and meet people the old-fashioned way, MySpace still has 100 million users. You are bound to hit it off with one of them.

On a more positive note, I’d like to point out how lucky you are that your mystery MySpace date went safely with a guy who (I assume) posted accurate pictures of himself. It makes me nervous to think of the things that could result from meeting online flings in person, but perhaps I’ve watched a little too much “To Catch a Predator.”

Best of Luck!