Or, an alternate title could be Dating vs Friendship. Or even Cold Calls vs Connections. As has been discussed here before, online dating has turned out to be pretty much a disaster for me. At times hilariously so, other times just disappointing. What has occurred to me of late is that people I have met through established friends on Facebook have turned out to be a delight. Brenda, Lisa, Linda, Deanna, and a certain man whose company I enjoy round out a list of people that I first met online via blogs and Facebook and later in person. The in-the-flesh experience was nothing short of lovely with them. And just yesterday, after ten years of online acquaintance, Sarah Jane and I met in person at the Bernie Sanders rally. Like the others, she proved to be a delight. There seems to be a lesson to take away here, and as I type it seems to be one of those obvious, no-brainer sort of things that should have been clear from the start. With online dating, I was relying on the honesty and integrity of a stranger who had the ability to describe himself in a light he wished to be seen in. I had only my gut instinct and his profile information to work with. Not a great deal to go on! With blogs and Facebook, on the other hand, there was already someone I knew in the real world who made the connection between me and the new person, giving me some extra insight. Also valuable were the months, or even years of being able to observe their interactions with others to get a better idea of their personality and character before meeting in person. Smooths the way, for sure. I still have a handful of Facebook friends and other electronic-only acquaintances in my social circles. Based on what I have experienced so far, I look forward to meeting them in the real world. Don't ask me about giving online dating another shot. I don't need further confirmation of that Einsteinian description of insanity.