Guest Post by Alex Lane
This is the third (THIRD!!!) time I’ve tried online dating — only to disable my profile shortly thereafter. I know I should try a little harder, give it a little bit more of a chance. Not EVERYONE on these dating sites is clinically insane or trying to marry me within the first 30 minutes of our date, right?
As my best friend Jelly* said to me, “It’s not a friendship site. It’s a dating site,” and she’s right. 70% of the people on these sites are here for the same reason — because they want to date and find a relationship, maybe even THE ONE (and as I’m sure we’ve all encountered, the other 30% are just DTF). I, too, want to date! I totes want to date, I want all the dates! Ok maybe not all the dates because who has time for that? But definitely some of the dates. So here I am, after many years of shit talking and resistance, creating profiles on multiple online dating sites, ready to give it a fair chance.
(*that’s her nickname. Autocorrect kept winning out during our text messages so naturally it stuck. Her phone kept autocorrecting my name to Hans. Now we are Jelly and Hans, Friends Forever.)
As it turns out, online dating makes me feel REALLY hot and popular. Score! Now I have dates! Hopefully one of these dates is with one person that is totally compatible with me in nearly every way and will take the time to get to know me on a friendly level and end up being my best friend before we decide that dating is the next logical step in our relationship to one another…
Just kidding, that’s too much to ask. Everyone is awful. If they’re not awful, they’re boring, or psychotic, or any number of undesirable or, at the very least, incompatible qualities. I was totally right — it turns out that online dating, much like regular dating, is the worst. Nobody knows how to interact anymore! We don’t know how to approach each other, start conversations with people we deem attractive, TREAT each other…I’m obviously generalizing here. Not everyone is socially inept, but this seems to be a trend.
I was actually discussing this pathetic social degeneration with Jelly as well. I made a comment about how I’m sure regardless of the dating site, be it as casual as Tinder, slightly more focused like OkCupid and Match.com, or balls-to-the-wall “I’m gonna find me a mate, goddamnit!” like eHarmony (ChristianMingle.com does not have a say in any of this…), 90% of the people who actually message each other WOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT approach this other person in real life.
Jelly decided to take this to the streets and confirmed it with one of her dates — she asked him if, had he seen her out at a bar or restaurant or in everyday life, would he have approached her? His response: absolutely not. He never would have had the guts to talk to her. Sweet, I was right! (I love being right, so that’s excellent.) The more I think about it though, isn’t it also kind of sad? Where are everyone’s cojones? With technology being what it has been for so long, being able to hide behind various screens while “putting yourself out there” has become the norm — while ACTUALLY putting yourself out there, fluffing your feathers and strutting your stuff, or simply just APPROACHING SOMEONE, is entirely less common.
This makes it supremely difficult to meet anyone genuine in real life. Not because we’re all pieces of shit with ill intentions, mind you, just because we’ve forgotten how to behave like actual humans without a screen between us to mask our insecurities. Who the fuck actually enjoys feeling vulnerable? Raise your hand. Nobody? HOW STRANGE. It is so much easier to tell someone how much you like them or how good-looking you find them via text than it is to look someone in their actual face and be like, “I am really attracted to you.” Let’s be honest (I LOVE honesty!), it’s way easier to overcome an unreturned text than it is to have someone tell you, “yeah, sorry, not feelin’ it” to your actual face.
So, once again, OkCupid and I have broken up and I think it’s for good this time. My feelings are obviously still conflicted about it, our relationship is truly love/hate, but I’ll stick to Tinder for now. I know, it’s basically a “hook up app”, but I find something slightly less terrifying about meeting up with someone who might just actually want to hook up than someone who is ready to wife me up 30 minutes to 3 days into knowing me (True Life: This Has Happened To Me More Than Once). Maybe all my poor dating experiences have left me a little jaded, but I actually feel like it’s left MY cojones a little bit bigger and my comfort level with being single a little bit higher.
To all my babes in the online dating game looking for True Love or just a little bit of fun with someone new and hot, cheers to you. See you on the field.