Surely I can’t be the only one that sees the downfalls of relying on online dating to find a match these days? I mean at first I too was fascinated by the idea of practically being able to order an attractive female with the swipe of a finger from the palm of your hand. But, there was always something that was robbed from those ensuing connections as I look back upon them. I think to summarize the point I want to make and keep this article short, the thing I learned the most with those encounters is that you can’t just order love, or window shop for love; love is built. Built not by using goofy pick up lines and winks, but by building something naturally brick by brick.
I feel like I almost forgot how to do that after coming out of a long relationship a few years ago and getting into this new dating scene. But, I figured you have to go where the action is (online) even though all the relationships I’d ever had before where founded in an entirely different manner – face to face. I reckoned things just change, and no one wants to be left out, so I might as well join in.
Seemed Like A Good Idea At First
Honestly, though, even when I was in that relationship I was a bit jealous of those who had all these new gadgets to seemingly make dating easier for them now. So, I was kinda excited to try them once I got back out there. I used to think, man, if I had that when I was single it would’ve made everything so much easier. Or, my younger self would have thought, man, I could’ve hooked up with way more chicks. But, I never knew all the things I’d be missing out on in the process via this new virtual world.
One of the biggest reasons I kept trying online dating when I became single again is because dating for me has always been a numbers game. That doesn’t mean that I classify the people I’ve been with in some sort of impersonal numerical order. It just means that in my opinion it’s only going to work out in the rarest of occasions, so you just gotta keep at it until it does. In that sense, I thought percentage wise and time wise I had the best shot in online dating because I could ‘try’ so many at once. Thing is, with online dating a person is much more than their profile no matter how accurate (or inaccurate) it is. Annnnnnndddd, it would probably be a whole lot more mathematically effective if everyone else didn’t have a million different options to choose from as well.
A friend of mine once summed up the extent of her Tindering by saying that every day it’s just, “Raining dicks.” Well, I dunno about you but regardless of how much protection she may have had against said weather, that’s just really not a weather pattern I want to be a part of anymore. There honestly are too many options online. So, if you’re in a relationship now, and have been in it since the pre-online dating days; take my advice, don’t be jealous.
Online Dating Sites Are Kinda Fun. Dating Someone From Online, Not So Much.
For me, going on a date with someone from the online world just created this environment where you’re constantly analyzing a million different things that you never would have before, because time is precious and you don’t want to get involved with someone just in case that super hot chick happens to accidentally swipe the wrong way on your profile. It’s more like an interrogation or an audition, rather than a genuine getting to know you time. All you can think about is the next (fill in the blank with your fantasy) could be just a swipe away. So you never feel the need to go all in on anyone you’re just ‘trying out’.
The Real Me > The Online Me
Online dating even started to change the way I approached women in general, and not for the better. I felt this incessant need to overshare because I knew that I too was being auditioned. I said stupid shit I normally wouldn’t say because I knew I needed to stand out from the competition and be witty, and funny, and impressive. It didn’t allow me to just relax and be myself; which would have been far more successful I believe. I like who I am in real life. With online dating, however, I was always just trying to be something, was distracted from something, or was questioning something before it even became something. As a result, none of it was conducive to actually creating something.
I might as well be totally honest here and say that once I even got caught up in my buddies stories of how awesome a hook up site Tinder was. How easy it was. How I should just hook up with someone too. And so even though I could care less about hooking up these days, I decided I wanted to still prove that I could. Yah know, show them that I could still hang or something. Fuck, I dunno, let’s just say I wasn’t thinking. That’s probably more accurate. So, anywho, I approached this one date with the idea that I was going to get this girl to hook up with me even though I didn’t see the value in those kind of interactions anymore.
I have had my hook up days I assure you, and I am just glad I survived them without catching something or having a kid (I hope). Long story short, it was a disaster. And, no, we did not hook up. The girl was super cool and nice about it all, but I wanted punch myself in the face afterwards. I felt like a giant piece of shit, and I was disgusted with myself. I had objectified her, and I was well aware of it this time. Back in the day, I was just being young and dumb (and usually drunk) when I went about things in a similar manner. Now, I knew better. It was pathetic, and I doubt she’ll be reading this, but I’m sorry. She deserved much better than that, and I was totally capable of doing so. I guess I just thought I had to represent a certain stereotype by being on that site in order to do it right. Fucking Tinder.
I Want My NONline Dating Scene Back
Basically, through that and other experiences, I came to see that I was no longer a person that was fit for online dating. I have no problem talking to people in real life. And trying to start something romantic online robbed me of all the things I actually enjoyed about getting to know someone and building a relationship. One of the things I realized I missed the most about NONline dating was just the build up. The suspense of wondering when that first kiss would come, or waiting to find out for sure if someone really liked you too. That gamble of reaching out to hold her hand after beginning a relationship weeks or months prior to out of nothing but a simple hello or a friendly introduction.
With online dating though everything always seemed so rushed, and done just to check a box. You couldn’t wait to kiss someone. You had to do that now, because that was something important on your list of desired traits. There was nothing special about it, because the risk, and the sacrifice, and the waiting that went along with pre-online dating had been eliminated.
In fact, the best first kiss I ever had was in high school, because I spent probably more than a year getting to know this girl and working my way into a position slowly and methodically to get it. Getting rejected I believe along the way even. But all that anticipation, that wanting, that hoping, made magic happen. It meant something. It felt like everything. I wasn’t just doing it to go through the motions, check a box, and move on. And, there wasn’t someone else inboxing me or liking me to remove any of my focus from her in that moment. It was our moment only, and it was special. As a side note, I am shocked with how many people are around age 30 now and are bad kissers. Shocked I tell you.
I dunno, maybe this is all just the hopeless romantic in me speaking, but I want to try and create that something special again. I want to have the strength to wait for love to be built, even though everyone else doesn’t seem to have the time anymore. Besides, the people that are actually on all those sites do exist in the real world. So, I figure if they’re into the same stuff as me maybe I’ll run into them anyways, and maybe I’ll just start this time with a simple, “Hello.” It’s worked for thousands of years, so who knows, maybe it can work again. If all else fails, I’ll always have the opportunity meet some cool people along the way. And besides, at least this way they won’t have to worry about what’s raining down upon them.
Lastly, I reckon if things keep going the way they are asking someone on a date in real life will become this new, edgy old-school thing. Might as well start the ‘new’ trend now.
*For dating tips in general, check out my friend Lisa Beeler’s article listed in my Suggested Media On Love. Also, for how to NONline date see my article The old school guide to dating in Richmond featured on RVAMag’s website. Just substitute your town for Richmond. The tips are fairly universal.
If you just want a good laugh though about online dating I highly recommend this article on RVAmag’s website. It may be the most epic craigslist missed connections ever!