Surely I can’t be the only one that sees the downfalls of relying on online dating to find a match these days, can I?
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 my hand. But, there was always something missing from those ensuing encounters as I look back upon them now.
I think to summarize the point I want to make, and keep this article short, love is built; not ordered online.
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 guess I reckoned things change, and no one wants to be left out, so I might as well join in too.
Seemed Like A Good Idea At First
Honestly, even when I was in that relationship (prior to online dating) I was a bit jealous of those who had all these new gadgets to seemingly make dating easier and more accessible for them. So when my time rolled around to try it out, I was kinda excited to take advantage of it.
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. (My older self probably thought that too if I’m being honest.)
But, I never knew all the things I’d be missing out on via this new virtual world in the process.
Despite realizing this void in online dating, I kept trying it for a while, 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, 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.
There honestly are too many options online, and it’s hard to play the percentages when the odds are always stacked against you; and, not to mention you can’t even get good, quality data to gamble on the potentials you do find. Everyone just sits on a throne of lies online, and I could probably right a book about the photo tricks women use to make their profiles.
So, even if you are a gambler, and you like playing the odds, theres a good chance that the winning ‘horse’ you picked out is missing a leg or something. Just saying.
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 you liked an hour before happens to accidentally swipe the wrong way on your profile.
Dating someone online is more like an interrogation, or an audition, rather than a genuine getting to know you time. All you can think about is how the next (fill in the blank with your fantasy) could be just a swipe away, so you’re always cautious 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, 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, and 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, because that’s apparently what people on Tinder did.
Long story short, it was a disaster.
And, no, we did not hook up. (Shocker, I’m sure.)
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 Tinder in order to Tinder right.
I Want My Nonline Dating Scene Back
Basically, through that and other experiences, I came to see that I wasn’t 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. The gamble of reaching out to hold someone’s hand after beginning a relationship weeks or months prior to out of nothing but a simple hello or a friendly introduction.
With online dating everything seems so rushed, and done just to check a box. You can’t just wait to kiss someone, you have to do that now, because that’s something important on your list of desired traits. There’s nothing special about those moments, because the risk, and the sacrifice, and the waiting that went along with them has 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 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, to 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 patience anymore. Besides, all those people out there online do exist in the real world, so, I figure, if they’re into the same stuff I am maybe I’ll run into them someday.
And maybe this time I’ll just start 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 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 then asking someone on a date in real life will become this new, edgy old-school thing in the future. Might as well start the trend now.
*For dating tips in general, check out my friend Lisa Beeler’s article listed in my Links 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!