So there I was. Sitting in my family’s living room basically feeling like the pit of my stomach had done somersaults all day long and that nauseating feeling of anxiety had electrified through my bloodstream. I was tense on the surface and most definitely broken hearted on the inside. Six months later after my boyfriend had done the unthinkable ( Yes, breaking up with ME, the most beautiful, most glorious woman to ever grace his presence was unthinkable) I was still feeling the hurt and sadness deep within me. My two wonderful friends, Mike and Layla, decided to start the moving on process with or without me. ”What about match.com??” My thoughts instantly flashed to Layla’s friend Lauren who spent the entirety of one evening giving us a play-by-play of every man she ever rejected online. ”His inability to maintain a simultaneous desire for my attention and keep a cool exterior made me feel like I was way out of his league”…. Great. So this woman clearly gets off by exploiting these poor guys who are willing to put themselves out there and meet people. But “soooo many people were messaging her”. Right. So you have so many men, you can’t possibly keep track of how many you decide to actually message back. This was going down hill. My love life was over. People weren’t supposed to have to resort to online dating.
Why was that though? I’ve put a lot of thought in to this. Here I am, a 22 year old girl, freshly graduated from college, decent looks, definitely not obese, smart as a whip, employed, athletic, funny and humane. Based on my qualifications it seems like I am surely not supposed to spend my life alone. But since I did go to a giant frat party for a college, meeting the man of my dreams there seemed highly doubtful. There was a minimal underground relationship culture that existed. Mostly it was the “I don’t want anything serious, just having fun, get naked have lots of sex and then get super awkward about any real feelings that ‘happened’ to have appeared out of no where” types of relationships. So college was out. Now I’ve relocated and all my friends are off starting their amazing careers at being intellectually fabulous and I’m by myself. So I started doing research on how people met each other back in the old days. I asked my mom. Don’t let that woman fool you. She definitely has a past dating life (she would hardly admit to it though). She basically was very vague. ”Oh, you know, people met at the bar or work or friends of friends”. Thanks mom. Upon further investigation, though, those three places seem to make sense (for their time period). So I orchestrated a brief analysis of each of these places.
Bar Scene: Proceed with Caution: So you walk in to a bar and usually the thing is noisy, crowded, and the booze is flowing. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy bars. There is nothing like unwinding after a crazy day at work with an awesome brew in hand (none of the light stuff, I want a real beer). Cue Anorexic girl gasp. Anyway, there are several reasons why a bar is not necessarily a good place to find the love of your life (although it can and may happen). The first being everyone is with their friends. Nobody’s full attention is on the other. If you (being the guy) meet a girl and then her entire pack of giggling, bleached hair, biddies are anxiously hanging on your every word, the privacy is gone. In addition to having to win the girl over, you have to win over her friends too. Also, a bar is very loud. This makes for minimal quality conversations that could actually pave a solid foundation for a relationship. Last, but definitely not least, everyone is inebriated. Although we all enjoy that drunken “heart-to-heart” with the most “amazing guy” we’ve ever met (flash to an image of drunk sleeping beauty fawning over fred flinstone), who are we kidding? Rarely do those guys ever seem to be the boyfriend type.
Work: Proceed with more caution. This one is not really applicable to me. Others, however, may have more of a chance at finding love at their office. I work with all women. Still, I would have to say that managing office relationships can be tricky. Similar to dodging grenades in your typical war scenario. Office gossip can make or break you. Prepare to be judged by all office staff ever. Just the nature of the beast I suppose.
Friends of Friends: Disaster waiting to happen… So if by the stroke of fate, your loving, dearest most “best” friend in the whole wide world decides to set you up with the most “adorable” guy friend of hers, walk away slowly. Actually sprint far, far a way. Here’s why this friends of friends (blind date) never really works out. Sit in a cool, contemplative space and think about this: If this guy is so great, why isn’t your friend dating him? “Oh, I just don’t think of him in that way”, “I consider him my brother” or “He’s really a good time”. This is code for he’s probably not that desirable for some piece of information that your BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD is with holding from you. So of course, to be polite, you go on the date and then the realization sets in. He’s actually self-absorbed, he can’t maintain a conversation, he’s a tool, he’s a player and the list goes on and on. If your bestest friend wouldn’t date him, you probably are better off not dating him either. Also, in my circumstance most of my friends are off traveling the world. So I am isolated and no one can introduce me to their really great guy who’s not great enough for them. Again, there are no absolutes to these circumstances. My parents met through friends and they’ve been happily married for 27..er 28 ? years.
So flashback to my own dating journey. What options does that leave someone like me? I suppose I could creep on all hot guys in my gym, but again that seems slightly desperate and let’s face it, down right creepy. So after much hesitation I decided to write my dating profile. I thought it best to be quirky, intelligent, fun and present myself in a whole different way. Maybe it was the way I saw myself or perhaps how I wanted others to see me. But like ripping off a band aid quickly I did it and I was officially a part of a dating website. How do I break the news of this to my friends? I would be humiliated, ridiculed for centuries, never live this sad moment of my life down…However, I realized that as I explained to most of my friends what the “online” dating experience was like it was met with hesitation, awkward stares, and disbelief. Yet, there are definite ups and downs to internet dating and I think its important for women to accept the upsides to “resorting” to online dating.
1. It’s efficient! You can gauge probably in 10 seconds whether or not the person in front of your computer screen is someone you want to get to know.
2. You don’t have to meet everyone! If you decide a conversation is going no where you have the option of no longer continuing it! What freedom! No awkward drawn out bar scenarios where getting information out of a guy is like performing a root canal (painful for everyone involved). Just simply stop replying.
3. You are exposed to a wide array of people. I’ve only had two real relationships in my life. I need variety to see what is out there in the dating world. Experimentation with different personality types will absolutely help me in the long run as well as other girls like me who haven’t dated everyone and their brother.
4. It’s proactive. Putting yourself out there can be scary and downright intimidating, but once you get over the fact that it’s the internet and it is the 21st century you can actually open yourself up to meeting some quality people.
5. The worst thing that can happen is that you have a hilarious story. The best thing that can happen is that you meet your soul mate. Cost/Benefit analysis works in our favor here!
So here I am today-redefining the reputation of the girls who resort to “internet dating”. I’m smart, sexy, intelligent and capable of being 1/2 of a really rewarding relationship. Yes, I use the internet, but that doesn’t make me pathetic, sad, desperate, or a “fat chick”. I’m just being open and honest about the fact that I would some day like to be in a relationship. Hopefully I meet a few awesome people along the way. Hey, I even converted Jane to give it a try and trust me, if she can be convinced, you can too.