I’ve been thinking a lot about online dating recently. Partially because of being recently single and how everyone says things like ‘but oh my god have you tried online dating because my best friend’s sister met her husband online and he’s just the best‘, but also because my nearest (physically nearest) friend at work is fully committed to it right now, and one of my best guy friends has been doing it for several years, and one of my other girlfriends seems to have recently given up on it.
I was online briefly, about three years before I met Crockett. I don’t remember if I ever met anyone in person that I also met online, which should tell you about the quality of that person if he existed which I’m not sure he did. My profile was lazy, if I remember correctly. It was the kind of profile that was designed to say ‘I’m that kid at the back of the classroom wearing sunglasses and ignoring the teacher’. That didn’t work particularly well for me in school when I tried it, and I suspect it wasn’t the best approach to online dating, but there was something about trying that seemed … well, yes. Uncool.
This is going to sound so cliched that I can’t even believe I’m about to type it, but I don’t actually mean uncool for other people. I mean uncool for me. I 100% support anyone going whole hog. I would only judge them if they half assed it, like me. Somehow, though, the whole hog thing felt embarrassing when I tried to apply it to myself.
My coworker is going out with literally anyone who asks, but isn’t initiating contact with anyone. Her theory is that even if she thinks she has a type, she might be wrong, or missing out. She’s open to absolutely anything, with one exception. She’s a little bit older than I am, so she’s particularly sensitive to divorce and kids, and she has never wanted kids so she doesn’t want to date someone who has kids who live with him. That seems totally fair and very self aware to me.
So far she’s been on a lot of first dates and no second dates. In a lot of cases they spend a considerable amount of time discussing why they’re online dating and how it’s been going so far, which she says almost always puts a damper on the ambiance. She’s run a little low on people that meet her criteria, so her dates are slowing down.
My guy friend is also open to most dates, with a minimum bar for physical attractiveness. He has a fair amount of second dates but very few third dates. I suspect that in his case he’s falling prey to the ‘but what else is out there??’ issue, but he’s never said he stops seeing people because he thinks there might be someone better. He just can’t find the right person. He seems to have a never ending supply of prospective dates, though.
My girlfriend that just gave up on it has actually dated a couple of people in the last year. When she and the first broke up (wisely, due to basic incompatibility), she decided to go online. A bunch of girls (myself included) helped her write her profile, and she …
Well, she’s aiming oddly. She’s only interested in men that have a lifestyle that is at it’s heart different from hers. It would be like me dating someone who plays video games with the windows closed to prevent glare all day. (Nothing against video games, literally everything against closing blinds. I haven’t closed the blinds in my apartment since I moved in. (Third floor, facing an unoccupied farm.)).
Of course, one of my oldest friends met her husband online. She signed up, saw him, saw a note that said he was out of town for two weeks, PAID FOR THOSE TWO WEEKS WITHOUT MESSAGING ANYONE ELSE, and then messaged him and they went out and fell in love and got married.
I think the moral might be that you have to pick someone? But that’s sort of the moral of romantic life in a monogamous society anyway, so. You know. Online daters. They’re … um … all of us, apparently. Of course, the other moral is that based on my sample size men are sort of dominating the decision making process, which isn’t good and is ALSO sort of like society. Swell.