I know…I haven’t written anything since a couple of weeks ago so those of you who read it that I haven’t spoken to recently are probably wondering what’s going on. Let me warn you right off, this post is going to be about me venting. Nothing more, nothing less.
To begin with, I titled this “Online Dating Sucks” because…well…it does. Sucks like a big ‘ol freaking Hoover.
One of my biggest beefs with the whole process is that I feel that the online venue allows for people who might otherwise lack the social skills to enter into a dating relationship in the normal course of life. This is not to say that it always attracts socially inept individuals (case in point, myself) but it does seem to cater to them. After all, how easy is it to meet women from your hiding place behind a computer? You don’t even have to be yourself if you don’t want. No one’s going to make you be honest. No one’s going to call you out on not being true to who you really are. No one’s even going to know that the picture you posted is a 10-year-old glamor shot from the mall and doesn’t even remotely look like the non-airbrushed you who, incidentally, weighs an additional 40 pounds and no longer has hair. I’m just saying.
Again, I understand that the online thing works and has worked for a lot of people. For me however, it has yielded less-than-favorable results.
In addition to the “protection” that online dating provides, I also feel like it lends to microwaving something that really ought to be slow-cooked. You may or may not like someone within the first few seconds of meeting, but that doesn’t mean the jury should immediately render a verdict. Most recently I discovered I had an attraction to someone that I had known for months and would never have thought I’d be interested in…but getting to actually know him was what changed that. Online dating doesn’t allow for this. Instead, I think we lean towards calling the jury back prematurely rather than looking to maybe begin a friendship. Seriously, where’s the fire people? Stop running around with your hose! (No dirty pun intended) Why not calm down, relax, and enjoy the ride!
But that is not what happens.
Allow me to elaborate by sharing with you my typical online match-up experience which has gone something like this…
- In a fit of optimism, I join eHarmony (or match.com or the like, but for the sake of this example and the fact that I’m on eHarmony right now, I’ll stick with that).
- I see a lot of profiles and a few of which I actually like.
- One of us reaches out through eHarmony’s “Guided Communication” process.
- We take a few days to work our way through all of the Q&A sessions and end up finally going back and forth through site-handled email.
- We exchange phone numbers, and then someone makes the first call.
- We talk. It usually goes well because, let’s face it, it’s hard for a standard small-talk discussion to go badly.
- We decide to meet up (usually sooner rather than later) for dinner/coffee/what-have-you.
- The night of the “big date” arrives with little (if any) fanfare.
- Afterwards, the guy typically proceeds to fall off the face of the planet…or at least they seem to.
Sometimes I’m disappointed when this happens. Most of the time I expect it. This last time out was no different. Experience has taught me not to get hopes up. That if you must be optimistic, do it with caution signs. “Danger: Potential Flaky Guy Ahead”. Yeah, you ain’t just whistling Dixie.
As I said in my previous post, I was cautiously optimistic about this last guy. On paper, he seemed great. Said all the right things, did all the right things…with gusto, I might add. In our conversations he even implied that, while we may not be each others “perfect match,” that was no reason to think that we wouldn’t still be friends, at the very least. It seemed to fit… Our interests were similar. As were our personalities. And, while I really don’t think that ending up with someone just like me would be a good idea (how would anything ever get done??), I definitely thought there was friend potential. My mistake.
We had our date last Friday night. I didn’t sense a true click (read: chemistry) like you do when you meet someone you think you could see yourself with, I still finished the night thinking, “Gee, that was fun. He’s pretty cool. I definitely see friendship” only to find after the weekend was through that he didn’t feel the same way…or at least, that’s what I assume. See, after receieving dozens of text messages and spending hours on the phone, since our outing, he has barely seen fit to respond to any communication from me. Well, whatever.
The thing that pisses me off really is that interested or not, to disappear on someone is just rude. It goes against everything your mother (hopefully) taught you about basic, polite social behavior. How about a little respect fellas? Why not at least say, “Hey, didn’t really feel a connection, but I still had a nice time hanging out with you”? What’s so difficult about that? I mean unless your dinner/coffee companion threw a drink in your face and called your mother ugly, there’s really no excuse to not at least manage a pleasant “Adios” after the date is done for the sake of closure if nothing else.
But the sad thing is that this is what I’ve come to expect because this is what happens again and again and again. If it weren’t for the fact that I have solid friends who would tell me if there was something I was doing that provoked this behavior, I might be tempted to think that it is somehow about me. Something I’m doing or not doing that’s screams “It’s okay to blow me off” to these guys.
Thankfully, I’ve also had relationships in the past that have lasted (none of which were begun online, I might add) and so I know I’m capable of being in a relationship and being a good girlfriend. I am. Promise.
Even so, since the only common denominator in these stories is me, it’s difficult to not feel like somehow I’m bringing this on myself…but how can you really know? That’s where you come in.
I’m really hoping that this post finds its way onto the computer screens of not just my extended circle of family and friends, but that some other women out there who have maybe had similar or otherwise frustrating experiences with the online dating scene and may find my thoughts resonating with them.
So please forward the link to anyone single women you know, or if you are one, I’d love to get some feedback or hear other people’s stories…and not the ones that are all about someone you know who met their husband/wife online. I’ve had enough of those. Right now I just need to know that I’m not alone…and/or crazy.
I’ve done enough venting, but thanks for listening. Now it’s time for you guys to weigh-in…please! And while you do, I’m going to sit back in a chair on my fabulous patio in the warmth of late Spring, enjoy a beer, and be thankful that I have such a great life even though there’s no man in it (online or otherwise)…yet.