Online dating is like wearing a pair of Crocs: they feel good when you’re lounging around the house, but you’re embarrassed to be seen out in public with them. Nobody is screaming from the rooftops, “WE MET ON TINDER, Y’ALL!” (Yeah, that one was a stretch. Work with me here.)
I gave my best shot at online dating. I know people who have met their spouses online. But I really, truly can’t get into it. Did I date a guy I met on Tinder? Yes, I did. Was he smokin’ hot? Yes, he was. (Hellooooo abs!) And how long did that last? Three weeks? Four at best?
I don’t attribute us meeting online to the fact that we didn’t work out. Actually, I take that back. I do. I saw him on Tinder and thought he was as smoke show, swiped to the right and it was a match. I had nothing other than his looks to go off of. And sure, he swept me off my feet the first few dates (even after The Perfect Date), but those red flags that were waving relentlessly in the back of my head were shielded by the fact that he was so. good. looking. I remember at one point saying to myself, “it doesn’t have to be serious, right? This could be fun! Just for fun. Nothing more.” And then I found myself wanting to do nothing else but make out with this guy. Thassit. No small talk, no sweet dinners. Just kiss me already! Not exactly grounds for a long-lasting, healthy relationship now, is it?
So, if you haven’t guessed my first point, let me spell it out for you:
1.) It’s extremely superficial.
No matter what site you’re on, you’re looking for someone attractive, or at least someone you find attractive. He could be a doctor, could save small children from fires for a living, hell, he could be a royal, but if he doesn’t look good, you ain’t giving him the time of day. I mean, he would really have nail that first message if he wasn’t attractive to you.
Remember when you still lived at home with your parents (I’m talking pre-college, okay) and you met people in high school? It was usually because you ran around with the same crowd and you got to know that person on a deeper level. You went through trials and tribs together. And even if they weren’t initially hot enough for you, you ended up liking them because they made you laugh and they had a heart of gold. (Or they were a bad boy that made you want to leave home and live yo’ life.)
Regardless, it was an organic way to meet people. And now it’s all muddled, because you usually don’t meet people unless it’s at work, and GOD FORBID you date anyone at work. I’m not saying that sarcastically. Unless you own the company with your significant other, I do not admire people who date and work together. That sounds like my nightmare. My ex-boyfriend in college and I both got an internship before we broke up, and when we did break up, I dreaded the day he was going to walk through those doors after not seeing him for a few weeks. Good news for me was that he never did — I guess he got a better offer elsewhere (or he probably didn’t want to deal with that drama either). If you are my ex-boyfriend and I truly cared you, I do not want to be your friend after we break up. Initially, anyway. It isn’t that easy.
2. No matter what is said, I find something wrong with it.
I hate every message I’ve ever received on OKCupid. Every single one. Well, I take that back. I had an ongoing conversation with a high power attorney who wanted to keep himself anonymous because he was a over a certain age, and he didn’t want people knowing he was on the site. (He gave me his number and I googled him, pulling up all his personal details, like where he works, his full name, etc.) That was a fun one. And then there was a super hot dude who was witty and Christian, but lived in Chicago… so that wasn’t going anywhere. Other than that, all the messages are AWFUL.
There’s the ones from guys you know — who might even be your friends — and they feel obligated to say something because they see you on the site. (Just kill me.) I’m sorry if you’ve done that and I haven’t responded. I adore you, but I’m not about to message you on a dating site.
There’s the messages that are a simple, “Hey, what’s up.” This isn’t AIM. Mama doesn’t have time for that. I have 46 other messages waiting to be read. What makes you special enough to get a response? — SEE? IT’S LIKE I CAN’T EVEN HAVE A NORMAL CONVERSATION ON THESE SITES! In real life, that IS how a guy should approach you. But online it’s like, “ugh, YOU’RE WASTING ALL MY TIME.”
Alternatively, there are the messages that are six paragraphs long. They discuss why they are so special and different, why they think you two would be a good match, and what they’re looking for (and why you fit the bill). At that point you’re so drained reading all the emotional BS that you don’t want to respond.
Anytime you get a compliment? Yeah, it’s instantly game over. “WOW! You have the most beautiful eyes! And you have your life together! What a catch!” It comes off super cheesy online, and like they’re kissing your ass for a response. Spare me. (See? There it is again. If a dude said this to me in real life, I’d be elated.)
Further, if the message includes multiple spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, I have zero desire to get to know you. You could be my soul mate, but because you do not know that gorgeous does, in fact, include the letter “e”, I cannot move forward. Nope.
3. The internet gives you courage.
Most people know that my writing very true to who I am as a person. My personality gets channeled into my writing… not always the case with people you meet online. You might think you’re about to meet this outspoken, put-together dude; then you meet them and they’re timid, quiet and could possibly be homeless. Their online personality is the complete opposite of who they are IRL. And, taking that to another level — you could be in a full-on Catfish situation, where you think you’re meeting one person, then it ends up being their sister.
There are plenty more ways online dating sucks. What are some of your peeves? Any tips about how to navigate the internet dating waters? Don’t feel like you need to offer up any advice. I feel like this is territory I’d rather not step into again.