“The phone is ringing and the clock says 4am. If it’s your friends, well I don’t want to hear from them. Please leave your number and a message at the tone. Or you can just go on and leave me alone.” ~Husker Du, Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely
In my five months of venturing into the online dating world, I feel like I can sum it up best with those words. I have more or less felt like a mannequin with strangers walking by thinking:
- ” No.”
- ” Eh, maybe. I think I like the last one better.”
- ” She’s ok and has all the things I said I wanted, but I haven’t seen everyone yet…so imma keep looking because it says she has cats. I wonder if I could find someone like her, but a little hotter who doesn’t own cats. I’m sure she’s out there and will find the pictures of me wasted with my friends hilarious. Swipe….”
Maybe it hasn’t always been this way, but my experience so far has been this weird world where people think they can find this perfect person that doesn’t exist. There could be one minor thing you don’t have in common and they’ll pass. It’s not realistic. Who wants to date a carbon copy of themselves anyway? Snooze fest. And, not to sound like a jerk, but I also found it’s a world where guys think they can get women way out of their league. I don’t know how many “entrepreneurs” really exist around my age, but I call bullshit. You don’t have a job, which is why you’re sending messages at 2am on a Wednesday. I know it’s because you just got home from the bar and you don’t have a job to go to in the morning. I also know you sent messages to at least ten other women you found attractive. A good, smart woman isn’t falling for that so stop sending her messages asking her how she’s doing at 2am. She’s sleeping because she has a job. Go bother a party girl looking for hookups. She’s your girl.
The catalog of available singles has led a lot of dudes to believe, not only that some perfectly polished, perfectly in-shape, bombshell is out there waiting for them, but that they DESERVE her by just showing up with bad car pictures of themselves, a shitty job and the fact they took a trip overseas once in college. It’s weird and confusing.
What have I learned from my five months on the online dating interwebs? A few things:
- I learned to not get comfortable with any conversation. They leave in the middle when it starts getting interesting because they saw a picture of a girl in a bikini who would never give them a second look, so they’re going to see what’s up with her.
- I learned quickly to take nothing personally.
- I learned this is not for me, but it’s fun to pass the time waiting for your subscription to run out by taking screenshots of weirdos and sending them to your friends.
- I learned self-employed means unemployed.
- I learned “how are you?” is the leading pickup line. It makes sense. I mean, my heart about stopped every time I read that line….nope.
- I learned every guy who sets up a date with you has already planned to be out of there within 1-2 hours because he anticipates it’s going to go bad. Even he’s shocked when he discovered I’m not a psycho. (This does make me wonder how many bad dates he’s been on and what he’s seen and heard. If catfishing wasn’t mean and horrible, I would totally try it to see how my modern ladies are presenting themselves to the dating world.)
- I learned I’m not going to renew this nightmare I paid for. It’s not for me.
- I learned I’m going to go back to showing up, in person, to places and spaces of interest and let it ride.
I can say I tried, so that’s something. It’s always there if I need it again, but I think for now I’m good. I’m not interested in guys pretending they’re interested in something long term when they’re not, that they want kids when they don’t or being their therapist because they’re still not over their ex. It’s all a learning process. I get that. It makes it easy to continue on coaching, trying to move up in my career and finding animal organizations to volunteer and spend my time. I haven’t felt like I’m missing out, so I’m thankful for the experience for that sole reason. It’s allowed me to be calm, patient and just go live actual life instead of hunting on a keyboard…for now at least. We’ll see where I land in another six months!