I have come to a conclusion: online dating is painful. You pick people out through photos, stats, and profiles of likes and dislikes. It’s incredibly superficial (most profiles are sorted solely by photo.) Then once you find a person to connect with, you chat and (hopefully) go on a date. First dates, I’ve discovered, are a lot like job interviews, and like job interviews, I am an awkward, unsure, and babbling idiot. Makes for some truly awesome conversation. Going in blind is just so uncomfortable for me. I can’t seem to get over the idea that dating should evolve organically. I realize that either way it involves meeting new people so it should be a relatively similar process. However, for me, it is more comfortable to meet men in a social setting (especially with friends) and feel out whether or not you actually want to go on a date. Online dating puts all of this pressure on the first meeting, and you don’t know if there will be any chemistry or attraction. As a result of my awkwardness, I can never tell if my desire to flee the date is really based on the guy or my discomfort in the situation. On the upside, when the date is the first meeting, at least I can recognize when I guy is hitting on me.
So why do I continue to troll okcupid? In a nutshell: I haven’t found a better way. I don’t meet single guys in every day life. This is demonstrated by my handful of dates in five years. Most of my friends are either married, in serious relationships, or single women. I work in and love the arts, which equates to men who are gay or straight arrogant assholes for the most part. I don’t go to bars very often and when I do, it’s my local bar where I know everyone (and has no eligible menfolk.) I’ve been trying to go out and do things, but I’m broke and don’t have many interests that attract young men. Many of my single female friends have the same problem so we’re all trying to make this online dating thing work. I just don’t know that it will ever work for me.
My fear is that if it doesn’t work, what’s left?