I feel very lucky that I was already in a relationship when online dating was becoming a thing. Actually, in general, I just feel pretty lucky to have been in a healthy relationship for over four years. How does dating work now? I’m actually genuinely curious because the way I entered into my relationship was flirting in creative writing class by giving Matti well-written, thoughtful responses on his short stories and
by drawing a heart over the I in his name. But that was when I was a sophomore in college.
Okay, to be honest, I was pretty good at flirting — I say was because the most flirting I do now is with my dog, Tengo. But I don’t think of it as a learned behavior, it feels natural to me. More than anything, flirting is just showing someone you’re interested in what they are saying. And that’s how dating used to be. I met both of my college boyfriends in a class where we were constantly interacting, making fun of each other, making eye contact, creating nicknames for our teachers, whatever. I’m also a bit of a socially anxious control freak so, it can happen to anyone. Sure, I brought a lot to the table myself, specifically breasts that were twice the size they are now but not all men are boob guys — some like butts more. Oh, and it helps to have a good personality.
Seriously though, now it’s all impatience and sites with super specific requirements. For example, Youmustlovedogsdating.com, because dating your dog is still illegal. But seriously, I guess for some people having a dog is an issue and not having a dog is even more of an issue. When did people become so polarized? Dog-loving people have one site, Jewish people have another, Christians have their own as well, college-aged hornballs that are DTF have Tinder, people who like the finer things have Eharmony, it all works out.
I have a lot of respect for people who are proactively trying to get happy in their lives by putting themselves out there by online dating.
And with that said, I’m gonna put something out there: we’re getting really bad at socializing. This is coming from someone who within the last year realized that social media is perfect for people who don’t want to leave their house but hate being left out (and subsequently, became obsessed with social media). It’s all emoticons and figuring out how to convey meaning through text messages (which, let’s face it, shouldn’t be a thing we’re worried about).
In a CNN article, they are literally giving out advice on how to be a person: “Like preparing for a sprint, warm up to a peak social state when you’re going out, day or night. It makes you the person in the room that everyone wants to meet.” I’m making a sad face right now. Because besides for wanting Anderson Cooper to be happy, I don’t like the idea of CNN talking about dating. But they are kind of right.
Online dating has made it possible for you to reject someone, get complimented, make lists of the qualities you don’t want, all while sitting braless in your living room half-watching the E network. Come on! Also, this can happen:
I recently read an article where a woman’s advice for online dating included, “don’t try to be funny” and “downplay your accomplishments (only initially).” I’ve just never liked feeling like I had to be something else or someone else for someone to like me, not even “only initially.” Sure, sometimes things I say or write sound more asshole-ish than funny but hey, that’s me! My first time out in college we were all posing for a picture and I stopped everyone to say, “But I should be in front ’cause I’m the prettiest!” Some of those girls I am no longer friends with, but my best friends now quote that as when they fell in love with me.
This article also talked about how much people lied in these sites — yeah, you, ladies. Women lied about their height like, a lot. I like to think of this as the “I’m super feminine and tiny” move. Women often times like to be seen as tiny, little babies their boyfriends can pick up and throw over their shoulder as if their weightless. It’s okay if you almost weigh the same as your boyfriend. I don’t think that “weighing twenty pounds more than me at all times” is the proper criteria for finding the love of your life but hey, it worked for this lady. She found her husband by making a list of 72 qualities for an ideal husband — some of the attributes on the list also stating what the person must not like — “likes selected Broadway musicals: ‘Chess,’ ‘Evita.’ But not ‘Cats.’ Must not like ‘Cats’!” More and more, I’m beginning to think online dating is for people who are severely list-making inclined.
I guess I’m more of a Sleepless in Seattle than a You’ve Got Mail type. And the direction online dating is headed — comical material for blog posts — I’m not so sure it’ll remain the classy institution it’s known to be. Also, I’m super nervous that if something happens to Matti I’m going to be thrown back into the dating world with absolutely no idea what site to use. Gosh, and what will my height be then?
*I have never used online dating so please share your horrendous or successful experiences here. Seriously, tell me about the guy who swore he’d sword fight a bear to get a chance to taste your famous lasagna. These are the things I want to know.