My friend Kerrie is a bubbly 36-year-old whose New Year’s resolution was to try her best to put herself first.
One of the ways she decided to do this was to see if she couldn’t hook herself a nice gentleman by signing up for Chemistry.com. She recently had her first “date” on January 20. While we were talking about it at work, she had some nice things to say about her experience with the site, and the guy she met wasn’t wielding a bloody chainsaw so I decided to explore this avenue into the dating world as well.
I’m going to leave out which dating service I chose because I don’t want to be sued. Suffice it to say it was a popular one of which you have definitely heard. I didn’t want to pay for a membership right away because I wasn’t sure how I would like it, and judging from how little I go on Facebook (maybe once a week if you are lucky), and if I would have the energy to maintain it.
I thought maybe I would answer a few questions, click on a few interests, upload a slammin’ photo of myself, and BAM! – dating profile completed, men shower me with attention as well as expensive gifts, happy exclusive relationship within two months. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE INCORRECT.
It begins with answering what seems to be about 400 questions. 358 of these questions are irrelevant to the topic of dating, and most of them don’t really make any sense (“If you were forced to build something out of Lincoln Logs, what would you make, and WHY?”). I also had to fill in what type of significant other I am looking for (they didn’t allow for me to specify beard, glasses, plaid shirts but that’s OK – I don’t discriminate) and then I had to upload a photo.
All of this hullabaloo took me about an hour and a half. Keep in mind that I started this at around 11:30 p.m. on a weeknight…and by 8:30 a.m. the next morning, I had SEVENTEEN emails. Emails from men winking at me, poking me, pinching my ass, slapping me high fives or whatever other weird shit the online dating people think is cute to do to other people to let them know they like their profile. Why don’t they just have one where you can pull on my pigtails and push me down in the sandbox like the boys used to do in elementary school? SIGH, interpreting mens’ actions used to be so much easier.
Now, I think you know enough about me by now to realize that I didn’t actually believe any of these “men.” I know your game, popular online dating service that shall not be named. I chose the limited FREE membership. If I was actually naive enough to think that these profiles were of real actual living human beings then I deserve to be alone forever. Those seventeen winks, pokes and pinches just signal to me that the online dating service wants me to pony up funds to introduce me to my Mr. Right. It was enough to make me throw up my hands, declare failure, and cancel my entire membership. Which actually isn’t cancelled completely because apparently your profile is there forever until the day you expire or until the zombie apocalypse, whichever comes first (and Mom, you KNOW zombies are coming, stop rolling your eyes).
Now, it’s not to say that I won’t ever commit to online dating. I just don’t think I am ready for, ironically, the commitment. I don’t have any negative feelings about online dating, and I don’t judge anyone who chooses to meet people online. In fact, I have a friend who met her husband on one of these sites.
But every time I decide to go for it, something stops me. I can’t help but feel like if I join one of these dating sites for real, I’m just giving up on meeting anyone organically. I am one of those girls who wants the chance-meeting-at-a-library-while-reaching-for-the-same-novel situation. Or the lock-eyes-across-a-crowded-room fantasy. I would even settle for the random-stranger-asking-me-for-the-time-then-telling-me-he-didn’t-really-want-to-know-but-just-wanted-to-talk-to-me-because-I-was-pretty scenario.
I am the girl who wants her boyfriend to draw hearts in the snow on her car windshield instead of cleaning it off for her. I think getting socks or cute underwear as a surprise gift is so much better than getting flowers. And my idea of a great date is dragging camping chairs out into the middle of a field to wait for the sun to go down and watch for fireflies and stars to come out. I’m unique, so shouldn’t the situation in which I meet my significant other be unique as well? I don’t want some overworked, caffeine-addicted computer nerd to judge how I responded to the question “If you were faced with a mountain, would you walk around it or climb over it?” so he can find my ultimate match.
So for now, I remain in the analog world. I’ll just make an effort do my hair and makeup whenever I go to the library in case some insanely hot guy is also reaching for the beaten-up copy of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.