Online Mating

I’m bummed to be missing tonight’s show, particularly because the theme is “Online Dating”.

YOU NEED TO GO TO THIS SHOW. TONIGHT. THE GALLERY CABARET. 7 PM. $5 SUGGESTED DONATION.

Then again, when I decided to write this post to try and contribute something, I was sort of at a loss.

I’ve had a lot of experience with online dating. But the further you get away from it, the less you feel as strongly. That’s an obvious statement, but I was surprised at how indifferent I felt when trying to recollect my experiences.

Though, the truth is, they were just unmemorable. Back then I could rattle off first names and occupations, places met for first “dates”, what the last correspondence was like, if there was any at all.

And finally the mounting disbelief from not hearing from someone after having what I perceived as, A Great Time.

I went on one streak where I would plan dates back to back in one night, trying to tackle the dating scene like a bad math problem. But mounting misses over hits start to take their toll. Not to mention the exhaustion from hopping around the city.

None of us are really built for this kind of thing. I don’t know what percentage of luck to assign to those who’ve met their forever mates online, but it’s significant. In fact, I truly believe it’s the difference between those that succeed and those that fail. Unless you did something way out of character to mess up a potential relationship, it’s all a roll of the dice whether you’ll be presented with someone you could hit it off with.

I rolled the dice A LOT. I had a few short term things come out of it, including a fairly disastrous on and off non-relationship with a guy I’d messaged through the OkCupid app while drinking wine at home.

I will accept my part in why things went wrong, but at the end of the day, we just weren’t a match.

The reason it’s hard to tear yourself away from online dating even after it’s chewed you up and spit you out is because of the potential. You just need ONE chance to connect with ONE person and then stop online dating for eternity (or several years.)

It’s also hard not to enjoy the constant tiny ego boosts and small thrills at the feeling of “what if”. Sure, you can go a few weeks or months, content in not getting a text that makes your heart race, or anticipating your drink date with that super cute person you’ve been messaging for the last day or two or the bliss in recollecting an awesome date.

That’s why you should have a strategy. Mine was to not be super active and to immediately dismiss anyone who was flakey.

I can’t tell you if this worked out because shortly after initiating this plan, I met my now partner.

And it wasn’t online.

But I do think the second part is important and useful. If someone doesn’t respond or make plans or seem truly interested in the way of taking action, then they are not your person. Period.

There’s nothing to analyze or over think.

Online dating is voluntary. If it seems and feels like your only option, the least you can do is approach it by putting yourself first. I know radio silence after platitudes and overtures of genuine interest hurt. Constant rejection isn’t good for anyone. It’s almost equally disheartening when there’s mutual disinterest over and over. So the only way to take control of the situation is by creating the mindset: You are doing this for fun and will stop doing it once it’s no longer fun. Or at the very least, take a break from it.

In the meantime, try to spend your time with friends, traveling, and just doing things you enjoy.

Because once you meet your person, you might get pregnant and move in with your parents and stop doing all of the above.

-Carly

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