Well no more. Since we spend most of our waking lives behind a blank screen, connecting to the rest of the world via pixels, it was inevitable that I would come to this point: online dating. Just last year, the thought of online dating would send the normal person recoiling. And now, as I was talking to different people at my workplace, "Everybody's on OkCupid!"
So I went on OkCupid. And on any given day, I get messages ranging from "Hi, your cute" to this:
So I’ve been thinking. I’m getting pretty sick of my job, it’s just the same old thing every day. I think I’m going to head on down to Colombia and take a swing at being a renowned drug smuggler, like Johnny Depp in Blow, but it wouldn't be as fun without my Penelope Cruz. You should join me. I mean you really won’t have to do much, maybe a couple lessons of Rosetta Stone but other than that you just sit around by the by the pool all day, drink margaritas, and get oiled up by hot pool boys while I conduct business. So are you down?
Um, I really like my job so I'm good but...thanks?
And then when the guys are not messaging you, you are messaging the guys. Of which there is an unlimited amount so you can reject the ones who you don't find physically attractive, say corny things on their profiles like "A profile is not enough to describe the intricacies of a person," or can't tell the difference between your and you're. Or post up shirtless photos of themselves.
I remember when I was excited just because I got asked out on a date, because that date was (relatively) rare and special and with someone I had spoken to in person previously and was genuinely interested in getting to know even better. And I also knew the person's last name.
Contrast that with my first two dates from the website where the predominant thought was, "I really hope you're not creepy." Which then followed with, "This is not going to work, how do I get out of here?"
I wonder if online dating is another way of substituting pixels for real human connection. There's so many options right there at your fingertips and you don't have to put in any real work to choose the people you think would be best for you. When in real life, you never know who is the best for you, it usually goes that you meet them and for some odd reason that you can't explain (it was probably the alcohol), you connect.
I guess I want to say, it doesn't feel as special this way. Instead, it feels more like work.
So after two weeks, I have decided to take a break from OkCupid. Because I have learned that dates, like everything else, will make you queasy and want to throw up if you have too much of it. And I've had five dates in the last two weeks (two with the same person, so maybe this can work?). Or maybe I'll go back in a week or two and try again. Or maybe I won't, at which point I'll go back to getting dates the old, fashioned way: While you're both out and drinking.
This is going to be a long dating life.