I put a toe back into the online dating pool and I’m *this* close to tapping out once again. You guys didn’t tell me it was so damn rough in these waters. Online dating apps have not improved. In pure “me” form, I’ve put together a list of why I’m thinking of quitting online dating again after only a couple months. Roll that beautiful bean footage (10 points if you get the reference):
Hook-Up Culture Scares Me: Tinder perfectly caters to those individuals who are just looking for “hook ups”. I’m not included in that demographic so the dating app holds little appeal to me. No one actually starts dating people they met on Tinder. Think about your friends. How many of them have met their significant other from a dating website or online app? *a few people raise their hands* Now, how many of them have met their significant other from Tinder? *crickets*
Additionally, every dude on Tinder wants to know:
“What are you doing tonight?”
Like tonight tonight? Like right now, tonight? I have plans. And sure those plans involve me sitting on my couch in yoga pants watching Jane the Virgin and eating gelato. But, in my opinion, those are solid “plans”. And chances are, if I’m sitting at home in yoga pants its because I’m exhausted from my job, my volunteer activities and spending time with my friends. So Mr. Tinder Dude, why aren’t you tired? Don’t you have any hobbies? I meant, besides Tinder. Tinder isn’t a hobby. Says who? Says me, Mr. Tinder Dude. Why do — forget it, I don’t have time for this.
I’m Not Going to Date People in the Burbs: I don’t have a car. Don’t make me explain this. It’s hard enough having friends in Old Town, River West and River North. But at least I can take public transportation or a reasonable Uber to see them. How would I get to a person in the ‘burbs? Should I rent a zip car? Never gonna happen.
Too Much Messaging: Nothing is worse than the “getting to know you” conversations people engage in on online dating apps. And you’d think by now most people would realize that the worst conversation starters with a complete stranger are “Hey”, “Hi”, “Wassup?” or some variation thereof. Or maybe it’s just a poor conversation starter with me? Maybe I have poor conversational skills? I’m willing to take some of the blame here. I may be god awful at transforming inane bland banter into a searing passionate exchange between myself and my future husband.
The Reveal: I had met all of my boyfriends prior to going on our first dates. The reason why we went on our first dates is because I had met them before. I saw them, talked to them and decided I wanted to talk to them some more prior to our first date. I hate meeting people for the first time on a date. I hate it. I can’t think of a more inorganic tortuous situation in life (and I’m an attorney). He could look nothing like his picture. I could hate his voice. Or he could hate my voice (Don’t know how. My voice sounds like silk, velvet and unicorns but that’s neither here nor there). Plus, since this is our first in person meeting we have to talk about the traditional background stuff. His job. My job. Where he grew up. Where I grew up. Why yes California IS different than the Midwest. And boy do I miss the weather. But people are much nicer in the Midwest. I am VERY tall. Yes, I know. No, I couldn’t dunk on you but, boy, aren’t you funny. Psst, waitress can I get another drink? Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.
High Risk, Low Reward: I haven’t done research on the success rate of online dates but I’d venture to guess it’s pretty low. I could have looked it up, but it’s not that type of blog. Y’all want numbers? Go check out fivethirtyeight or something. Why waste so much time and energy on something that yields such poor results? The odds are pretty low and I got half a season of Jane the Virgin to watch.
Dating is an Emotional Minefield: This item applies to dating across the board. Whether the connection happened in person or online. Someone can be a stranger one week and the next week the fate of the world can hinge on whether they want a second date. That’s too much stress for one brain. I don’t know how I did this before, you guys. If I don’t receive customary validation from a stranger, I devolve into a heaping mass of nerve endings. No second date? It must have been something I said. I’m clearly ugly, uninspiring and unintelligent (and no one wants to be the three “U”s). No goodnight kiss? I must have the sexual allure of a rat. Awesome. I’m never getting married. Oh, do I have gelato in the freezer? Might as well pack on the pounds, since no one will ever love me anyway. Dating is the only scenario in which we allow our egos to be lambasted voluntarily. We sign up to be whittled down to our vulnerable core for free. We allow strangers to conjure up all our dormant insecurities for zero compensation. And we’re doing this all in the name of love, correct? If love and companionship is the ultimate goal, it should feel a lot better.
Truth be told, I’ve never done too much dating. Maybe because every time I’ve been single and attempted dating, I quickly grew tired of the whole concept and gave up. And whenever I gave up, I ended up happier or in a relationship somehow. (In the heady days of my youth, they used to call me a “relationship girl”.) I’m wrestling with the idea that I just don’t do dating. The jury is still out on this. But I know what I don’t want. I don’t want to have multiple conversations with random strangers via a dating app. I don’t want to experience multiple first dates. I don’t want to perform several uninspiring recitations of my resume. I don’t want come of up with witty comments and insights that convey that I’m equal parts intelligent, funny, engaging and laid-back.
I just want to connect. I just want to have a real conversation. I just want things to feel almost effortless. I just want to feel like I’m talking to a friend, immediately. I just want to feel free to be honest, open and unafraid. But, I guess, there’s not an app for that.