My friends were right. I seriously had nothing to lose when it came to online dating sites. If I didn’t like it, I could just delete it. But I had to at least give it a try. It was important to see what was out there. It was important to break down my comfort zones. And it sounded nice, actually, to get some flirty conversations going and look forward to seeing some cute faces.
My current sex life/relationship status was well beyond an embarrassing dry spell, anyway, so really why not? Instead of sitting on the couch pondering love and wanting to erase the reality of my latest Saturday night that was nothing but bad pickup lines and then no pickup lines and then a lonely cab ride home alone, I could at least be swiping, trying to get my mojo back.
I wanted to change my way of looking at it, because joining online dating sites felt like the most depressing thing in the world to me then. It’s like admitting that my dating life was hopeless, that I was sexless and boring and nobody in “real life” liked me. Instead, I tried looking at it like a really cool beginning. I’d potentially get to meet people I’d never have the chance in meeting otherwise. I liked the way that sounded. So I put my ego away, grabbed my hoity-toity balls, and gave it a go.
I listened to my best friend continue to rave about all the promising guys she’d linked with in her online dating—their long conversations, jokes, the two of them making fun plans. And there I was, blue in the face (literally from having so many online dating apps open on my cell phone at once), with my fingers turning numb from scrolling and swiping, and feeling like the most pitiful definition of what a “cool single girl” should represent. I mean, I didn’t even have the option to make a bad decision if I wanted to. Shit was scary. And if it wasn’t scary, it was depressing.
I even messaged guys first! I mean, I was really putting myself out there for once. And nobody responded. Actually one guy did, who responded to my cool and casual “Hey. How are you?” by talking about burpees and how exhausted he was from doing a hundred of them just now at the gym. He didn’t ask me anything back. And that was the end of it. It was the emotional equivalent of throwing up in my mouth—that’s how I felt afterwards, like the misery was everlasting and so embarrassing to my character. Burpees? Really bro? Then go find a girl who wears a waist-trainer—not someone who talks about liking sports and beer in their ever-so-witty and well-written mini bio.
Online dating; Offline disaster
I even took different routes to get places to mix up my chances on Happn. Some even “charmed” me and they were surprisingly cute. I liked them back. Then, nothing. Literally nothing. Same with Tinder. Matches up the ass, around the clock. Some I even messaged first. And all I kept thinking was WTF…Doesn’t anyone know how to keep a conversation going anymore? Talking to a stranger on your cell phone is literally the most non-committal form of conversation ever, so why isn’t anyone answering? And if they do answer, why are they responding with just one word and then not ask anything back? What are they scared of? What am I doing wrong? Well, I have a one-word answer for each and every one of them: PUSSY.
And it’s not like my expectations were unrealistic. All I was looking for in online dating was some cool conversation, someone whose down-to-earth vibes could surprise me (and transcend through a screen), and whose pictures didn’t look like six different people in one profile. Whatever happened after that I was cool with (even if just a sexual fling). Like, I get it. When you’re trying to vibe with someone that depends less on eye-to-eye chemistry and more on a steady wifi connection, you really have to learn to just go with the flow. I didn’t want anything super serious. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to challenge myself. And I wanted to be less cynical. This wasn’t brain surgery.
Even when things were still kind of whatever with it all, I kept going. All it would take is one amazing person to break the trend of the typical, forgettable, full of shit guys I was dealing with. He was out there. I believed it! And that’s when a guy named Medicine super-liked me on Tinder and I knew online dating was forever hopeless. I couldn’t delete my apps any faster. Goodbye forever. Every app fucking sucks. See ya never again. I hate you all.
Deleting online dating for good
My friends thought I was too quick to delete. Huh? Pardon moi? I couldn’t give them the stink-eye hard enough. They couldn’t be serious. His name was Medicine. I was then overcome with the same angst and confusion that always hits me when it seems so impossible to understand how I’m still single and how tricky the modern dating world has become. I think of all my best qualities, like there isn’t anything I don’t eat. I like sports. I like to cook. I’m not jealous. I’m not a nag. And I love sex. I don’t get it. Where are the normal dudes?!
I shake my head until it hurts. I say fucking idiots for the hundredth time.
I’m not saying that online dating is a terrible idea for everyone. I’ve actually heard great success stories—not just about these epic dates and connections (however long-lasting), but also about people who actually ended up getting married. How amazing is that? Maybe the party favors at their wedding can be a free membership to Match.com or Tinder Plus. Or maybe they can get endorsed for their success story and it can help pay for their honeymoon to that all-inclusive island. Good for them, though, ya know? Good things do happen to people who aren’t pussies. I just wish I could’ve encountered one.
But hey, at least I tried. And now I can honestly say that online dating just isn’t my thing. And maybe my approach prior to my online stint needs a little revamping, but I much prefer even the possibility of meeting someone face-to-face, and if I’m lucky, having the chance to feel their lush energy, to see the non-filtered light in their eyes, to hear the way they laugh and speak and recognize what kind of person they really are right then and there, without a cell phone to hide behind or a message to ignore. And maybe I won’t meet anyone quality. Maybe it’ll be equally scary and depressing as online dating. But I’d rather risk that face-to-face than feeling discouraged x 1000 on some asshole app.
And that’s when, drinking alone at a bar that next Saturday, I see a sign on the wall that says, Prove you’re on a Tinder date and get a free shot of whiskey!
I shake my head until it hurts. I say fucking idiots for the hundred and first time. I ordered a shot for myself and I paid for it.