Many people online date because they don’t have time to meet people in real life. I want to counter this by saying I like meeting people in real life because I don’t have time to online date.
Alas, those days are no more, as the other month my friend convinced me to online date by saying quote unquote, “Your life seems too productive.”
So I joined a few sites, including HowAboutWe, Zoosk, OkCupid, PlentyofFish, Chemistry, Social Studies, LotsofSalmon, and MediocreCherub. My thinking was, the more sites I was on, the more women I’d be visible to, thereby substantially increasing the odds I’d receive random messages saying: “You’re cute. But too short for me!”
I’ve honestly received this message multiple times. For some reason, women think that men don’t take stature personally, that it’s certainly rude to call someone boring, unattractive, or technically not alive, but insinuate he’s short and he’ll just roll his eyes jokingly, laugh and say, “Ha-ha, I know! I’m not offended at all! Let’s remain great platonic friends!”
Anyway, at first the sites were great. Boston is a wonderful city to date in, due to the sheer number of other singles.
This breadth of Boston profiles, though, is its downfall. It becomes too time-consuming to parse through so many accounts. You can spend hours upon hours window-shopping, clicking on pictures, saving profiles, judging responses, thinking of clever ways to say “hello” and ultimately sending no messages because you still feel self-conscious about it all.
It really is the paradox of choice. In Virginia, since there were so few nearby matches, I would message anybody and everybody, regardless of superficialities like favorite books or gender. In Boston, I’ve found myself much more superficially critical, as I know there are thousands of other people on the site. We may have the same obscure literary interests, dislike the same 1974 Bollywood films, share a love of Arubian underwater painting, and work in the same cubicle, but if she even implies she likes Nickelback, I’ll probably rationalize that we have nothing in common.
Eventually, though, you will find someone who interests you, which means you’ll spend days, if not hours, trying to concoct a clever message, as you’re pretty sure that the right 5-word message will convince the person, without a doubt, that you two are soulmates.
For instance, I once spent four hours existentially debating whether I should comment on this girl’s book list, favorite activities, or just casually ask why she listed her gender as “male.”
The truth is, though, the other person will barely read your message, choosing instead to look just at your pictures, which are critiqued using the same two metrics we select Supreme Court judges by:
1. Do they look like Ryan Gosling?
2. If not, what about Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
If the answer to either is ‘yes’, you may receive a response. Congratulations! Perhaps soon you’ll even go on a date, which, as we all know, is a small fruit great for constipation.
I may mock dating websites, but I do value them as a service. Finding dates is not easy, and at least online dating lets you feel proactive about the process. Otherwise you’d just be sitting on your couch, browsing the internet, looking at cute pictures of cats and wondering how you’ll ever meet the person of your dreams, the one who will love you no matter how many times a day you may or may not comment on Rebecca Black videos.
If you’re single, you should give these sites a try. They may be tedious and laborious at times, but they’re also addicting and fun. Who knows, you may even meet your soul mate, that perfect person who has everything you could ever want; namely, 31 gerbils named “Chad.”
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