Day 16: Not About Dating
When people ask me what this blog is about, I always say it’s about everything. And that it’s definitely not a personal journal. Then, I smile and swallow the slightly bitter taste of untruth in my mouth, because sometimes, these posts are journalish. Today is a journalish day. And of all things, it’s journalish day about dating.
Dating has changed immensely in the last decade. Now, everybody meets online. Or so I’m told. A friend of mine styles hair for weddings in her spare time (she runs a non-profit with all her other hours), and she informed me that 90 percent of the weddings she has styled in the last year are for couples who met online. So, at her advice, I signed up for Match.com a few months ago. Having already dabbled in OkCupid, I felt I understood the concept and comfortably knew the ropes.
After some trial and error, here’s what I discovered: I’m just not good at dating, especially online. I’m good at other things—hula hooping, driving in snow, steaming milk, sleeping, etc. But online dating? No.
Once, I wore a nice outfit all day long in preparation for an evening date only to run home, change into a sweatshirt and show up late. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I’m guessing it’s not that I enjoy dating.
Something about my personality disables me from having fun, especially when meeting a virtual stranger (technically, a real-life stranger and a virtual acquaintance). I turn into a puddle of anxiety and cold sweat at the prospect of a date. And I’m not afraid the dude will be a creep; I’m afraid of sheer, unparalleled, anti-chemistry awkwardness. It takes an inordinate number of cells in my body to not cancel a date once it’s set.
The reality is that the few dates I’ve actually attended have been with kind, intelligent and interesting men. The dates aren’t awkward and they aren’t boring. The catch is that they do lack chemistry. Sure, two people can both love Oliver Sacks and hate dog fighting, but loves and hates do not a match make. Science has yet to invent a way to really determine chemistry through the Internet. Until then, I’m not sure it’s for me.
Calling a love match “chemistry” always sounds like you’re boiling water or discovering the cure for the common cold! How about “nature”–it could never happen in nature, it wasn’t natural, it was naturally not a connection! Although I suppose you’d like your blood to boil or to catch a “common cold” you shouldn’t feel discouraged. Frogs, frogs, frogs–but that’s biology,not chemistry! Carry on!
I hear, you Aunt Betsy. Thanks!
Continue to put yourself out there and you’ll get more comfortable with the concept of online dating. I met my current boyfriend on OKCupid and we’ve been together for almost a year now.
Thanks for the encouragement, K!
I can identify with you somewhat, Ashleigh. I kind of tried online dating for a bit, and met a few friends via OKCupid as a result of there being indeterminable “datable” chemistry; any woman I’ve dated has been someone I met in real life.