Guest Post: Welcome To The Jungle

March 8, 2012 at 7:38 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 1 Comment
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Following my online dating post last fall, I received a ton of feedback from people generously sharing their stories.  The following is one brave soul’s story.

By: Single Sally
Single Sally is a freelance writer in NY.

-Oh he’s cute. Eww, he’s a smoker. And loves to drink… a lot.
-In a band, slings lattes and doesn’t like what money represents in today’s society?
-Currently married with three kids??
-Hobbies include Gears of War, mary jane and doritos?
-A tri-athlete, investment banker who travels the world and has very limited free time… looking for sex only.
-A dentist who lives in the city and hates all fat people and poor people…looking for a wife.

These, my friends, are my potential suitors from online dating. I’m almost positive I am better off being single. Not that being single isn’t amazing, but pushing thirty is no time to be as picky as I was in my early twenties. Going out in the city is just a much longer version of online dating, you usually don’t find out how fucked up they are until you’ve already slept with them…. I mean, er… the third date.

I’m easy on the eyes, I’m in good shape and love to work out, I make decent money at a job I love, I’m well educated. I am the very typical ‘good girlfriend material’, except that I am AWESOMER. I volunteer for community service, I’ve never as much have gotten a speeding ticket, I have an excellent libido, I cook and clean and do all that other shit.. basically, I’m a catch. But why oh why, have I not been caught?

Because… online dating sucks. Meeting guys in bars sucks. Meeting guys at the gym sucks. Meeting guys anywhere sucks. In this day and age, if you don’t meet 10 out of 10 criteria on their list, there is always someone else in line behind them. That is kind of a shitty feeling. Disposable dating partners. I know physical attributes with dating are very important (especially when online), again, I don’t mean to boast but the words ‘vixen’ and ‘adorable’ have been thrown around on more than one occasion. I’m confident, I have good body language and I have been throwing out all the right signals (or have I?).  I’m not shy, I make eye contact but I can play coy and do some light flirting.

I was very optimistic when I started the online stuff (it has only been less than a year), I got lots of messages, lots of date invites, lots of profile views. Then, it all sort of died down. Or perhaps my enthusiasm died once I went on those dates and feel like I wasted my time. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to be asked for sex when you don’t even know each others last name yet? I’m a girl, I can get laid whenever I feel like it, you really think I have to go online to look for sex with raggamuffins? I’m on a date with you in the hopes of something better, like I don’t know, can you drive my ass home after I’ve been drugged at the doctors?

I thought there was more of a mixed bag on the internet, but it’s not really, they can be categorized very easily. The biggest pool are the ‘Successful Guys’. The ones who backpack across Europe, train for marathons, going for the PhD’s, build schools in Africa, climb mountains for fun, have their pilots license. I message those guys, I have never gotten a response back. Not once. You know why? Because they’re not in my league. I can’t keep up with Dr. Professor Sully McBackPackPants. Just reading their profiles exhaust me. I’m sure my profile exhausts other people, but it’s about knowing who is in your range and sticking with it.

The second biggest pool, are the ‘Hipsters’. The super cool tattooed laid back dudes that went to private art schools who are trying to make it big with their band while making sandwiches and coffee for ‘the man’ and believe that money is for fools. Well of course they do, Mommy & Daddy paid for their $50,000 a year art school and they live in a 2 bedroom apartment with 4 roommates so rent and binging on PBR can easily be covered by sandwich making.  These are the guys I dated in my early twenties. These are not the guys I should be dating in my thirties. I’m going to have to date someone who believes that money has a value, and that value…. is making MORE of it so we can have a family and not live with 4 other of your band mates.

Thirdly, the ‘Sex Only’ group. I guess I wasn’t too surprised. But they make their intentions clear. I’m not really into THAT kind of casualness.

Finally, the ‘Everyone Else’ group. Which just might as well be ‘guys you would normally see in social settings and still won’t talk to each other’. This is where you sift through the piles of mediocrity to finally find that diamond. They have this great balance of humour and compliments his successful life adventures between pictures of his dogs and vacation photos. His music taste is impeccable as is his love of weird sci-fi shit.  I’m not shy about sending a message first, but those diamonds rarely send a message back. Instead, I wind up with 50 messages from guys who live 600 miles away or have user names like BigBulge4u.

But I guess there is a reason why we are all on this giant web of internet dating. We just keep searching and hoping for that magical spark that only happens a couple times in your life. And as 30 rears it’s ugly head, our standards have no where to go but down. I find meeting people face to face, out in public or even my most preferred way, meeting through friends is really what works best for me. It’s sad now, at my age, where the first thing I look at when checking out a man is his ring finger. The second I see bling, it’s like they vanish before my very eyes. That’s the problem with internet dating as well, you lay everything out in a profile and you’re easily dismissible if you don’t meet every requirement. Because there is always someone else in line behind you, it makes you feel smaller and easily forgettable. Not great for the ego and certainly not a great way to start a relationship.

As much as I crave that butterfly type of connection with someone, I’d rather be single than to settle for anything less than invisible.

Online dating — then and now

November 17, 2011 at 7:34 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 7 Comments
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Long before, Plenty of Fish, eharmony, and okcupid, there was this little thing called AOL.  You would click on the icon, and dial up a connection, and hear the male electronic voice say the magic words: “Welcome! You’ve got mail!”  This is what we considered the Internet.  You had a profile, and you could search thousands of profiles and meet people online from all over the country.

I was 13 when I got America Online.  I made up a username that went along with my personality and interests in many ways.  This was also around the time Romeo and Juliet came out, around the time when my hormones were doing something crazy, and I wanted to experience love or romance, or whatever the hell Romeo and Juliet had.  So I met boys online.  Back then, most perpetrators hadn’t yet figured out this great tool for creating a persona, so the people you met were typically exactly who they said they were.  Over the years, I met two boys online who I talked to regularly.  Of course, nothing would ever come of it, but it was fun while it lasted.

So this whole online dating phenomenon has really peaked my interest.  I haven’t been single for 8 years (holy crap, 8 freakin’ years) so I have never had the pleasure of exploring this new form of courting.  But I am fascinated by it.  I have seen a lot of people meet online and even get into relationships, even get married.  But I hear a lot of mixed messages about it.  Some people are all about it, some people are just as frustrated with it as they are with trying to meet people in person however else people meet.  But I just find it funny that this online dating thing has taken on a life of its own from such early roots.

And another thing that’s funny about dating today.  The whole, “when should we be friends on Facebook?”  Oh boy.  I know I deal with this when I get requests from clients or people somehow related to me through work (separate from colleagues).  For me, this is the group of people I do not need prying into the pieces of my life that make it to Facebook (that’s what Linkedin’s for, silly).  Because our Facebook profiles are not what our AOL profiles used to be.  Sure you have your basic info about who you are and your interests.  But you also have comments from your friends and photos that probably shouldn’t have been posted publicly.  How much of that are you willing to share with a possible love interest you just met, or virtually met?

I love hearing people’s dating stories. Because I can only imagine how tough it is to meet someone.  I mean, there are like, so many people in the world, and in New York, you barely can raise a hand without hitting someone sometimes, but somehow there is a safety in meeting someone electronically rather than at arms length.  Interesting, indeed.

So tell me a story. I want to hear your online dating stories because I don’t plan on having any and need more people to live vicariously through. 😛

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