But I didn’t get past the point of making an profile picture-less account and snooping around for giggles.
I can’t really remember what drove me to the point of making an account in the first place. Perhaps a mixture of the boredom of my last summer before finals and my catlike curiosity that believes that everything (within very stringent limits) should be tried at least once. Admittedly also my general fed-up-ness with being single and the false self reassurance that despite all my misgivings about online dating, if I saw someone whose description of them self wowed me, I would go for the plunge and message them.
Nope, didn’t happen. What did happen was that I briefly scrolled through some of the profile pictures, looked at the heights in the descriptions (I am solely to blame for my own superficiality), tried to ignore my own deep sense discomfort and promptly closed the account. All this was done in Google’s incognito mode – but I’ve decided to come out of the closet.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with online dating per se, I just personally can’t bring myself to dip my toe in the water. Honestly, there’s something about online dating that deep down feels like I’m admitting an element of desperation to myself. I know, I know – that’s fairly ridiculous and a bit offensive to the growing percentages of people who find their partner online. It’s now the second most popular way to meet people apart from through friends, and respectable people of all ages and walks in life are doing it, but I just can’t get past the stigma.
I’m a die hard romantic and unfortunately, my romantic notions at the moment aren’t roomy enough to allow for a story where I find love on match.com. Or eharmony. Or Christianmingle.com (the name is cringe I know, but aren’t they all?).
Maybe I’m severely limiting my options with this, just like my short man aversion (which I am unsuccessfully working on). The older I get, the more I hear whispered stories of women who were picky in their twenties about either the type of man they wanted or the way they wanted to meet the man, and are now alone at 52 in a room full of high expectations and cat litter.
But I rather like high expectations and prefer lizards to cats, so maybe this isn’t a terrible option?
My fears about online dating go further than my silly initial misgivings. There are the usual safety fears about meeting a serial killer or child molester, but these things can happen outside of e-harmony. Ditto the fear of meeting someone who has a completely made up life that only unravels 3 years into the marriage when you get a phone call from a women asking for her husband Tunde, when you definitely married someone called Brian. I mean, the world of crazy isn’t exclusive to the virtual world.
My biggest discomfort with online dating though, is the sheer vastness of the choice it offers. Strange, right? Why would that be a problem? Surely that’s a good thing? In some ways it is, it’s great that you can contact so many different people and get the opportunity to decide what’s right for you. Potentially though, it runs the risk of us turning into slightly self-centred ‘love perfectionists’ convinced that if a person doesn’t match all our criteria, we can click through a set of profiles and find someone better.
Maybe that doesn’t really matter though, because ultimately, whether you find someone online or go down the more traditional route, no shiny exterior can hide the eventual reality of two people with their own dysfunctions who, if they love each other will have to learn to live with each others warts and wobbles.
Anyone ever tried online dating? Is my lack of experience giving me a completely skewed perspective?