Damn near everyone with a computer has engaged in online dating and only a few anomalies actually turn into long term relationships. My theory is that because people have been dating online for so many years, all the happy people have found each other and what’s left are the ones who take to sites like OkCupid as if it’s as innocuous as Facebook. I sometimes wonder if they realize that the purpose of filling out a dating profile is so that they’ll end up on dates where they actually have to engage in conversation with someone.
Kayli Stollack’s book Granny Is My Wingman does more than illustrate the beautiful nightmare of internet dating. She discusses the process of grieving a break up, overcoming the heartache, and setting up a dating profile in order to facilitate it. Along for the adventure is her granny, a tough woman who experienced a very different era of dating when she was younger but is willing to give it a shot for her own reasons. They help each other by writing the most effective dating profiles and then hold post-date evaluations to understand why it all went wrong.
The author uncovered a situation that I had only suspected thus far, which is that a lot of the men who are on these dating sites have been making a career out of meeting women online but not really getting invested into any one person long enough to have an actual relationship. Even the most articulate messages received on these sites don’t guarantee successful dates, which the narrator learned each time she met up for drinks with a new guy, and it reminded me of at least one of the men I went out with when I was cruising for my own dates online.
The stories about her grandmother serve as reminders that no matter how difficult we consider dating to be now, we are not obligated to rush into marriage and we have the luxury of exploring romance as we support ourselves and assert our independence. Most importantly, Granny is a woman who lived out a lengthy, passionate love affair with a married man while she too was married, and she joins in on Kayli’s internet dating adventures in order to possibly discover her own way out of heartache.
Granny Is My Wingman effectively conveys what one can expect from the adventures of dating and we get to experience every uncomfortable, cringe-worthy error. The moments of reflection between dates provide great pieces of advice for women who are also taking their chances with internet dating and might find themselves discouraged by how bleak it all seems. But perhaps that’s the point of it all. The dates are supposed to be bad and you’re supposed to keep going on them or else you won’t realize it when something good finally comes along. Even if it takes going on a second date with someone who didn’t make you see sparks the first time, the lesson is that you must challenge your dating patterns and not give up on the opportunity to learn more about yourself and figure out what you really want.
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