Online Dating vs Meeting Someone Online

I have a bunch of friends who do the online dating thing.  They join some sites, they chat with people who seem like potentially good matches and then they go for coffee or drinks with them.  Sometimes they like them.  Sometimes they don’t.  I’m single right now, but very hesitant to sign up for one of these online dating sites.  This is likely because I did a bit of online dating a few years ago.  It wasn’t through J Date or or any other officially recognized dating website.  It was through MySpace.  And it was way different.

Believe it or not, the parameters of a legitimate online dating site do not exist on MySpace.  Or more recently, on Twitter or Facebook.  I know.  Crazy, right?  So, if I were to, for example, have written a line from the movie Airplane as my MySpace status update a few years ago and said, “Whoever knows what this is from, I’ll marry you”, and then if someone were to have responded, not only correctly but cleverly to that status and then if we were to go on to have an intense three week exclusively online and texting relationship, even though she lived at the beach and I lived in Hollywood (not at the beach in Spain, at the beach in Santa Monica)…  Freeze.  Let’s take this out of the magical world of What If?  (Shout out to actors!) Because the way that I’m explaining it to you now is is exactly what happened.  Okay?  Okay.

So back to it. Geographically speaking, if a month has gone by, there’s likely a reason you’re not meeting a person in person if you’re within a 15 mile radius of that person.  And that reason usually has a name.  If you’re not with me, I’ll spell it out for you.  Your internet relationship is in a relationship.  And not just the one they’re having with you.

I’m sort of a control freak.  Lose the “sort of”.  For whatever the reason, at that time, I was in the mood for a little crazy in my life.  Therefore I take responsibility for the part I played in this whole thing.  Shall I continue?  I think I shall.  This girl and I (I date girls. Even when I’m not dating them in person.) started talking on the phone and finally, we planned to meet.  Is it a good sign when a first meeting takes place at midnight and you have to drive across town to a bar that she’s supposedly at with friends and when you get there she’s waiting for you curbside because supposedly her friends are inside and don’t know that she’s ducking out to meet you?  Probably not a good sign.  Is it an even worse sign when she gets in your car and says, “Drive.”  In retrospect, also probably not a good sign.

We lapped around the block a few times and I was pretty freaked out.  I didn’t feel attracted to this person (stranger??) who I had, up until now, been so attracted to (over the phone, texting and via email/iChat).  She did not want to get out of the car and was getting constant texts, supposedly from her friends in the bar who didn’t know what happened to her.  There were likely friends in the bar.  And those friends in the bar were likely with her girlfriend in the bar.  Finally, I convinced her to go back into the bar.  At this point, we were parked out front at valet and she was pretty drunk.  She got out, slammed my car door and made quite a scene.  I can’t remember exactly what she was yelling, but I do remember the valets looking at me like, “You need to break up with Crazy.”  And me both realizing and saying, “Sorry, I barely know her.”  And thinking, “I can’t believe I’ve been having phone sex with Crazy for a month.”  It’s at this point in my column that I’d like to say a special hello to my mom and dad.

That night, I thought about changing my number.

The next afternoon I called her.  I.  Called.  Her.  What?!  I know.  I think it was partially out of fear of what she might do next and partially because, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I was somehow attracted to the drama.  Ugh.  That sentence was not fun to type.

We ended up dating for a while.  And drama I got.

I really think that people will show you who they are right away.  Sometimes they show you directly and sometimes you see something in the way that they treat other people.  I think it’s our decision to pay attention to those moments.  I knew it from the beginning.  I knew there was a girlfriend.  I knew there was some lying going on that wasn’t even girlfriend-related and still, I stayed in this.  And this was a mess.  When I finally ended it, it was pretty quick and uneventful.  I think we were both surprised it had taken me as long as it did.

In retrospect, I had some fun with her.  There were some nice times.  However it was mostly super stressful and I sat in this chunk of time where I (felt like I) needed these crazy ups and downs – all supplied by her.  A close friend of mine and I even had a falling out that was a direct result of this girl.  I don’t want to say I regret the time spent (sort of) with her.  I try not to have regrets if I can help it.  I’m a big over thinker and that coupled with regrets equals a tail spin that no one deserves.  We all make choices every day throughout the day.  Sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong reasons.  I know I learn and grow from both paths.  I will say, all of this considered, when it comes to online dating … maybe don’t say yes to a stranger who was somehow inexplicably on your profile page and then started a conversation with you and instead- go get your eharmony on.

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