Online dating is awesome and awkward and definitely bizarre. I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina a little more than a year ago, and I can’t rely on the ole “meet your friends’ friends” approach, since most of my friends are new here, too. Nor can I try the “meet your coworkers’ friends at Happy Hour” deal when it comes to finding dates, since I work from home and my coworkers are my microwave and my sofa and the occasional bug that sneaks in. So, OKCupid and Match it is!
I’ve met some really nice guys on online dating sites. Really and truly I have. But I’ve also realized that online dating lands you in the midst of situations unlike anything you’ve experienced in your life, and certainly ones you wouldn’t encounter through other mediums of dating. These include but are not limited to:
Getting messages from someone who could realistically be friends with your parents
Match tends to draw an older crowd. As a result, I frequently receive messages from people who probably have more in common with my dad than with me. Last month I almost deactivated my account when a potential suitor was older than my pops and put together this eloquent message: “U r cute.” If that’s what dating was like, I didn’t want any part of it anymore. There was just no need. (But then I got back in the ring for another round, of course.)
Realizing that very few people understand the English language
Speaking of “U r cute,” online dating makes you come to terms with how rare a grasp of the English language is these days, apparently. It’s gotten to the point where someone actually gets points for using the right “there” or “your.” This is the world we live in.
Going out with someone a few times and literally never hearing from them nor seeing them again
Typically you exchange a few days’ worth of dating site messages and texts before going out with someone. Then you see them once, maybe twice. In some cases, that will be the end of that. This is a weird feeling. You spent time getting to know this person. You asked about their job. They asked about your hometown. You sat across from them at dinner, or as you drank several vodka tonics, and then nada. Maybe this was your choice, or maybe it was theirs, or maybe it just kind of fizzled naturally. But it’s still strange.