I’m Going To Need At Least Three Seasons To Develop Chemistry With Someone

So I keep thinking about maybe getting back into dating. The idea of not dying alone is not without some appeal. The problem is, after college, the best way to get into dating is online, because the entire universe is “over the bar scene” and dating at work is never a good idea.

Online dating seems like it should be fun, since you’re basically just picking boys out of a catalog. The problem is that when you order shoes, they get shipped right to you; you don’t have to do some awkward back and forth to see if the shoes like you back.

But my bigger problem is, I hate meeting a stranger for a drink and having to decide in the space of an hour whether or not I ever want to see them again. Sure, with some people, you have that instant chemistry and you hit it off and it’s great, but 99 times out of 100, that’s not the case. This is concerning, because based on my life thus far, I’m a pretty terrible judge of character and my first impressions are rarely right. So with online dating, it’s completely conceivable that I’m going to meet Mr. Right for a beer and then dismiss him as a bore and never see him again.

Fundamentally, I don’t want to meet someone on a glorified blind date where the friend we had in common was “the Internet.” I want to fall for someone, completely and in a way I’m totally unprepared for. I want to meet someone and not give them a second thought until they reappear unexpectedly. Maybe there’s some initial attraction that has to be ignored because they’re my CIA handler. Better still if I meet them and immediately dislike them, perhaps because I’ve been assigned to debunk their work on the X-Files, or because I’ve just found out they’ll be inheriting my father’s estate. I then want to be so bowled over by this person’s brilliance, by their kindness, that I cannot help but fall madly in love with them.

Yes, once again, TV has completely skewed my view of how relationships work. Nothing keeps viewers (or at least me) addicted to a series like smoldering sexual tension. Watching the banter, the flirting, the glances, wondering if this will be the week they finally kiss. I mean, how can you want to get to know someone over coffee, when you could be…

Getting to know someone while taking down an evil spy organization. On Alias, we not only got to wonder when Sydney was finally going to get with her CIA handler, Vaughn (played by my boyfriend Michael Vartan); we also got some love triangle action in the form of Syd’s friend Will (played by my other boyfriend, Bradley Cooper). There were two fast-paced seasons of man candy, Jennifer Garner kicking a lot of ass, and then what I believe to be one of the best first kisses in the history of television. Show me a wine bar that can top that.

Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. The X-Files gave us paranormal mysteries and global conspiracy theories, to be sure, but mostly, it gave us Mulder and Scully. Two people with very different approaches to being an FBI agent, who develop a mutual affection over seasons of intellectual banter and occasional innuendo, Mulder and Scully are pretty much the perfect couple, aside from the near-constant alien abductions. It just makes going bowling seem dull.

Taking Spanish at a community college. So it’s not the FBI or the CIA, but I will argue that four years of zany antics is still a better way to get to know someone than a date. Who knew community college had so many dances, or paintball wars, or blanket forts, or so many other places perfect for getting your flirt on? It’s no wonder Troy and Britta started dating, and I know it’s probably not going to happen, but I would appreciate at least a few episodes of Annie and Jeff as a couple before Community ends.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are the TV relationships I care about watching, so it stands to reason that a relationship I care about being in might not be built over the course of a few hours-long interactions.  Perhaps it’s time to start filling out my community college application.

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