The Internet is a beautiful, wonderful, really weird place. Where else is it socially acceptable to spend all day in your jammies watching cat videos and shopping for hooded blankets? Internet dating, like the Internet itself, can be absolutely wondrous, or the absolute worst — depending on the day, time, and alignment of the stars. Your date could be Captain Jack Sparrow or Edward Scissorhands. You just never know. It’s a pretty scary e-world out there, but it’s also kinda awesome. And if you’ve ever braved the web-dating world you’ve probably had some thoughts similar to these. Sigh, we’ve all had thoughts similar to these. We are nothing if not united in our awkwardness.
Before the Date:
Alright. I’ll give it a shot. Internet dating is normal now, right? Which one should I pick? Tinder? OkCupid? Match.com? eHarmony? I’ll start with Tinder because it’s free.
Ok here we go. Profile picture time. I need to look cute and sexy and smart and fun, but not so cute/sexy/smart/fun that I intimidate everyone. Maybe this one of me pensively reading a book? But the book is Twilight. Oh wait nevermind. I have absolutely zero control over what image Tinder uses! Great. This Facebook profile picture of me from 2005 will be a real winner. Hope you guys like 18-year-old me at a Fall Out Boy concert. If not then, byebye haters.
Excellent. Profile pic is done. Now for the bio . . . I’ll just leave it blank for now. More mysterious. But I do need to set some age and distance restrictions before the creepers find me. There we go. Creeper shield activated. Now the real fun begins. At long last, it is match time.
Hmmmmm no, no, no. To the left, to the left, all you unfit matches in the box to the left. Wow this is pretty fun. I feel so powerful. I’m like the Tinder queen sifting through the Tinder peasants. Wait I know that person in real life. That’s so awkward I’m just going to pretend like that never happened.
Hold up. Now there is a match. Hellllloooo, cutie.
I’m gonna swipe right. You only live once, right? OMG WE MATCHED. This is fate, this is destiny, thank you universe for giving me this beautiful creature. OH NO THEY MESSAGED ME.
Where do I go from here? Should I be funny? Should I play it cool? Maybe I should just go with emojis?! Wait I should see what he said first.
“Hey.” Oh. Ok. The stakes have been lowered. Ummm I guess I’ll keep it simple. Just a “hi” and maybe one emoji. Ok two.
Please don’t send me an inappropriate picture. Please don’t send me an inappropriate picture. Please don’t send me an inappropriate picture.
OH HO HO A WINKY EMOJI?! SOMEONE MEANS BUSINESS.
Holy cow they want to “meet up.” Is that a date request or a naked request?
Maybe I’ll suggest coffee. That seems safe. They can’t kill me in a coffee shop. OR CAN THEY?
They agreed to coffee! I have a date! I have a date! Crap I have nothing to wear. What do people even wear on dates? Dresses? Jeans? Heels?
Whatever I’ll look fab no matter what.
Maybe I should just cancel. This is all so stressful. It would be so much easier to snuggle up with my main man Netflix.
No I’ll go. I’ll be brave, graceful, and I’ll even shave my legs. Probably.
During the Date:
Alrighty. I got this. It’s just a date. Just walk inside and be charming as crap. I am kind, I am smart, I am important, and I am werking these jeans.
Oh thank goodness they’re not here yet. I get to pick the table! We’re gonna sit by the window so I can stare out of it just in case things get awkward. Is everyone staring at me? It feels like everyone is staring at me. Does everyone know? Internet dating is normal now, people! Avert your judgmental eyes.
Yay here comes my date. Pretty cute, maybe this won’t be as awkward as I’d thought. Deep breaths.
How do I greet? Should I stand? I could offer up a handshake, but maybe a hug is more appropriate? But then I run the risk of accidental face contact and that could ruin everything. WHAT DO I DO?
How do I smalltalk? I have forgotten how to smalltalk.
Why am I laughing so loud?
Did I just snort? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?
This is all so terrible I should have stayed in bed.
But they seem to be laughing, too? Maybe it’s OK. Maybe they didn’t hear the snort. Who am I kidding? They heard the snort. But maybe it was cute?
Relax. This is fine. Just talk about the weather. Talk about sports. Talk about puppies. DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR EX.
After the Date:
5 minutes later: That was awful. I’m never dating again.
30 minutes later: Actually, that was awesome. Online dating 4ever.
1 hour later: But it was pretty weird. I’m not sure how I feel about it.
2 hours later: Do I want to see them again?
3 hours later: Does they want to see me again?
1 day later: Should I text them? Should they text me? Should I delete my account?
3 days later: Maybe I’ll just check out their profile one more time for a refresher. OH NO IT SAYS THEY’RE ACTIVE NOW. ABORT MISSION.