You know who you are. You make a weird, uncomfortable face every time someone suggests that online dating might be preferable to a lonely night on your couch with some Bravo reality tv and your vibrator, and that weird face simply means, I’m above filling out an online profile about myself in an effort to find love. It’s hard to admit this out loud now because the numbers of people doing it are quite large and you will almost definitely risk offending someone if you share your real feelings on the matter and thus you defer with something lame, like, “It’s expensive” or “I’m just really into being single right now” or “I’m going to get another drink.” But I’m onto you, and you probably know this (if we’re friends) because after my third drink, I usually say something charming like, “Don’t kid yourself. You’re not too good for online dating.” And I mean it.
I used to be above online dating too, and I used to tell my coworkers that engaged in it, that they were, “desperate” and, possibly, “dorks.” But that was 2003 and just as I came to rely on the internet to get jobs, apartments and cash for disposable goods, I also came to rely on it for cheap casual encounters and love.
Despite an aversion to saying the words, “I am on Match,” I have never had an aversion to shopping for men online, ignoring men online, discarding men online for any number of petty faults (can you say “Aurora” or “muscle car photos”?), sometimes with silence and sometimes with a perfunctory email pointing out that “it’s not a great fit” but “wishing them the best of luck!”
My favorite part of being online? It’s less messy than being offline. Sometimes sleeping with every young Democrat in the city doesn’t bode well for attending Young Democrats meetings, and the same can be said of softball teams and groups of friends. Sometimes sleeping with everyone can be uncomfortable. Not that I’ve slept with everyone or some young Democrats or the first baseman and pitcher for the StrikeOut team circa 2002 coed softball, but I’ve heard. I’ve heard from other people that it can get weird. And to that person, I would say, “Join Match. Sleep with men and then never see them again. Keep your hobbies in tact.”
For everyone that isn’t/wasn’t sexually liberated in their early twenties, I still prescribe it to you! And you and you and you! I think people have reservations about online dating because ponying up a little money and building a profile where you pretend you don’t make love to yourself three times a week, indicates that you care. Indicates that you are trying. Indicates that if there isn’t a big pot of gold at the end called Mr. or Mrs. Right, then you have failed.
Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” and Jane Squeeze once said, “No part of you will care that you met your soulmate online as you march down the aisle.” So, there you have it- amazing advice from a world wide super athlete and a dating columnist that sometimes forgets to add detergent to her laundry. Whatever. We’re both right. Believe me, I applaud people that are comfortable with themselves and don’t need to be in love, but I think most people would rather end the night with a human being rather than their tv and a battery powered lover, and sometimes… that means putting yourself out there. It might suck. You might get rejected. You might meet a subpar human being and fall in love, but at least you are trying.
And to those that argue it’s dangerous, I argue that you are full of shit. I met my boyfriend outside of The Front Porch, and you know what I knew about him? He had a nice voice and could dress himself, which basically amounts to nothing. Lucky for me, he’s not a rapist or a Republican or someone that considers snuggies cool, but there was nothing safe about it. Had we met online, I could have at least taken comfort in him having a photo, an account tethered to an email address, a credit card and a few paragraphs where maybe he discussed where he worked, what his family was like, the Red Sox and an unfortunate compulsive need to point out the correct pronunciation of the word “folks.”
For those of you still cheating yourselves and bucking the trend, here are some interesting facts from: http://www.datingsitesreviews.com/staticpages/index.php?page=online-dating-industry-facts-statistics:
Married couples who met online have an average courtship period of 18.5 months.
Married couples who met offline courtship period last on average 42 months.
1 in 5 singles have dated someone they met on a dating site.
1 in 5 singles are currently in a committed relationship with someone they met on a dating site.
All I’m saying is that you aren’t too good for online dating, you should quit cheating yourself and it’s better than fucking your boss. Wink. Wink. You know who you are.