Ok. This title is a tad extreme but that’s just the mood I’m in apparently.
The topic of dating has come up quite a bit in my life over the past couple weeks. The consensus among my friends seems to be that dating in the modern era is easily the worst thing in the world.
I’m very much an old soul when it comes to romance and dating. I would love nothing more than to meet someone in the real world and fall in love the old fashion way. Getting to know one another through conversation and hanging out, not through endless social media stalking.
*From this point forward, names have been changed because I relish not being sued!
One of my best relationships came about prior to social media taking over our lives. I met Ryder when we were both cast in student-written ten-minute plays while I was in college back in 2004. I met him the night all of the acts came together for technical rehearsal prior to the opening of the show. I was head over heels at first sight.
After the final performance and bunch of us went out for dinner and drinks. There was obvious electricity between Ryder and myself and I managed to muster up enough courage to give him my number.
The relationship came and went like they do and, if I’m being honest, I deeply regret how things ended. That’s a story for another time.
Over the next decade (I might be old) I dated on and off but it became increasingly difficult to meet a decent guy out in the real world. Hook-up culture seemed to be the name of the game, especially while I was in college. I’m not going to pretend I didn’t take part in this but it wasn’t what I wanted.
When I decided to move to Florida back in 2014 I tried my hand at online dating. Prior to moving I set up an OkCupid profile. I started chatting with a few different guys but only one conversation went beyond the surface.
Dillon and I chatted for about two months before I made the final move and we were eager to meet one another in person after all the texting and snapchatting.
We arranged our first date about a week after I moved and was all settled into my new home.
There was no second date.
One of the perils of online dating is how easy it is for someone to deceive you into thinking they are something they are not. This was the case with Dillon.
While I had seen pictures of him and we had been “talking” on snapchat for a while, he had managed to cleverly angle his way out of revealing that he weighed about 300 pounds. In addition, the charming, funny guy I had been chatting with was anything but. It’s so easy to come across great in text messages, in person is a completely different story.
He was rude, insulting and downright bossy. The meal ended and so did any chance he had with me.
My first relationship after moving to Orlando did, in fact, come from OkCupid.
Shawn and I had been chatting before I moved and had discussed meeting but out busy schedules prevented it from actually happening. He also lived in Tampa which, at the time, seemed like a million light-years away to me as I had no sense of how Florida worked.
The universe had a different plan and it brought us together by chance in November at one of the Christmas parties at Magic Kingdom. We happened to be standing right next to each other in line for a character meet.
We were soon dating.
It took a while but the red flags started popping up that Shawn was not the most stable person in the world. He was starved for attention on all fronts, not just from me, but from the world. He was doing everything in his power to hitch his wagon to my wanna-be star. He insisted that I tag him in my instagram posts and on other social media. He tried to get in with my friends in an effort to gain popularity online.
He did eventually get his 15 minutes of fame. It cost him his job and reputation but, hey, congrats on those 15 minutes.
The relationship ended and I decided to give the idea of online dating a rest.
I don’t really know how to count how Cawley and I met. I mean, realistically it was through Instagram. We were both runners and had been at a lot of the same races. The chatting got flirty and we soon got together for races.
Our first date was running a half-marathon together.
It was a wonderful beginning to something I was ready to commit my lift to. Right up until I found out he was cheating on me. A Lot.
This lead to a strong distrust of everyone. I began to doubt myself and my worth. Anytime a guy showed interest in me, I questioned his motives. The rare times I decided to be bold enough to show interest in someone and invite them to grab a drink I’d get, “you mean as friends, right?”
Yeah. Totally. That didn’t just hurt like hell.
We’re well into 2016 at this point in the game and Tinder is all the rage.
Not even though. I have been told repeatedly at this point that to meet guys you want to be on Grindr. I’m sorry, anyone who says they’re on Grindr for dating is either a liar or a fool.
Sure, maybe your best friend’s brother’s uncle’s boss found the love of his live on Grindr but I’ve seen He’s Just Not That Into You and that is the exception, I am the rule.
I decided to give it all a break and to see what the universe had to offer.
It offered me Dante.
It was in late September when we met through a friend at Halloween Horror Nights. He went to the same school as a co-worker of mine and happened to be there when she and I were hitting up the event. We hit it off and started hanging out.
We never really hit dating status but we were spending time together.
When we’d met I thought he was older. Not that age is a big thing but maturity level is.
As time went on, I realized it wasn’t going to go anywhere productive and I decided to put an end to things.
He didn’t take it well.
He became a crazy person in every sense of the word. Would call and text obsessively and when I wouldn’t answer, would come to my house. At one point he spent two hours alternating between knocking on my door and ringing the bell. I had my neighbor tell him I was out of town but that didn’t fly.
Even after threatening to involve the police, he persisted. Coming by and leaving things on my doorstep.
His interest finally faded but the experience left me beaten down to the idea of dating.
This was December of last year.
Now in April 2017 I’ve been browbeaten into joining Tinder again. I won’t pretend like I wasn’t on and off of it but I usually ended up getting bored with it and leaving.
I’ve been back on for about a week now and I’m fighting that same dating-app fatigue that was inevitable in the age of social media.
What’s more annoying is that a good chunk of the time a match doesn’t really mean much.
Whenever I match with someone once I’ve swiped right, I’ll go ahead and send a message then and there. Why delay it? I have no problem making the first move. If they match later on, I give them a fair chance to speak up before I send a hello.
The next hurdle to overcome is the circular conversation.
Here’s any Tinder conversation ever:
USER 1: Hi
USER 2: Hey
USER 1: How’s it going?
USER 2: Good, you?
USER 1: Not bad. How was your day?
USER 2: Fine. Just got home from work.
USER 1: What do you do?
USER 2: *insert job title, possible description* You?
USER 1: *insert job title*
USER 2: nice
USER 1: yeah, it’s fun
1-3 days of inactivity.
USER 1: How was your weekend?
USER 2: Not bad. Ran errands.
USER 1: Cool.
Otherwise messages just go unanswered all together, which is the most annoying. Typically after a week, I unmatch with them.
Others just go straight to sex. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200, just straight to the dirty talk.
One guy started a conversation with me like this: “damn dude, are you a gorilla enclosure? Cause I’d like to drop a baby in you!”
I’m sorry. What?
I have also found my self-esteem suffers a lot as I go through each profile (yeah, I’m the idiot that reads them). I’ll be scrolling through and questioning if a guy is too good looking for me to bother swiping right. How shitty is that?
Sorry for the language but seriously.
When there’s no immediate match, there’s an instant blow to the ego and then when there’s nothing in the long run, even worse.
At the end of the day, I’m giving this grand Tinder experience a go, if anything it’s entertaining.
I did go on one date and while it didn’t pan out, it got me out of the house.
That’s the other problem, people seem to love to talk but not actually meet. The conversation either sizzles out or when the suggestion to meet is brought up (usually by me because I hate the run-around) they disappear. One guy actually unmatched after I suggested it.
Again people, what the hell is the point?
I’m really in no need for a relationship. I’m not that damaged. But that little longing is still in there. The desire to have someone to share your life.
Granted my life is insane at best, but you know what I mean.
I’d like to pretend I had a really good point to all of this but I can’t think of one. I guess it’s just the general fatigue of dating. It’s hard.
Add in anxiety and it’s a whole other ballgame. I had an attack on a date once. We had been out a few times and it was looking promising until we ended up in a really crowded situation and it triggered an attack. He freaked and that was the last time we saw each other.
Then it becomes a game of “when is a good time to let him know my brain sucks?”
I’d say, two years after the wedding!
Offer me some sage advice dear internet people before I give FarmersOnly.com a try!