Why I’m Giving The Online Dating Thing a Shot

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Last week our bride-to-be, Dana, recalled her harrowing tales of dating in New York City. Fortunately, she has since met Joel, and is one of the biggest advocates for online dating that I know. I’m waiting for the day she drags him to an E-Harmony commercial audition. She’s talked about it.

I, on the other hand, have been skeptically averse to online dating for years, which was only reinforced with the advent of Tinder. (“Wait which direction is no? Why don’t they just have a no button?”) So I always shrugged off suggestions to give it a shot, declaring that it just isn’t my cup of tea.

I’m pretty content on my own, and work toward feeling good about myself every day, but sure, it would be nice to meet someone great to share my life with. Easier said than done, right?

The first problem: dating is exhausting.

As the token single gal here at Wellness Lately, I feel it my duty to vent about this for a sec. Not only does dating require planning something, small talk (I loathe small talk), getting dressed (suppose I can’t show up in yoga pants), and (usually) drinking, it’s mentally draining as well (hello, the ever-stressful ‘are we going to see each other again’ question). The nerves, fear, excitement and anxiety can all wage emotional warfare on us.

The second problem: actually meeting people.

It doesn’t happen often. That could have something to do with the fact that many a Saturday night you can find me elbows deep in frozen yogurt, rounding mile 15 of a Netflix marathon, but still … it’s a real jungle out there.

After a series of mediocre dates over the years (shout out to the guy who only conversed with me on Twitter … while at dinner), my faith has been steadily trending downward. I know meeting people is theoretically as easy as approaching someone in a bar, or joining a meet up group of some sort, but can we please be honest? I cannot be the only person who thinks those things are actually not all that easy.

Which brings me back to online dating. Maybe it is the best (only?) way to meet people these days. Is it possible that there may be some good guys hanging out online? Dana would rightfully argue yes.

My brother has also embraced the world of online dating with open arms. After a couple of beers the other night he convinced me that I should “get with the times” and proceeded to set up a Hinge profile on my behalf. That’s right gentlemen, I am now online, or on an app I guess. Form an orderly line, please.

Our conversation, I’m sure, amused a few patrons sitting nearby:

Can you make my username mustlovedogs?

There aren’t “usernames,” it doesn’t work like that.

It worked for Diane Lane.

John Cusack isn’t on Hinge. Also, let’s remove some of these tags, like ‘early bird’.

But I am an ‘early bird’.

I’m still trying to get behind a matching algorithm that’s largely based on photos, plus it seems like everyone is putting forth the ideal version of himself or herself. This is clearly a good strategy to get more matches, thus more opportunities to meet people. But I’d argue that being honest about my early bird tendencies or a mild obsession with my dog from the start will benefit both parties. Let’s know what we’re getting ourselves into right? I know, I know, I’m over-thinking it. At least that’s what Joe told me when he tapped ‘complete’ on my profile.

He then made the mistake of telling my mom about it, who called me to say she doesn’t want a “Craigslist Killer” situation on her hands. I said “Well, that makes two of us.”

Jokes aside, there is one third, and very real problem in dating, and that is fear.

Most of us have been hurt at some point, and that’s a feeling we’re not exactly chomping at the bit to feel again, agreed? Which is why we keep things under control: to minimize the risk. The less we allow ourselves to feel, the less predisposed we are to disappointment.

Not to go all Carrie Bradshaw on you but [insert words typing across the screen here], does the potential reward outweigh the risk in dating?

I have decided for now that yes, yes it does. As scary as it may be, the alternative is scarier. We’ll see what happens. If I suddenly go missing, please reference my latest matches on Hinge.

Bridget

Author Bridget

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