Friday, December 30, 2011

Online Dating: Ups and Downs

You're nobody 'til somebody loves you
You're nobody 'til somebody cares.
You may be king, you may possess the world and its gold,
But gold won't bring you happiness when you're growing old.
—"You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You," Dean Martin

The new year is coming, so it's time to try new things. One such thing is sharing my thoughts regularly through this blog. I'm hoping to do it at least once a week for a while--let's call it for the duration of 2012. Thanks to my uncle, Mark, for the idea.

Here's what's been on my mind lately: online dating.

First, some pet peeves.
1. "I guess I'll give this a shot..." Many, many profiles start with uncertainty about "this whole online dating thing" and take pains to state that they are uncertain how to do it, so don't judge them. Usually, this comes off as at least a little insulting, as if to say, "I'm doing this even though I think it's kind of weird and/or stupid."
2. The kissy face (aka "Duck Face"). You'd be surprised at how common this profile picture pose is. You may be less surprised at the loathing it inspires.
3. Conversations that end abruptly. People, when you're talking to someone, and you realize you aren't interested the conversation, you can't just stop talking and go away. That is not how these things are done. Just because it's the internet, doesn't mean you shouldn't let someone know a conversation is finished.

On the flip side, there are some unexpected joys to be found as well.
1. Correct spelling. I don't think I've ever appreciated standard English spelling as much as I have learned to over the past six months. It's like a little flashing sign that says I am dating material, and it's a wonderful sign to spot.
2. Interesting lives. You don't have to meet someone to get a surprisingly full view of their life; all you need is a well-written profile and a few pictures. Sometimes it's just nice to know that there are people out there doing cool things and living really cool lives, whether or not you ever get to meet (or date) them.
3. The thrill of the chase. There's definitely adventure to be had in online dating. Reading someone's info and realizing that, yes, this one, out of all the ones I've read this week, this one has potential. I want to meet her. What can I say that will convince her I'm worth her time? Nothing too long, nothing too heavy. Something fun. What book will I recommend? What experience will I ask about? And where will the conversation lead?

So yeah, it has its ups and downs. For me, it hasn't produced a relationship yet, and I have no idea if it ever will. I think, though, that it's been important for me to try. I'm learning to deal with rejection and failure--something I've always struggled with. I'm sharpening my image of the person I'm looking for. I'm being active and taking initiative to achieve an important goal. And I'm having fun. Wish me luck in 2012, y'all.

1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful reading this now. I think your healthy outlook towards the whole thing was why it worked well for you.