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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Delete Your Online Dating App.

Have you ever seen the movie You've Got Mail?  To summarize this quickly, You've Got Mail is a romantic comedy centered around two business owners portrayed by Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks who are slowly falling in love with one another.  Internet love letters are exchanged between the two through their internet dial-up service until they eventually connect (spoiler alert) in some random park at the end of the film.  Although this film is one of my favorites (because it has Tom Hanks and 90's infused nostalgia obviously) it is completely inaccurate to the dilemma that is online dating...



During my single-serial-dater phase, I was a frequent (don't judge me) user of common 'free' internet dating sites (of which I will not list).  Juggling between school and work, when was I going to meet someone?  I wasn't into the party scene and I sure as hell wasn't looking to meet someone in a bar.  And everyone at my school just didn't fit my dating criteria.  I knew that I wanted a relationship, a companionship to be specific.  And I figured, oh--why not the Internet?  I meet a lot of cool people on there from time to time, so maybe I could meet someone who shares my common interests and finds my face attractive.  I was looking for the Tom Hanks to my Meg Ryan...

My intentions were clear (unlike 99.9% of the community) on these dating sites.  I wanted a relationship.  I didn't want a one night stand (ew).  I didn't want a friend with benefits.  I wanted someone clean (yeah, I listed it first) funny, loyal, unique, creative, smart, passionate, respectful, responsible, nice, independent and supportive.  I had drafted up my ideal counterpart.  I was hoping that I'd receive a message from someone who embodied about 95% of the qualities I was looking for.  I was excited to go on this journey and oddly optimistic for the turnout.  I was living in that You've Got Mail fantasy.  How naïve of me.

Setting up my account, I chose a cute picture of my face and diligently worked on my bio as if it was going to be something groundbreaking.  (What's your ideal date?  What's your favorite food? What's your favorite books? etc).  As I think back on that silly questionnaire, I realize that my online bio was such a waste of my time and energy.  What purpose was I really serving?  Was this really going to bring me what I wanted?  It took a few moments but I started to receive messages.  Messages were completely unoriginal and sloppy.  Some messages were obvious cut and paste routines.  You know, the ones that are a page long with run on sentences and cliché one liners.  Yeah, those.  Other messages were extremely perverted in nature and had me creeped out to the max.  (For example: "You don't even want to know what I'm thinking about when I look at your picture."-->That was an ACTUAL message. EW!)  I knew that I was going to get my fair share of weirdo's.  Online Dating comes with that kind of territory.  


 Meeting someone in person from the internet is weird.  I'm a weird person, so for me to say that is definitely saying something.  I'm just throwing that out there.  When I was dabbling online, I had to build up a significant amount of time and trust before I ever met this person.  And my meetings were ALWAYS in public.  I wasn't about to be thrown down a well while Buffalo Bill was telling me to rub lotion on my skin.  For that reason (and many other obvious reasons) I had to take extra precautions.  When you meet in public you're securing your own safety while surrounding yourself with the watchful eye of others.  The usual public spot that seems chill is a coffee shop.  You order a latte, you sit in the back corner and you wait till that person arrives or in your case, you search for that person to see if they are already there.  Whether you get involved romantically or strictly platonically, the first encounter is awkward.  I speak from experience...




The most awkward moment was when I met with this hockey player.  Having hit it off online exchanging MONSTROUS paragraphs between one another, I was optimistic that we'd get along.  After a few phone conversations, I felt comfortable enough to meet him in a public setting.  For some reason, Starbucks was our destination of choice.  I mean, if the date were to fail (which it did anyway) I could get a coffee out of it and then continue my normally scheduled programming.  Either way, I win, right?  The next time you are in a restaurant or a coffee shop, do me a favor.  Keep your eye out for those who are sitting alone (without a computer, book or notepad) and our CONSTANTLY checking their phone nervously--I bet you (MONEY) that this person is waiting for their online date to arrive.  Anyway--upon arriving, we exchanged two sentences between one another and then the rest of the time we spent with one another was filled with nothing but dead silence.  I'm not joking




It was the most painfully awkward moment of my life.


I couldn't get out of that situation any faster.  I realized that we had exhausted ourselves from talking about anything and everything over the internet, so much so, that we had NOTHING to say to one another when we met.  We had time to come up with our responses online.  Our communication visa vi in person had never felt so forced.  We were forcing any kind of one-word response until we realized there was zero chemistry.  It wasn't organic.  And I hated that.




People are meant to meet one another organically.  The best kind of relationships flourish when the romance isn't forced.  The best example I can think of here is the story how my friend met her future husband.  My friend Christine attended a St. Patrick's Day party a few years back.  At this party, she had met this guy named Rob.  The entire evening they spent their time talking to one another not even realizing that fate was working its magic.  Several dates later, they ended up moving in together.  And just last year they got married.  And no bullshit--I've never seen such a beautiful couple in my life.  And not just aesthetically.  They have this aura about them.  They exude this type of energy that you don't see every day.  They had given fate this opportunity to take the wheel and guide them towards their beautiful union.  Their love story puts 'You've Got Mail' to shame... 








If you're single and mingling just remember that dating is meant to be exciting and natural.  You're supposed to feel that spark.  (Cheesy, I know.  But that shit exists!)  You're supposed to get butterflies.  And yes, your hands are supposed to get sweaty. (Nope?  Just me? Alright then.)  If I were to sum it all up here--just let it happen the way it's meant to happen.  Trust me, it's better that way.  Take it from someone who's done the whole 'online dating' gig.  If there's anything I've learned from all of this is--Internet Dating is the definition of trying too hard.  Trying too hard to meet the 'right' person often leads to meeting the 'wrong' person... 

I have long since deleted my dating app.  I was just over it.  It wasn't providing me with what I truly needed.  Introspection.  I was so eager to meet someone and begin a relationship when I could have taken the time to get to know myself better.  I took that free time that I had to grow.  I became stronger.  Investing time in myself was the best decision I've ever made.  And when I least expected it, fate casted someone my way.  Eventually fate will steer itself your way.  Give it time.  Things happen for a reason. 


xx
Meg


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7 comments:

  1. YES!! Single and almost 29, I still believe in person is the better way to meet new people. I had an online account for like 2 days then deleted it. I think meet-cutes make for the best stories later in life! I'm glad I'm not the only one who shares a similar opinion.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading Caitlin! The best stories come from meeting people in person I feel. I had mine for a few months and it was a NIGHTMARE. :( I'm glad we are both out of it!

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  2. Funny to get someone else's perspective on these annoying apps. LOL. I never got into them and always refused to open an account no matter how much some people bragged to love the idea. I just didn't think I belonged there so it's great to come across someone who has tried and can validate my rejections to this idea. Although I know one couple who met and got married through a dating app. I think they were the only exception. Thanks for sharing this. :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! They are super annoying and extremely creepy. I have zero clue how people are still on there expecting a real relationship to formulate from it. But there are the rareeeee exceptions where people ACTUALLY get married.

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  3. Deleting my tinder was actually one of the best thing I have done because....
    1. I met this creepy metal head that I thought he was cool but he is just another desperate dude (I still have our last exchange text message in case if he complain).
    2. I met one of my distance cousin (I think 3rd cousin?) so that just a big no no
    and last but not least the only thing nice I met on tinder is a guy that look like Cesare Borgia who is in a metal band and doesn't sucks but we have no chemistry. So staying single is nice and at least on my case I need to focus on my studies in order to do the student international exchange program.

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    1. Tinder is the absolute WORSE. I'm telling you, meeting someone in person is far better and it took me a while to realize that :D

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