Friday, August 28, 2015

The Truth About Online Dating

Dating has always been a horror for the terminally anxious, but then someone added the internet to the equation and things turned into the kind of horror that turns up in your kitchen at 4am with a meat cleaver and a menacing grin. Or at least that’s how I thought of online dating. I was somewhere between drowning in tiramisu and talking to my inner spirit guide (some description of cat) about where it all went wrong, when I decided to give in and  put my "love life" in the hands of the internet.
I guess I got propositioned by enough people my mother’s age to think - You know what… NO. I am a mentally stable-ish young woman I can find someone my own age. I will find a man on the websites like a modern person. Unlike a real modern person I had no idea about Tinder. My friends tried to convince me that the internet was meant for other people, people with life skills and good judgement. I was going to prove them wrong, I stayed up till 5am making the ultimate man catching profile.
After uploading a version of myself that my mother wouldn’t even recognise, I decided to have a gander through my options.
And man, oh man, was I impressed.
 I logged off and slept soundly in the knowledge that my future had abs. I woke to ALL THE MESSAGES.
But Mr Abs was not the sort of person who had decided to message me …oh no….
Worse than the profiles of the various paedophiles who wanted to marry me, was the attempted conversations by 90% of the people who liked my profile. 

Some brief examples of the scintillating conversations I had on the internet:

Person: How R U?
Me: Disillusioned by your flippancy with basic literacy
Person 2: Sexy pic gurl, I like your smile, smile at me?
Me: Just no.
Person 3: Want to eat duck and watch Sylvia Plath?
Me: You realise she’s dead and that would make this both creepy and illegal.
Person 4: Hi!
Me: Bye
Person 5: Have you got any more pics?
Me: Yes, please find attached a close-up of my left eyebrow.

In the end,  I would have gone on a date with anyone who could write a paragraph and  in that paragraph displayed any basic reference to the content I’d written on my profile i.e. I felt like someone correcting the Irish comprehension paper in the leaving cert- Oh look, they’ve copied an entire sentence I wrote and spewed it back at me, at least they tried, attempt marks! This is an okay way to mark a comprehension paper, because otherwise we’d have to admit that about 5% of our students can actually speak the damn language. But it is not a good way to decide who to date. It results in a lot of pre-date anxiety.
Which is followed by on the date anxiety.
Which is followed by how do we end the date anxiety.
Which is followed by why do we bother trying anxiety.
Which is followed by talking things through with your inner-cat lady.
Once I'd gone through this twenty or so times (never let it be said that I'm a quitter) I deleted everything. I'm sure I'll have a spoon too much of tiramisu and end up on the rollercoaster again some day, because that's what tiramisu or online dating or our stupid brains convince us of. They say - This time could be different, this time you might actually find someone vaguely compatible and hold hands for a few weeks.
But even then, even if you find your happy-for-a-while person, we all know how the story ends.


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