Adventures in Online Dating

I often say that publishing writing online is akin to publishing naked photos online.

It freaks me the fuck out. It puts me in a very vulnerable position, open to scrutiny, criticism, misinterpretation, and yes, compliments too. Plus, my parents read my blog, which can be awkward sometimes.

With that in mind, please enjoy this pointless drivel of a metaphorical striptease.



“Online dating is for people who don’t know how to meet people in real life,” I snidely chimed to Alex and Christine, while demurely swirling a robust red blend in my water glass.

olivia pope

They had reasonably suggested that I was still single not because of my own shortcomings, but due to my work situation (one employee in a company of – at the time – three), and my perchance for hanging out in dive bars. To them, the obvious solution was to get online. I refused.

I stuck to this sentiment that online dating was for social goobers – despite the fact that Alex & Christine (both who have online-dated) are attractive, well-adjusted, socially competent women like myself – for close to two years before breaking down and setting up an OK Cupid profile.

Surprisingly (or maybe not) online dating ultimately ended up being an exploration of the self, more so than an exploration of suitors.

The first thing I learned is that online dating was really good for my ego.

“It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet of men!” I squealed in delight to Christine, approximately 36 hours and 50+ messages from dudes later. “I see the light! Why didn’t I do this before?”

The second thing I learned was how to be picky at the buffet.

There was the guy who was the vanilla ice-cream of men. There was the guy who made a fat joke and then remarked on his desire to shoot raccoons  with a BB gun. There was the guy who invited me to a baseball game (the tickets were supplied by his boss), and then was too cheap to shell out $6 for a watered-down beer.

There was the date that went incredibly well until the guy threw up and passed out on my bathroom floor. There was the guy that pursued me like an over-eager puppy – despite my polite attempts to communicate that he needed to cool it – until I had to send him a “break up” text.

There was the guy that I actually hit it off with. We dated for a month or two, until he began to slow-fade me.

Let me be very clear about something: I can fucking tell when you’re slow-fading me. I will give you the benefit of the doubt for a few weeks, but realistically, you are not fooling anyone. You are just being an asshole.shoshonna

For a while he rebuffed my invitations to hang out, then stopped replying to texts altogether (always with the texting), until I told him “it seems like you’ve lost interest, which is fine, but gradually disappearing is rude and cowardly.” Suffice to say, being called rude & cowardly did get a response from him.

There was the guy that treated me like a stop-n-go, then months later “humbly beseeched” for my forgiveness.

“Maybe he realized afterwards how cool you are, and he regrets it,” my friend Jackie mused.

“Maybe holiday party season is coming up, and he doesn’t want it to be awkward,” I shot back.

There was the guy who stopped talking to me after I had drunkenly called him to hang out, then told him “you’re the worst” when he declined.

Needless to say, while the buffet has been immensely entertaining to sample, I found myself walking away hungry.

girls

“That’s funny, because I wouldn’t peg you as hard-to-date”, my friend Marco told me as I relayed my dating escapades to him.

“Maybe it’s because they can tell you hate men,” Christine suggested at a girls night out, as I lamented that even Charles Manson had a significant other, but I did not.

For the record, I do not hate men.

“You have another ten years (I’m 23) before you should start freaking out”, my sister consoled me. She recently got engaged, prompting a barrage of wedding-fever-esque commentary from my parents & grandparents about how “Sophie’s wedding is next” and “the girls’ grandchildren shouldn’t be too far apart in age”.

My awkward smile has been getting a lot of face time around my parents.

But as I try to get to the root of my dating woes (is it me? is it them?), it’s hard not to feel down on yourself when every romance dissolves right around the two-month mark.

big girl pants

I guess two months is the amount of time it takes to realize that I am a psycho that will blog about you.

But in my defense, I have exercised  an enormous amount of self-restraint in keeping mum about their sexytime behaviors. So there’s that.

How do I conclude this striptease of my admittedly hilarious, yet totally depressing online dating stories?

The third thing I’ve learned from online dating: How to be my authentic self.

As I looked for a common denominator for why I had failed so miserably at love, the one thing I could put my finger on was a horrible one:

Me.

I was the common denominator.

It could be that I dress like a total bum. It could be that I stoppped wearing makeup. It could be that I’m a smoker, which is gross, or a vegetarian, which is inconvenient, or that I don’t want kids, which is for many men “pointless”. It could be because I’m an angry feminist. To which I will say; unless you are a complete fucking idiot, it is impossible to be a happy feminist. It could be because I CrossFit, which some people find butch and threatening. I could be because I’m “the most opinionated girl ever” (according to a shoe salesguy, who had only heard my opinion on the shoes in his store, but nonetheless parroted a phrase that I’ve been hearing for the vast majority of my life).

But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

“I’m going to throw myself a perpetual bachelorette party,” I told my sister and her boyfriend (now fiancee) as we waited for our table at Homeroom in Oakland. “Every year that I’m a bachelorette, I get another party.”

They think I’m kidding, using humor to deflect my inner hurt at being so incredibly accomplished, yet so incredibly single.

But I’m not.

Perpetual bachelorette party, here I come.

more-wine

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6 thoughts on “Adventures in Online Dating

  1. You think dating at 23 is hard, try adding 20 years! lol Honestly, though I think you might have better luck dating someone that also enjoys CrossFit. Suddenly, being single after a 20 year relationship, I find my CrossFit “family” has given me lots of support and, if I wanted, a few dates in the future. Just something to think about!

  2. Oh 23. That was the year I found myself fresh out of my first and only relationship. My first boyfriend was great. He respected me, he loved me (and showed me he loved me), we had a great time together, the sex was amazing and we wanted the same things out of life. Or so I thought. We had always talked about getting married and moving out of the city. Until after 3 1/2 years he suddenly decided that he didn’t want to ever move out of Manhattan, didn’t think he wanted to have kids after all and that he didn’t think he’d be ready to “settle down” for another 10 years. The next 11 years were filled with sampling at a much smaller buffet, cause if you think men aren’t interested in vegetarian, crossfit loving, smoker feminists, they are apparently a lot less interested in chubby, nerdy, crafty feminists, cause I am not sure I got 50+ responses in 10 years of online dating. However, I can say that I found my guy on OKCupid, and I believe he will propose within the next few months. He is wonderful, but I almost didn’t go out with him. He’s 6 years younger than me, and not my usual type. But I took a chance because he seemed nice and we had a few things in common. Even after the first date I wasn’t sure. But within a month, we were crazy in love. So it can happen. It just look a *long* time to find him. So my advice is, stay true to yourself and be open minded. Eventually you will find the right guy, but it may not be the guy you think it will be, and you may not find him in the place you expect. It may be tomorrow or 10 years from now, but you would regret marrying the wrong guy long before you’d regret waiting to find the right guy.

  3. I recently got out of OK Cupid for the exact reasons you described. Well stated my dear! It’s good to know that others were in the trenches with me taking grenades 🙂

  4. At 23, I had horrendous luck with men and relationships, I thought for sure I was going to be single forever! At 26 I met a guy at a wedding I went stag to, called him up on my walk home and told him he should come back and kiss me, he did and it’s now 10 years later and I’m (happily) married to him. You never know what’s around the next corner – keep dating, have fun, meet the weird ones, the odd ones and some good ones and you’ll be bound to meet someone who was worth meeting.

  5. At 23 you have a lot of time, so don’t rush and don’t feel bad that you’re single. Enjoy it. I’m 34, divorced single mother of two and I finally found my – on the surface very unlikely match – two years ago. I tried online dating but just got a lot of (now) funny stories about the men I met there. I met my guy at an event where we were both volunteering – it’s true that if you do things you enjoy you’ll meet the right people for you, whether friends or more. Also, as another woman with strong opinions, not many men can handle that kind of strength. But you don’t want to be with them anyway. When you meet the one who admires your mind and respects your ideas – jackpot.

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