Monday, May 27, 2013

The Odds

Once upon a time, I was single. And then that continued on into the forever of now. The end.

Okay, so it's not that bleak. I was going for the RomComDram that seems to be so popular today. I believe my above paragraph sums up on how a singleton should feel after seeing one of these RCDs. And, truth be told, it works about every fifth film a single sees.

The first one you see: "That's funny! Cute, even!"

Second: "Ha, yeah... I laughed!"

Third: "Not completely original, but good enough for pajamas and a lazy trigger finger to change the channel."

Fourth: "Okay, I don't quite understand why people are going to see this. I'm pretty sure nothing in that film would ever happen, and nothing was believable otherwise."


You can use that scale for everything, really. Particularly critiquing your children's paintings.

I bring this up because I forgot recently that my single coworkers and I decided to get a cheap ticket on the online dating for a month. We three are completely different people in so many sense. Age, personality, and looks... It was thought it'd be a "hoot" if we were sign up back in March, and I promptly forgot about it because a) I didn't want to pay for crappy connections with guys and b) we weren't going to actually sign up for the thing until June because that's when one of the ladies was off another site she was paying for.

Today, while talking to friends about the reminder I was given on Friday before I left for work, one of them said, "I actually cannot wait for this. I never got the online dating experience, so I rather enjoy the stories I get to hear!"

It wasn't meant as malicious as it sounds--we were laughing, and I promised to give all the juicy details of just how many failures I'd receive now that I'd be placed on a proper site dedicated to said failures. Excitement galore.

To be honest, I've always been iffy about the online dating process. In the beginning, it was the "online scare", that whomever you were talking to, it wasn't actually them! They were all predators and just wanted to rape you (if you were female), or sexy females who would do anything for you in the right price range (if you were male). I remember being sixteen and watching a couple talk about how they'd met in an online chatroom, they happened to not be super creepy, and then they got married and lived happily ever after. A CliffsNotes version. It was shocking, and I don't think even the news reporters knew how to handle them. I believe the best they could do was place extreme warnings among the positive reeking from their relationship.

Now that it's mainstream, we see the commercials: "Married Five Years" to "Married Ten Years" to "Married Six Month". But you can't see the statistics of the people who have been married or in a committed relationship without online help. They don't have commercials for that--who would make a profit, I suppose? Could it be a PSA?

Whatever it may be, one doesn't really see anything until they read articles such as this or this over the years. And since one basically has to seek them out, who is to say they're even accurate, despite the place they were published?

Either way, it's making sense. Online dating doesn't necessarily mean that one's dating options are suddenly skyrocketing through the roof. All it means is that there is more work involved, more deciphering and worry than just going to the local bar, or even just deciding to finally be with that guy friend who always catches your eye (The RCDs get to you, people. They hunt you down, tell you you're fat, then place some ice cream in front of your face as an experiment as to how hard they can laugh at you while you cry yourself to sleep (that, my friends, is an exaggeration of the physical world, but true in the imaginary)). All this has really done is brought up our main issue of dating in the first place--are the people you get a first impression from who they actually say they are?

I say first impressions are simply the worst, even if they're good.

For me, online dating became an easier way to ignore the opposite sex. I'm not there in person, so I can nix anyone who messages me with bad grammar/spelling, anyone who sounds like a pretentious jerk right away, and anyone who is blander than spray butter. Basically, I've become a worse person since the process has started for dating without a physical presence.

Summing yourself up may seem fun, like those chain letters of 500 questions everyone sent to every single friend on their list in the 90s, but no one ever read anything beyond the name of the friend who sent it. No one cares. They don't have to. What they really care about is how they are, how awesome their experiences are, and how original one is in comparison to anyone else's profile you go to.

To say the least, I'm not looking full-on forward to this experience. I'm bitter against the white lies, but more so against the time invested. Reading through novels, not getting the personal touch of a smile right away, the disappointment of meeting to see that the person isn't who you thought they'd be... Swap those around a bit, and you've got yourself a normal dating life anyway!

Either/or, it's frustrating. In a world made for two, options are slimmed. You get to an age where everyone speaks of marriage and children, and not agreeing with them turns into the awkward pink elephant everyone wants to still talk about.

So, I'm going to take this as I always do: as half a joke and full honesty. The stories will be interesting to be sure. And I plan on getting my money's "investment".

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