Gone are the days of flowers and pick-ups and a guy planning and paying for a date. In are the days of dick-pics, splitting the cheque with a guy with no job because he’s “finding himself” or because he “gets bored easily”, and date-rape drugs. Yay for 2017, we’ve come so far and yet have lost so much.
I have such a love-hate relationship with dating. On the one hand, I love meeting new people, I love learning about other people’s lives and other cultures, I love learning about other families, the way they do things and the way their brains work. On the other hand, I seriously hate all of the “rules”. Perhaps hate is a strong word… but really, who has the time or energy for all of that bullsh*t?! Playing by the “rules” means we’re playing games, and I don’t have the patience for that shit.
It recently occurred to me that I’ve been happily single for a while now, so happily single that I have not made any effort to meet anyone. At all. Which is fine except that I’ll turn 27 this winter which means that if I want to be married and having children by approximately the age of 34, it wouldn’t hurt me to widen my opportunities to meet someone outside of the familiar people within my small town. And how does one do this in 2017? Through swiping left or right on their cell phone, obviously! (How the heck did we get to a place where dating has literally become swiping left or right on someones face if you find them attractive or not?!)
So basically, this is ridiculous. How I’m supposed to know within a few heavily filtered pictures and a bio of 300 characters or less, if this person is a) not a serial killer, b) not going to drug my drink and c) someone I’d actually like to talk to and, ideally meet, is not within my knowledge. Not to mention that you can’t smell a person through a phone, isn’t a good percentage of attraction scent? What if he smells like rotting eggs? Or ladies perfume? Not only are we heading into the dating realm without any physical sense of the other person’s energy, but without a nose as well.
One full week in I am making the most of it, I even met one guy in person. I don’t believe that he is a serial killer and he did not drug my drink. That being said, I don’t plan to see him again either. I learned about his several moves, his travels, his job, why he doesn’t like his job, why he hasn’t yet left his job, his alcoholic brother, his lazy sister, his lazy mother, his dad, his parents separation, his step dad, his step-parents separation, his time so far in BC, his trade tickets, what courses he’s taking and more. What did he learn about me? That I am a hairstylist and barber who rents a chair. It didn’t fully occur to me until after the date was over that he maybe asked me one question the entire 3 hours that we were together. At one point in conversation I even said, “Well you haven’t asked me anything yet,” and he replied, “Oh, I guess you just told me everything,”.
Why am I confident about sharing all of this in my blog so publicly? Because he doesn’t know it exists. Why doesn’t he know it exists? Because he literally knows nothing about me.
I am an open book, ask me just about anything and I will answer honestly. What I can’t play into is all of the so called dating rules. I say things that I’m not supposed to say, do things that I’m not supposed to do, and basically the rule book is up in flames. For example, when my phone rings halfway through the date and I wouldn’t normally answer it, but I have to because it’s my girlfriend calling to offer me an out and if I don’t pick up she’ll assume he’s kidnapped me, why can’t I tell him after saying, “I’m fine,” and hanging up, that it was my escape call? Doesn’t everybody do this? And even if they don’t, wouldn’t he be happy that I didn’t take the out? Or online before agreeing to meet, why can’t I send him a list of questions that helps me determine whether or not he’s worth meeting in person? Mine goes a little something like this:
“Do you smoke?
Is the glass half full or half empty?
Is country music a blessing or a deal breaker?
can you cross the border into the U.S.?
How much alcohol do you drink on average?
Do you like to party?
Do you have any children?
Are you currently married?
Assuming one day in the future you meet the right person would you like to one day be married?
Do you want children?
What is your goal on online dating?
Is this form of questioning too much for you? [insert mood-lightening emoji]”
I’m not stupid, but I’m also not desperate or looking for a cheap hookup. I realize that these questions will scare some people off, but the way I see it is that will weed out the ones who aren’t worth me taking the time and energy to meet in person. I mean really, if you can’t answer some pretty basic questions about yourself and where you would like your life to go, then should you be dating at all? Certainly you should not be dating someone like me!
My date last week was a good sport about these questions, which is why I decided to meet him, and when we did he told me that if he ever asked a girl a series of questions like that she’d stop talking to him. Are we so uncomfortable with who we are or what we want in life that these questions should be scary? There are a lot worse and scarier things being sent through online dating before meeting a guy! There are thousands of people online dating, so what if I don’t want to meet you if you smoke? Someone else is still going to want to meet you. So what if someone doesn’t want to meet me because they’re uncomfortable asking those questions? There are a thousand others to choose from. This is both the blessing and the curse of online dating. Your options are endless.
Would I ask this series of questions to someone who asked me on a date in person? No, of course not. When you get asked on a date in person you can sense the other person’s energy. You have a gut reaction based on this energy that tells you whether to say yes or no. Online all you have are potentially fake photos and conversation in which the person may or may not lie. No facial cues, no body language, no tone of voice, no eye contact. I would think that in an age where the dating options were endless, people would be true to themselves more than ever, knowing that if one person didn’t like them, another would. However, all it seems to have done is increase our chances of rejection and hide us behind a computer screen so that we can portray ourselves however we think the other person will want us to. In a time where we are more free to be our true selves than ever in the past, why are we all still hiding and playing these games?
Am I the weird one or is everybody else? Does everybody who successfully online dates play into the social standards and so-called norms? To meet someone do I have to pretend to be someone I’m not, scrap my list of questions, let the guy send me an un-requested dick-pic and smoke in the car after not picking me up? Personally, I’d rather stay single.
Send me your online dating horror stories to share! Do you follow the rules or play by your own?