If recent Match.com commercials are to be believed, many a modern romance starts online. As such, I’d like to introduce myself as a happy statistic. Before I met Will, I was a serial online dater.
I did Match.com…
then Match again…
and then OKCupid where I met Will in January 2010. Over a year later, I can affirm that signing up for an online dating account was the best decision I’ve ever made (YES, even better than studying abroad which I’m always yammering on about as being such a great decision. It was. Will is better).
So how did it all go down?
I spent time on the site. All the people who told me that I’d “find the guy I was looking for” when I “stopped looking” can officially eat it. What is the point of putting yourself out there if you aren’t actually putting yourself out there? (Cue reference to that one episode of Sex and the City where that dating guru lady insists that Charlotte is not really “putting herself out there.” This is not that. I’m no guru. Also, my advice is free). I made online dating into a little “task” I had to perform each day and I spent a pre-determined amount of time looking at profiles and writing/responding to messages. Sound a touch lame? Maybe it was. For me, though, if I was paying to be on the site, I would… be on the site.
I talked to people on the site. All dating sites are somewhat different but all have some variant of a messaging system. I used it. No, I didn’t spam every boy in my area code, but if I was interested in someone (based on what they’d shared in their profile), I let them know. Sometimes, they responded, sometimes, they didn’t. That’s kinda how the game goes in real life though, no?
I met people in person (In public. In a well-lit place). Did I go on a lot of bad dates? No. (Did I go on a few? Yes). I also went on a couple oh-my-goodness, tingly-smiles, text-all-my friends good dates that kept me a believer. By the time I met these guys in person, we’d exchanged several messages online and I was fairly convinced I wasn’t walking onto the set of Law & Order, SVU.
Rinse and repeat. Your mileage may vary. Caveat emptor.
I won’t get all glib and say that it was easy. Or fun, really, because sometimes it wasn’t. Sometimes, despite evidence to the contrary right in front of me on my computer, I felt like the. last. single. girl. EVER. It was frustrating, it was time-consuming, it was challenging.
But it was worth it.
(ok, that ending was a touch glib, but I’m serious. I’d do it all again knowing that Will was waiting for me at the end. Oh, that was SUPER glib. OK, I’m out).