About a year and a half ago, I grew comfortable with the idea of dating a woman for the first time. At that time, college was a chapter of my life. But it was slowly closing by the day, and the real world was gradually creeping into view.
With all my new-found responsibilities and professional goals on the horizon, I turned to online dating with the hopes of meeting someone. Unbeknownst to me, the virtual dating sphere has proven to be far more challenging than I ever anticipated.
In some ways, I feel my sexuality inadvertently creates more obstacles to grapple with, in contrast to my heterosexual peers. Now, to be clear, I don't view myself as a victim, and I don't expect a pity party. I'm just stating the facts:
1. Less Fish In the Sea
According to a 2011 report by the Williams Institute, lesbian or gay people make up roughly 1.7 percent of the human population. From there, if you separate out all the lesbians and narrow them down using attraction, mindset and education level, you are left with a very small batch of potential candidates to choose from.
From a business perspective, this is really good news. From a consumer's perspective, not so much.
The sites where quality people can be found expect you to pay. Believe me: It isn't cheap.
2. Three's a crowd.
Heterosexual couples love to place themselves in my pool of dating applicants because they're looking for a threesome.
I don't exactly know what's going through people's minds with this one. Just because I'm attracted to women, that does not mean the pendulum swings to men as well.
I'm looking for a committed relationship, not a hookup. If people actually read through my profile, they would know that. Although, they might message me regardless.
3. LGBTQ+ Dating Sites
Depending on who you ask, this may be a pro or a con. Some dating sites will create partner platforms that cater to specific sexual orientations.
For example, eHarmony has created a partner site called Compatible Partners, designed to meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. I personally find the divide to be a little discriminatory. It's important for me to find love on the same dating site as my straight peers do.
I find peace by not being within the LGBTQ+ community, per say. I find comfort in simply living in the wider community and doing the things everyone else does.
4. Where are those conservative lesbians, anyway?
I'm not a huge fan of labels. But if I were to pick, I would pin "lesbian" and "conservative" onto my shirt. Ben Carson is my pick for president, despite the fact he suspended his campaign. Fox News is always on in my home.
I can date someone with a different political viewpoint, but I am more drawn to someone who can watch Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox with me, or listen to Milo Yiannopoulos debate SJW college students.
On the other side of the coin, I've read profiles that have expressly stated that these people won't date Republicans.
5. Millennials And Their Communication Skills
This last one can be applied to all of Gen-Y, whether someone is gay or straight.
Technology has enhanced our lives so much. Smartphones make it easy for us to quickly look things up online and text our roommates to make a liquor run before they come home from work.
Heck, I'm typing this article on my smartphone. Is that ironic or what?
However, my experiences with online dating has revealed that Millennials have become so acclimated to flicking their thumbs, they have lost the ability to have coherent conversations over the phone.
"I hate talking on the phone," someone said to me not too long ago. With that, this college-educated woman axed herself off my list.
How did we get here? College degrees are sought after by millions. Yet, a simple phone conversation is a long-lost art?
How am I supposed to get to know you if we can't talk on the phone, never mind meet up in person?
Full disclosure here: I have no patience for textaholics. If you have trouble going beyond a screen, you need to apply for a customer service job and grow up.
Still, despite these drawbacks, I'm confident I will find that special someone. Maybe it won't be through online dating. Perhaps I will find someone on a social Meetup group or through an acquaintance.
But when I find her, I'll be sure to let you know.