I’m going to be honest with you: Online dating is not ideal.
With all of its popularity and sometimes “successful” endings, online dating mostly just adds insult to injury.
But, hey, it’s momentarily convenient.
Here’s what happens: You break up with your significant other. Your pain is so intense even Kanye West’s recent adaption of “Bohemian Rhapsody” (blessings to Adam Lambert for assisting the recovery) leaves you absent of laughter.
So, you head to the app store, find the “free” or “light” version of eHarmony or Match, because who wants to pay for love?
Then, in what seems like seconds, you sign in (most likely with your Facebook account), set up a witty rejoinder or quotation to accompany that one profile picture where you look the most candidly successful, and here you are: on the market.
Even though the pain continues to intimately latch onto your psyche, and even though you’re astronomically sick of the ever-alluring inquiries (with terrible grammar, might I add), like “Wats UR majer?” or “What U About 2nite hoTTie?” you continue on.
I’m judging the photo of the man wearing a Led Zeppelin T-shirt (Posers are putrid.) and the cute selfie a 20-something, sandy-haired surfer took with his niece (or so he says).
If I see a bunch of men in a photo with beers in hand, I immediately try to ascertain whether or not he’s a partygoer.
And, if he sees my profile, he’s judging me as well, processing all the different characteristics I could posses.
I can attest to this entire process because I’ve done it. And I still, occasionally, put myself through this cycle.
The reason being? Well, online dating isn’t 100 percent terrible. Here are a few reasons why:
A 24/7 Dating Cycle
Whether it's 4 am or 12 pm, making a connection with someone can happen instantaneously.
And, while speaking with virtual strangers, you can watch reruns of "Dexter" (always a plus).
Casual Chit-Chat Can Be Relaxing and Eye-Opening
So what if you’re talking to someone who could possibly catfish you? So what if he's most likely not the sexy guy to the right in a group profile picture?
Simply speaking with another human being behind a mildly safe (yes, I see you, cybersecurity) form of Internet communication can result in decent, even lovely, conversation.
Discussing like-minded ideas or how in the world sharks have, basically, two penises (all hail #SharkWeek) makes life less lonely.
You’re the pilot; you’re in charge. If you hate the conversation, end it. If responses become too insidious, hit “block.”
This isn’t a face-to-face interaction, so it makes rejection a bit easier to enforce as well as digest.
But keep in mind that meeting in-person is a different ball game.
I won’t deliver a "mommy talk," but seriously, meet in a public place during business hours. There will be a lot of witnesses, if you know what I mean.
And drive yourself to the date. Remember: control.
It’s Good to Move On
Loosing a partner is the absolute worst, but it’s not the end. There will be others, lots of others.
Taking the first leap and connecting with someone different helps you let go of your dependency on the familiar.
It pushes you to sophisticate your social skills, allowing you to continue discovering what you like or don’t like.
You get to slow down and methodically observe how you interact with your love interest.
And, more imperatively, you get to focus on yourself, what you need and what you want.
Interacting with the unfamiliar allows you to do so. Don’t get me wrong; I’m absolutely sick of online dating. But, Tinder gave me an occasional friend to talk to. Hinge gave me a pleasant camaraderie with a benevolent face.
All in all, online dating helped reinstall my integrity.
And, although I prefer good old-fashioned human interaction, I’ll say it again: It’s momentarily convenient.