This post will serve as a follow up to my last post about my online dating extravaganza.
I want to thank everyone who has been reading. Its encouraging, and challenging me to keep you engaged in what I have to say. Thank you for your generosity. Time is a currency we cannot afford to waste on just any old thing.
One response that I received was from a childhood friend who had met her husband through online dating. With her permission, I’m going to post her response below. I have a lot of respect for her, and think she provides a solid experience and perspective that would have come in handy had I heard it before I began my descent into the piranha tank of online dating.
- Hey girl. I read your blog–I hate leaving overly personal public messages so that explains the PM! Any ways, I met my hubby through match.com and if I have any advice on the topic, talk on the phone a few times before going on dates! This way, you’ll already know if there’s a potential for real dialogue there, and since I think you and I are similar in our needs for communication, I think you’ll have better luck like I did. Also, the main problem with online dating, imo, is that people want to completely bypass the getting to know you/friendship phase and go right into dating… if people met under normal circumstances, that would never happen. Eric and I were successful because when we met, we focused on developing a friendship–actually, our banter reminded me a little of me and Michael… it wasn’t until our third or fourth meeting that it actually became a “date”… I think that online dating tries to catapult relationships, or at least people assume it will, and in reality, it all comes back to a simple, real human connection and the propensity to build something more. Just my two cents… Don’t give up on online dating, girl! I almost did and am glad now that I didn’t.
I found this to be amazingly insightful- how right she is! We go on these websites with the unrealistic expectation drummed into us by Hollywood that we will have an instantaneous connection with a total stranger the first time we meet them. Now, I know that it has been known to happen, but the realist in me knows that it can longer than a few hours to truly get to know a person. Especially in a culture and time that expects everyone to put their best face forward- from social media to every day encounters, there’s a lot less focus on authenticity than there is on how successful or unsuccessful you are in the various aspects of life. Maybe this is why so many relationships don’t work out- after a few months, the pressure to be this perfect self crumbles as your natural self breaks through. Now you wonder who you’ve been dating all this time, and is the person you still want to be with?
One other thing I’ve learned over the years, is that people may say one thing and then do another. I’m an enormous believer in show me don’t tell me, and actions speak louder than words. I was guilty of this myself, trying so desperately to be something I wasn’t to make someone like me or want to be with me, that I would compromise parts of myself that were important, and it never ended well.
So, to be yourself right from the start is the best possible option. Let your neuroses come out, share your true feelings, and stop striving for the unrealistic perfection (leave that to the movies) and just enjoy being with someone who will bear witness to all that you are, and still find you sexy as hell. Just don’t blow someone away with all the negativity in your life on the first date.
To quote one of my favorite books from last summer:
“I used to think that kind of sentiment was corny, but isn’t that exactly what we’re all looking for? Someone who loves how weird you are? A lover, a mentor, a God who looks at you with all your peculiarities and contradictions and sees not a design flaw, but a perfectly, uniquely loveable soul?” – Suzanne Morrison, Yoga Bitch
And I’m happy to report, so far, its working. The proof is in the fact that I powered down my profile again. Not because of failure or frustration, but because the cosmos have apparently seen it fit to end my solo run.
For now at least.