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Online Dating: Is This All That's Left?

11:53 AM

One day while not working, my co-worker and I started talking about dating, and somehow I got her to sign up for OkCupid. Because jumping online to find Mr. Right had to be the answer to all of her problems. I couldn't let her do it alone, not to mention I'd made a promise to start dating again. I'm pretty fearless, a fact that drives my mother crazy. After only one full day of being on the site, I went to my co-worker and said, "this shit is hard!" Keeping up with the messages, and trying to engage men who thought, "hey" was a conversation starter was just too much for me. This was obviously not my thing. But I'm not a quitter, so I decided I was going to stick it out. 

A message sent to my friend
I'd also been meaning to do Speed Dating with friends for the longest but my schedule just wouldn't allow it. So, I went to Google, and I found a site called speeddate.com. I mean, if you're going to do online dating, you need to go all the way, right? This was perfect! I was going to get the chance to speed date from the comfort of my couch.This was amazing! Until it wasn't. Speed Date guy #1 decided he wanted my Skype info because we hit it off. He didn't however tell me that he wanted to Skype at 3am. Color me surprised when my ipad started ringing, and when I accidentally answered. I immediately hung up because first, I wasn't Skype ready, and two, shouldn't we actually make plans to do this? Speed Date guy number two and I talked two days in a row. By day two, I was invited to Hawaii, where he currently resides. I continued to ignore the invitation, because come on, we don't know each other. He needed attention that I was unable to give, not to mention, it was a little too early to expect me to go from me to we. The guys that followed weren't any better, and you would think that would have been reason enough to quit this online dating thing all together.

I've never been able to leave well enough alone

There was a guy who sent a message and introduced himself by saying, "they call me *insert name*. What they call you?" followed by a twenty four year old, a man with TWO kids, and bringing it on home, a man who has been in a relationship for FOUR years, and has no plans of ending it anytime soon!

A message that was supposed to sweep me off my feet
Picture it, Long Beach, 2014, I was sitting on my couch reading an ebook, (because old) when a message pops up at the top of the screen. You've got mail! I wouldn't usually check this, but something in my spirit wouldn't let me ignore it. I clicked it and the first thing I see is, "can I tell you something?" I regret this, but I asked anyway, only to then receive that message you see up above. I'd been invited to be someone's side piece. He wanted me to be the Joseline to his Stevie J, and I was shocked!  He asked for a half commitment, which as you can see, I had to ask him to explain. He's bored with his girlfriend and has decided that just from reading my profile that I seem, "exiting." I'm not even special enough to be exciting, just exiting. Whatever that means.

Which brings me to why I'm writing this post. While sifting through pictures of potential guys, my co-worker turned to me and said, "Alana, is this all we're left with? Is this it?" I can remember thinking, God, I hope not. Well, God said, possibly. 

We now live in a world where everything is done online. I mean, I never thought I'd see the day when I could sit on my couch and do Speed Dating and homework all at the same time. I've watched people become best friends just from talking on Twitter. I too have formed special bonds with people through Twitter. But our heads are always down, reading and sending a text message or email, never really engaging in face to face communication. On those days that I am approached by a man who is interested in either dating me or being my "friend" I find it a little annoying that these grown men struggle to have an intelligent conversation. That's not to say that it's all men, but it's enough, and when you've been approached by one too many frogs that refuse to turn into princes, you try to remain hopeful that there is something better. That was me, believing there had to be a better way, and what I learned is that online dating might not be that thing, for me.

I don't want to be that cynical girl, and maybe I, like many others, am being picky, but we have that right. There was an article written recently for women specifically, about why we are single. Like most articles on this topic one of the reasons was that we are too picky. Our standards are too high, yet this is never said about a man. It seems to be ok that a man have a preference that is almost unrealistic, but our expectation, to be treated right, and be with a man who is stable both mentally and financially is constantly criticized. We are often times expected to accept what is given to us because he is a "good man" and one flaw, even if it's one indiscretion, shouldn't be enough to make us walk away.

If all we seem to be left with is the thirty year old living at home with his parents, the guy who wants to settle down just for the sake of settling down, and the cheater, what does that say about the possibility of any of us settling down at all? I'm not saying that meeting someone and falling in love is an impossibility, but the possibility of doing this is dwindling with every man that chooses to lie about his relationship status, or refuses to leave the nest. It's a sad thought, but the acceptance that we may just be forever alone is a harsh reality that I, along with others, are faced with. 

Online dating, is this really all there is?

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