I guess I should have known from an early age that I would be an online dater. Once upon a time, I got a random message from a girl on MySpace and after an extensive messaging stint, we traded numbers. I was just a mild-mannered sixteen year old at the time, but something about this impersonal and somewhat fabricated way of meeting people seemed to appeal to me. We would talk for hours, finding that we had everything in common: from Alabama football all the way for a shared love of Gilmore Girls. I had done it. I had found love in a hopeless place, as Rihanna might say it.
Our first date was seeing Me, You, and Dupree, which is anything but a date movie. We would have a short make out sesh in the parking lot, and then I wouldn’t call her back until I found out we were going to college together.
Even in college, knowing that my lifestyle wasn’t nearly as popular at small-town liberal arts college as I hoped it would be, I would try the occasional “turn a Facebook friend into something more” approach. We would eventually hang out and learn that what we liked most about each other were the other one’s Facebook statuses. We were hilarious online; we remember… probably because when we had awkward pauses, I could check Twitter or my email. I don’t know what’s wrong with me… this amateur online business wasn’t panning out the way I was hoping. Maybe this was a tell-tale sign that I shouldn’t be dating online. Maybe, more so, this was a tell-tale sign that I have commitment issues, but that’s neither here nor there. Regardless, maybe Rihanna knew something more about my life than I had thought. Most people believe that her song is about finding someone and falling for them hard, only for said relationship to be blown apart my drugs, possessiveness, and abuse. I, however, know that this top 40 hit is about online dating. You were wrong, eHarmony. This will not be an everlasting love.
To my dismay, college was not the place that I would find the love of my life, though I spent at least 3 percent of my time there proposing to people that weren’t interested in the slightest. (I’m looking at you, Nam) Eventually, under the persuasion of a friend, I decided that I would give online dating a chance. I did the basic steps that any online dater would be familiar with: going through your personal pictures to find one that you look miraculously more attractive in than you actually are in person. If you can find one that has you and someone’s hand on your shoulder, or a partial of someone’s face, it looks better because that means that you may have social skills. You choose only the hobbies that will make you look like a solid life partner: cooking, occasional hiking, staying in and watching movies (but I’m not a homebody, I swear!! lolol). Eventually, you go on to say that you’re “just here to meet some fun people to hang out with, nothing serious…” even though, we all know that’s a lie. It’s a simple formula. You accidentally forget to say that you play Magic: The Gathering on the weekend and you have an embarrassing addiction to Lifetime movies.
I wasn’t prepared, but the messages starting rolling in. “Hey, I just read your profile. You seem like a really nice guy! We should hang out sometime?!?” I was never really sure how “we should hang out sometime” could be phrased as a question, but I went with it. After some initial apprehension and intensive Google research, I began setting up dates. I would tell my closest friends where I was going and all the passwords and secret places I had stuff hidden so that it could be destroyed after I was murdered. The last thing I would allow is my reputation being destroyed as a consequence of an online dating site murder. In all actuality, only one of the meet-ups was actually a date. Most of the time ended up watching approximately 34 minutes of Wipeout on ABC before we started making out. One very special time, I started crying in the middle of the kissing and announced, “I can’t do this. I’m not this kind of person,” and then left. The only online date that could be considered “a date” was the time I went to see Titanic 3D. Even being the emotional person I am, I couldn’t handle all of the tears that came with the evening. We’ve all seen Titanic before; Jack and Rose die. It’s terrible. The night ended with the most aggressive pop kiss of my life, and I checked my teeth multiple times on the way home to see if any were loose.
I sometimes wonder how many days I have left, considering I’m moving to DC soon and have a terrible habit of not learning from my own mistakes. I’ll surely continue this online dating stint, hoping to end up with my own You’ve Got Mail kind of situation. However, in retrospect, the fact that the media associated with my online dating repertoire is Wipeout, Titanic, and Silent Hill should probably tell me something about my success rate. All three disastrous in their own way. Online dating is scary and really not for the faint of heart. Maybe, just maybe, we should take more time trying to meet people the old-fashioned way and not by advertising ourselves as something we’re most likely not. Or maybe I need to go check my eHarmony profile to see if I’ve gotten any new messages. Yeah. Fate is just around the corner.