I recently decided I am done with online dating…if you can even call what happens on sites ranging from Match.com to OKCupid.com “dating.” I have tried it here and there (which for me means activating a profile for about three weeks until the whole process makes me depressed and then quitting until I can develop the emotional stamina to endure it again).
They say this is how people meet these days.
Maybe it works for Millennials who have known nothing else. And maybe it works if one has low expectations for a romantic relationship.
But, as far as I can see, online dating has pretty much robbed us of the sparks, tension, and exuberance that really get a relationship going and keep it interesting. I can’t speak for the male experience with online dating, but for women, it is mainly exposure to one cowardly man after another.
You see, I’m 40. I came of age in a time when couples met “in the wild,” as I’ve heard it called. My married friends met at dance bars, parties, at school, at work, while volunteering. They met as real people, not as virtual people hiding behind a profile showcasing their skills at surfing and showing a selfie of rock hard abs taken in front of a bathroom mirror.
And they talked on the phone. They had immediate give and take with one another, you know, that old thing call “conversation.”
But in the world of online dating, texting and “chatting” have become the norm. Please tell me how you can have an in-depth enough exchange typing on the world’s tiniest keypad to actually get to know the heart, soul, and mind of another person.
Men are all over this shit now. No longer do they have to endure the possibility of an embarrassing public rejection when approaching a girl surrounded by her friends in a bar. You see, the girl has already agreed, virtually, to accept a drink with the guy when they meet at the bar (that is if they even meet—it seems a lot of men use online dating to “get off” without actually having to endure a woman face-to-face).
With online dating, if you get rejected, no one else needs to know.
And if you’re communicating via text or chat, you sure as heck don’t have to deal with emotions. Or you can choose to ignore them. “Sorry, I guess I didn’t see that text” or “I haven’t been online all day.” Or the classic, “my iPhone battery died.”
This brave new world of dating removes a lot of the responsibility that used to be associated with being in a relationship or, heck, even just casually dating.
As a woman who has hoped for some gem to show up in this dating desert, I have to say that this new concept of virtual dating emasculates men…or perhaps it attracts men who are already emasculated. Either way, as a girl who grew up in the 80s, I still want men to be men. I expect men to be men.
And that means being willing to take some risks, for God’s sake. So you ask that smart and pretty woman at work out on a date and she declines. Yeah, so it’s water cooler conversation for a day or two. Big deal. That used to be the norm. No real woman wants a man unwilling to put himself out there, especially the little bit that’s required to make the first move.
Today’s “virtual” men need to be chased and expect to be chased. Sorry, guys, call me old-fashioned, but if you can’t ask a woman out on that first date, or ask her at the end of the first if you can have a second, if you can’t make the move for the first kiss…heck, you really probably don’t deserve the title of a man at all.
Yeah, I know that hurt. Sorry.
Modern, self-respecting women don’t have time for this crap. Pick up the phone. Show up at her house with flowers. Make the first move. Dare to get hurt.
You’re supposed to be the sex that risks life and limb on the battlefield, who defends the elderly, the young, and the weak from harm, who takes his hat off in a restaurant, and walks on the street side of the sidewalk.
But wait, those are the other guys. Those are the ones who have eschewed virtual reality, at least when it comes to human relationships. I’m guessing they’re a dying breed, but that’s why I’m throwing the towel in on online dating. Because I don’t think I’m going to meet the brave men on my iPHone screen….