Dating people that you meet online is a lot like finding lost change on the sidewalk. You know nothing about its history, where it came from, how it got there. Most important, how come nobody else picked it up before YOU got to it? There are too many unanswered questions. Did it fall out of a pocket or a purse? Did a blind person drop it? Did it slip out of the hand of a little kid? A deaf old lady who couldn’t hear it hitting the pavement? And, most important, how come nobody else picked it up before YOU got to it?
You see it laying there and you think, “Hmmm, two quarters, a dime and a penny. What an odd combination. That’s 61 cents on the ground right there. You don’t just drop 61 cents and walk away from it, do you? Maybe a trickster tossed it out for fun and is hiding behind the tree, watching to see how long it’ll take for someone to pick it up? Indeed, IF someone will pick it up. ”
So there you have it: 61 cents staked out on the pavement, unaccounted for, forever untethered from its former possessor. Should YOU be the one to bend down to pick it up? Maybe somebody intentionally tossed it out of their pocket because it was tainted or it felt too heavy or they were just tired of carrying it around anymore.
It’s similar to when you see that one discarded shoe laying in the middle of the road. Just what the hell happens in THAT scenario? I’ve been wondering about that my whole life. I imagine that the story might go something like this: A person is driving down the road and just snaps, finally realizing, “Ever since the day I bought these damn shoes, I have HATED the left one. NOW is the time for me to finally absolve myself of it.” Then, BAM! Before they change their mind, the shoe is torn off their foot and tossed out the car window, ready and waiting for you to see it and wonder how it got there.
Statistics show that 20 percent of all people who eventually couple found each other online. I could cite three relationships right now of people that are close to me who found a partner from a dating site. In fact, two of the three resulted in marriage and the third in a lifetime commitment. So, it happens. Twenty percent of the time. But for me, that’s still a pretty low statistic.
My main problem with online dating is this: I’m an organic kind of gal. I like meeting people “in context” – just like, being a writer -I like my words in context.
What if I were walking down the street and found the words “self-centered”, “alcoholic”, “obese” and “miserly” laying on the sidewalk. Would I bend down to pick them up and try to make a grammatically-correct sentence out of them? I should think not. I would walk on by. (Or, I might choose to hide behind a tree just to see who would pick them up).
I’ve never read an online dating profile that utilized those four words, but, if I had, I would keep on walking, so to speak. But, because people omit the truth about their “shortcomings” and “challenges”, one is left to find the answers to far too many unanswered questions on one’s own. This can take a lot of time. One must, with great expedience, become as an FBI profiler, gathering as much information as quickly as possible and hopefully, have the skill to piece together a character analysis to know whether or not, or how, to proceed with the case.
Organic as I am, I like encountering three-dimensional people in various, three-dimensional environments, such as work, shopping, concerts, the library, exercising, drinking coffee. I like seeing if they read and what they read. I like knowing what kind of coffee drinks they like and how well they interact with others. I like experiencing their sense of humor and knowing whether or not they have a keen intellect. I like seeing how they listen to and interact with others. I like seeing how they smile, the twinkle in their eye (or lack of it), I like seeing how they dress, what their body language has to say and what kind of shoes they choose to wear.
It comes down to this: some people like the online dating experience. Some people don’t. Some people are in-between.
In the 70s, when disco music was popular, a very clear line was drawn in the musical sands between those who liked disco and those who liked rock. Rarely did those sands ever mix.
On the many occasions during those disco years when I got up to get down and boogey-oogey-oogey with my disco-loving friends, I almost always found that my heart – and my body – just weren’t into that beat, even though I was (technically) dancing and smiling and looking like I was having a good time.
I guess I mostly feel the same way about online dating.