Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Being 'out there'- meeting people beyond Online Dating

So, I'm going through my daily trawl of the dating website, of messages I have received. Don't be happy for me. Most of the messages I receive are daft one-liners, usually "hi" or something just as meaningless to me. I was feeling a bit lonely and thought I'd have a look at what the site had to offer.

I came across one guy who seemed interesting, and the site said we were pretty much a good match (based on all the statistical factoring and data configuration no less- Friends Bods will know what I'm on about). Anyway, I thought I'd take a mini leap and send him a message. Turns out, he had already messaged me last year.

"I like your breasts".

Hmmm. It was a frustrating one. I had read through his profile, looked at his statistics and thought this would be a mature person I could at least have a conversation with. I was wrong. Feeling a little affronted, I replied:

"Hmmm. Just read through your profile. Seemed a decent profile, then, as I opened up the message, I realised you messaged me last year. 'I like your breasts'. Well, most people do. Not the kind of opening line I cherish though."

He was quick to reply:

"Well when it comes to honesty I don't hold back. This site is full of people doing the equivalent of 'talking about the weather'. :) Good luck with your search!"

Is this what I'm searching for? Is this what I expect?
That got me thinking. What the hell am I searching for? I mean, in the grand scheme of things, I know what I want- a decent guy who treats me well, ambitious, funny, loving and caring blah blah. But do I really believe I am going to find it on a website?

He is right, the site is full of people "talking about the weather". I have met a couple of guys on there, those who were "highly matched" who ended up annoying the hell out of me after a couple of dates. I'm sure the site's master computer would argue that I have entered some details wrong, or that I am not being authentic online, or something. The long and short of it is, there is only so far I can go when "meeting" someone online.

At the risk of sounding like an old bag, I miss the days when I would go out and just meet guys. There were times when I would meet 3 or 4 guys on the same night, go out on dates with them, and then the following week start the process again. I know, this was when I was a little younger, and I had a different type of energy. And yes, I am probably looking for something different in a guy than I was 7 years ago. But I still miss meeting guys when out and about, using my instinct to judge his character, seeing his reactions to me, reading body language and so on. What happened to that?

Many a face I have made at an online message
As technology advances, are we doomed to hide behind laptops and smartphones, using computers to pick out potential mates, spend months "talking" through texts and messages before having any actual face to face contact?

On the flip side, I know a few people who have met their current partners online, and they aren't complete dullards, or douche-bags  This is only a teeny ray of hope for me though, because for everyone I know that has found someone good for them, there are 10 who make that "what the actual f*ck?" face every time they check their messages.

This is why I'm taking a stand. I'm making it my mission to be out there more. And I do mean out there- just like Charlotte in SATC. I want to see and be seen again. I want to be approached and have actual conversations with guys in real life. Remember those? Yes, its nerve wracking and frightening, and yes, its a tad awkward at first, but you know what? I got less "I like your breasts" comments face to face when I met guys the old fashioned way. That's got to mean something.

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