Much like off-line dating, online dating starts off being exciting and fun, and ends in boredom or frustration. I generally attack online dating with the same optimism that I give any new endeavor, and leave feeling slightly gross and disappointed. But because I am stubborn, tech-savvy and romantic, I keep coming back for more.
I know some people would give me a hard time for looking for romantic partners online. I could enumerate the reasons that people think I shouldn’t have a problem finding someone to date, but frankly, that would sound like bragging. Plus, most of those reasons scare the pants off a lot of men around my age. So, that leaves me with internet dating.
Working from home also leaves me with fewer options for meeting people in real life. If you know a man who is between the ages of 24 and 35 and single, who has a job or is in grad school and doesn’t use large quantities of marijuana in the Denver metro area, then let me know, and I will go on a date with him. It’s not that I’ve given up on romance, it’s just that the vast majority of people that I interact with on a day to day basis are female or in a relationship or my roommate (or all of the above).
And for those of you who fear for my safety going on dates with strangers, I assure you that having coffee with a stranger poses little threat. I grew up in the generation of stranger danger, and by the time I was using the internet, we all knew about the dangers of chatrooms and meeting strangers from the internet. People who are 24 are the perfect age for online dating. We grew up with a healthy fear of internet creepers, graduated college when “catfishing” became a thing, but are still old enough to realize that half of our friends are in long-term relationships and you can only be that one friend who’s always single at weddings for so long before you stop getting invited all together. But then we also realize that we’re only 24, so we should date a bunch of people now because getting married before you’re 30 seems foolish. (But maybe that’s just me).
So we turn to OkCupid! or Tinder, get a flood of messages, go on a few dates, quickly realize that everyone on the site is actually 2-4 inches shorter than they say they are, delete the account or app, then meet someone in real life that we end up dating for a month or so, only to end up back on internet dating when things go awry. (Again, maybe I am projecting a little here).
But in the interim, it is oh-so fun. You get to meet new people. Make new friends. Sometimes they have cool jobs and they take you on insider tours of breweries and laboratories. Sometimes they are in industries that are boring or seem ethically questionable and you get in a spirited-but-flirtatious debate. Sometimes you get free coffee. Of course, there are also times when they are secretly married and their wife barges in on the date (this happened to a friend, not me. But really, it was a friend. Not me). Sometimes, the other person bails on you, then deletes their online dating account, disappearing into the mists, because you are the most terrifying person in online dating. I haven’t found romance through OkCupid, but I do have a lot of good stories. And at this point, that’s good enough for me.