The problem with online dating

So I’ve ventured back out into the world of OKcupid. No, I am not a glutton for punishment, I just felt it was time to get back into the mix, and this is the way I chose to do that. I’ve had surprisingly good luck thus far – I had one date yesterday (no go there), I have two more lined up for this week, and one for next week. The two of the three remaining guys are so completely and totally my type, it is amazing. One even looks like Joshua Jackson!! The third one is pretty cute too, just not in my usual vein (which may be a good thing).

However, here is something which I have discovered during my time online, and which may prove detrimental to my participation in further online dating. It seems that people never stop looking, thereby never really giving anything a chance to develop. Right off the bat, let me express that I am not necessarily talking about my current experiences (it’s too soon to expect anything there). Just hear me out. For those of you old enough to remember meeting people in the bar – you know, there was always that guy who would hit on every single girl, just waiting for one of them to actually pay attention to him, and then, once he had found that girl, he would talk to her until either she blew him off or until he got her number. No one would hold simultaneous conversations with five different people at the bar, and yet that is *exactly* what is happening now! We start these online conversations, and then they either peter out or go forward to an actual date, and we either don’t like each other or we start dating, and all the while, we’re still checking our OKC profiles to see if we have any new messages or potential matches. I’m not advocating that we settle, but at some point, our dating world has became way too ADD-like – we need to focus on one person at a time.

Back in January of last year, I wrote about dating a lot of different guys to try and find who I felt most comfortable with. This wasn’t necessarily about finding “the one” – it was more about finding which style of guy suited me. And I did it all in a one off. In ten days, I went on 15 dates. Now, again, I was trying people on for size. I didn’t continue dating multiple guys after the ten day period was over. I was also up front with them about what I was doing, and the feedback was pretty positive. While I was dating Jay, I still got messages through OKC, and I checked them, and I even talked to a couple of them. But Jay and I were not exclusive yet, and I wasn’t fully committed to the relationship. And therein lies the problem. I stayed with Jay because it was safe, and I was still (for the most part) getting my physical needs met while I was looking around for someone else. Of course this has been happening for ages – I’m not saying that it’s a new phenomenon. However, online dating has made it much too easy to scope through potential matches and see if there is someone out there who is better for you than your current companion.

A friend of mine asked me this morning what I would do if I went out on these three dates I have lined up, and I liked all three guys (and they liked me back). Would I date all of them at once? Would I let them know I was dating multiple people? I told her that until it got to a physical point, I was just going out and hanging out, and I didn’t think that it was really an issue. However, I know that I don’t have the energy to keep it up for long. Dating one guy is tiring; dating three would take me completely out of the game.

– Finch

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I’m tired of asking stupid questions

I cannot even begin to explain how done I am with asking stupid questions, both of myself and to friends. “Am I pretty?” “Do you think I’m funny?” “Will I ever meet someone again?” “Will I ever get married again?” “What if no one thinks I’m cute?”

I literally feel sick even admitting that I ask those questions, but it turns out that a lot of my friends have been asking themselves these same questions lately, so I feel the need to address them. Quickly, to answer –
Yes, yes, yes, yes – if you want to, and people do think you’re cute.

Here’s the thing – we, as a society, put so much emphasis on coupling up that we lose ourselves in the process. I’ll see certain family members, and the first thing they ask me is, “Are you seeing anyone?” Who cares? If I am, I’ll let you know (if I even want to bring it up), and if I’m not, do you really think that I need your pitying glances? How about asking me how I am? Ask me about school or work or anything besides my relationship status. Because, no matter what is going on in my dating life, if I am not happy with myself and how my life is going while I’m on my own, it’s not going to get magically better once I’m coupled up. In fact, I’ll probably pay even less attention to myself, and then my problems will become larger.

J said something so true yesterday. We were hanging out at Pints for Pups at Independence Brewery (great place) and I was complaining that nothing was adhering to the schedule which I desired. I was telling her that what I really wanted, right now, this moment, was for Tripp to call me up and tell me that he made a mistake, and he’s not getting married. Then I wanted Ex to call and say that he made a mistake and threw away the best thing in his life, me. Then I wanted a Joshua Jackson look-alike, with a good job, his life together, and a great attitude to tell me that I was totally the one, and that he would do anything in the world to make me the happiest girl ever.

After J laughed at me, she said that all of that was great, but it wasn’t really what I wanted. “Here’s the thing. You think that you want all of that, but you really don’t. If Tripp came back, you would love to think that you would tell him ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ but probably you would start something up with him again. If Ex came back, it would just bring up more anger over the way things ended and you would want to get back at him or something. And even if a JJ twin came up and was everything you dreamed of, where would he fit into your life right now? You’re studying your butt off, you’re spending more time than ever with friends and family, and you’re coming into the busiest season at work. So what would you give up to date him? Your running? Your time with B? School? I know you like to think that you’re ready, but you’re not. And that’s okay.”

It occurred to me later that my asking these stupid questions is almost like a shield. If I can find something “wrong” with me, than I have an excuse for not dating. If I’m not pretty enough, or funny enough, then that is the reason why I’m not coupled up. So maybe it’s time for me to acknowledge that there doesn’t have to be anything wrong with me to explain my singleness. In fact, maybe the fact that I am single right now, that I’m taking care of myself and making myself happy, is the most right thing I can do.

– Finch

God told me to hold out for Joshua Jackson

A quick epilogue following “R is off the picking team,” and a word of advice. You know when you have those dates that are less than ideal, but you start to think, “well, maybe he could grow on me,” remember – you do not want a fungus. God explained this to me with great visual cues.

After my time learning that R’s men were not for me, I was wandering around HEB, when I received a text from R saying that the man in question had thought I was really cool. So then I started to wonder if I had perhaps been a bit too hasty. Maybe he didn’t look so old; maybe his complete lack of conversational skills were due to shyness or intimidation; maybe he could grow on me.

So, as these thoughts are floating through my mind, I head back home to finish watching an episode of Fringe, which I had recently discovered on Amazon Prime. Now, let me just say this – I have had a massive crush on Joshua Jackson since the days of Mighty Ducks. I didn’t even realize that he was the same actor when I fell for Pacey on Dawson’s Creek (I always knew Pacey and Joey were meant for each other). I worshiped at his shrine in The Skulls. But, for some reason, I had completely failed to jump onboard the Fringe bandwagon. Well, once I realized that I could stream that show for free, I was in like Flint.

I sat down on my couch and resumed my previous place in the episode. About three minutes into the viewing, there was this great shot of Joshua doing that side-smile, looking totally mischievous and super-cute, all at once, and I got butterflies. I am fully aware that this is a character on a show, that this man has no clue who I am, nor would he ever want to, and, again, that I am only in love with the persona that he plays on television and in movies. But still – my heart skips a beat whenever he gets that look on his face.

And right then, my hesitations and rehashings of the earlier date were released, and I received this message with full clarity. I needed to hold out for someone who could make me feel that way when he looked at me (a real someone). I needed to not settle for someone, or make do with someone, who I was not at all attracted to. I needed to recognize my potential and not wait for someone to grow on me.

In other words, I needed to hold out for my proverbial Joshua Jackson.

– Finch