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

Go Speed Racer

This is exactly the opposite of what I was describing that I wanted in my previous post. I got a message late last night from this guy on OKcupid. He said that my profile made him smile and that I was “completely adorable” (it’s true – I am). I checked out his profile, liked what I saw and messaged back. Now, I will just say, I am really good at the dating site messages. I reference at least one or two things I see in the guy’s profile, and I either hint at a story that I think they’ll like, or I ask leading questions based off of their interests. I’m a pro. So I did the same for this guy – Speed Racer.

I get a response seven minutes later saying, “Do you like to text?” Um, we’ve literally exchanged one message each. I’m not really comfortable 1) with giving you my number, and 2) with allowing a complete stranger to have that kind of immediate access to my time. Don’t get me wrong, I text with lots of people, but it’s not my favorite thing in the world. I think texting should be relegated to small pieces of important information – “I’m on my way,” “Can you talk?” “Do you want me to pick up something for dinner?” – or for when you are unable to talk (like when you’re at work). But I really dislike having complete conversations with people through text. If you want to talk to me, pick up the phone and call me. Which brings me back to this – Speed Racer and I have exchanged one message online, so what would we be texting about?

I replied that I only texted when I couldn’t avoid it. Again, he responded immediately (under two minutes) and said, “Then how are we going to talk and flirt?” Um, dude?? You see how we’re messaging each other right freaking now?? We can continue to do that. I actually didn’t respond for a couple of hours (I was running errands) and when I did, I said, “You can’t talk and flirt through OKC’s message system?” He responded before I could even get off the site to say that yes he could, but it was a little slower than he preferred.

And that’s where I stopped talking to him. I have no idea if this guy is a psycho or is in massive need of therapy or is just desperately lonely, but you have been monitoring your email/messages so closely that you haven’t even gone a quarter of an hour before responding to me, even when I have taken a few hours’ break, and that is moving too slow? Were you expecting to propose on our third date? Sorry, been there, done that 😉

I get that a lot of people get frustrated with online dating and how you can email with someone for weeks and then everything just falls apart and you never meet, and you feel like you wasted all that time. I totally understand that. In fact, at the beginning of October, I was messaging with this guy on OKC (yes, while I was dating Jay), and we messaged back and forth for probably three weeks. But we could never get our schedules to match up, and neither one of us was really putting any effort into meeting up, so I finally just drifted off into oblivion. But I don’t think that the logical response to that is to speed everything up at a ridiculous pace. I don’t think I would give someone my number after just two minutes of talking to them, which is essentially what Speed Racer’s and my messages accounted for.

The only responses that I could think of to Speed Racer’s comment that OKC was too slow were all snarky and/or sarcastic, and not in a cute way. I actually don’t think that I will be responding at all. Speed Racer seems like a nice enough guy, but all I want in my life right now is to slow down. I don’t think I’m up to Speed Racer’s speed.

– Finch