Tag Archives: online dating

What Do You Do When…

So: what do you do when fall comes, you’re enrolled in a creative writing program, you write a blog, and you have absolutely no inspiration to write?

In short, you inhabit a constant state of guilt and panic about the things you aren’t writing. (Especially the magnificent silence you produce in response to a massive New York Times Magazine feature addressing exactly your subject matter and on which seemingly everyone on the internet has at least 140 characters to say.)

You allow yourself to focus on various other tasks that more readily demand attention, like planning classes and making attendance spreadsheets and doing your own reading multiple times because you were too distracted the first few contemplating bad essay ideas and thinking about how unproductive you are. You try and reassure yourself that you aren’t the only person in the world who is deadline-driven, and attempt to ignore the comment made by one of your professors that usually, people who say they write best on deadline, only write on deadline.

You read a nonfiction essay in which the narrator equates the discipline of running marathons with that of his writing practice, only to realize that his logic is flawed. You go to the gym.

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Why I Hate Dating/Reading Helen Fisher and Feeling Vindicated

Remember that time, about a week ago, when I concluded that all of the reasons not to participate in online dating are stupid?

Let me amend that: all of the reasons not to date online are stupid unless, like me, you actually hate dating.

This admission may sound strange coming from someone who writes a blog with a title that contains the very word; I understand this. I would not blame you for assuming that my obsession with romantic love translates to a general enjoyment of meeting people and going on dates.

I think I too, at times, have assumed this logical correlation as well.

And then, at such times, I go on dates with random people and remember that, actually, dating sucks. I mean, I hear there are some who enjoy it. I don’t think I’ve ever met one, but still. (Is it me, or does everyone speak of “people who like dating” by way of identifying themselves as someone who is not among those people?)

It is easy to lose sight of this when you meet someone who is really tall and interesting and attractive and you think you might marry–or at the very least have life-changing sex with. In such situations, dating seems fun.

And in the online world it can also seem fun: for that brief initial period of time when you trade witty messages and compulsively admire each others’ profiles and the fact that you have absolutely no idea what the other person sounds like or–honestly–looks like only enhances the anticipatory excitement which leaves tantalizingly open the possibility that you might, in fact, marry.

But then–as has happened to me twice in the past week–you meet: any hopes of a second date, much less more, are quickly dashed, and you must then suffer through one-to-two hours of forced conversation with someone who looks nothing like their online photos/asks you not a single question/is startlingly arrogant and, moreover, very unlikely to be your husband.

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What I May, or May Not, Want

Even on the internet, people.

Even on the internet: the place where single people go to be sensible, calculated, methodical in their romantic pursuits–I have gone to behave just as irrationally, impulsively and–dare I say–foolishly as is my bane in real life.

Or have I?

Truth be told I’m still rather squeamish about the whole project, and hesitate to write anything. Also, when one shares something with a person, and said person responds with shock and dismissal that borders on disgust, one might hesitate to share said thing with hundreds on the internet.

Fortunately for me, I need not listen to your dismayed responses the way I had to my sister-in-law’s the other day over the phone.

And in the end, I can’t very well announce to you all that I’m going to start dating online and not follow up with some sort of report.

So: within days of posting a profile, I have begun trading messages with a handful of men. One, a 24-year old fresh from a serious relationship. Another, a 40-year old with a ten-year old son. And another in his mid-thirties who is father to three children.

(Insert sister-in-law’s disapproval here.)

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First Adventures Online

In my writing, I’ve been over some of the reasons that a person–in particular this person–might hesitate to embrace online dating. To summarize: vanity, pride and an irrevocable fear of coming across someone to whom I’ve taught freshman composition.

I’ve spilled less ink enumerating the reasons one might be compelled to date online. And they are, of course, considerable. So here we are:

For one, it’s become entirely normal: the last statistic I heard was that one in five couples meet online. I’ve taken to interrupting people who start describing their “mother’s best friend’s cousin who…met on match…” I know, I tell them, I know.

For another, it’s a good way to ensure reasonably consistent male attention during those phases when one is more couch than bar prone. (And let’s be honest: Albuquerque’s biggest and hottest barfly is hardly guaranteed a single pick-up in a given week; has the internet made people forget how to flirt?)

And, oh yeah, you might actually meet someone to go on a date with. Potentially more than one. And sometimes it’s nice to go on dates. And sometimes it’s nice to have some faith in the possibility of another.

I guess the most compelling reason to date online, though, is that all the reasons not to are actually pretty dumb and embarassing to admit. (I mean, I think the former student thing is legit–but it’s something, I’m told, I have to swallow. Apparently that’s what grown ups do.)

That was the reasoning, at least, that led to me sitting in front of my laptop yesterday with my NY best friend R, perusing the local lads of OKCupid.

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