So I've continued my voyage into, on and through . . . online dating.
First things first:
1. There are great guys on these sites.
2. I don't know why I can't find them in bars.
3. I don't know why I haven't found the one yet for my very own, but I certainly haven't.
But what I'm writing about today is the horror I go through before I meet someone for the first date. It doesn't get easier. I know, you'd think it would, but it just doesn't.
Today I found myself driving to meet a great guy for lunch (turns out he's nice, smart, good looking and successful - but no chemistry. UGH.). We'd hardly had any contact prior to the date, just some very light emails and texting to make a plan. (Caveat, I CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE PRELIMINARY PHONE CALL!!! Actually in all the dates I've gone on, I've been through two exploratory calls before just going for it and meeting. And guess what? Neither of these calls ended up evolving into a meeting. What the hell can you REALLY tell from a phone call anyway? I can barely remember the first one, but the second happened just last week. The guy was really nice. He'd looked at my profile just before we got on the call so he could ask salient questions - which he did - and he was enthusiastic. But the whole thing ended up feeling more like an interview that I just couldn't keep up with or relax into. I'm sure he was nervous and I was exhausted. At the end of the call he said: "So maybe we should meet for coffee…oh wait, I'll let you decide that." I didn't know what to say so I said: "I'll be in touch on the site." Ok. Not good. But the whole call had been so...disjointed. I went to email him that I didn't think we'd had a lot of chemistry on the call (lame) but that it was nice to speak with him and wish him luck two days later…and when I looked for him on the site, he no longer had an account. I'm hoping that either: 1. His leaving the site had nothing to do with me, OR THAT, 2. He blocked me so it looks like he's left the site. Either way I wish him luck!)
But back to my initial point - the dread on the way to the first meeting. It usually starts in the car for me. Up until that point I'm getting ready, running late, trying to look fabulous, you know, just regular girl stuff. Then I get in the car and I think, "What are you doing?" Or, "Why are you doing this?" And then I'm filled with dread and I can't imagine how I'm even going to get there. And the vision of walking in and wondering, will I recognize him? Will he recognize me? Will he even show up?
Then I'm walking towards the bar/restaurant/coffee shop and my clothes aren't right, my make-up's not right, I don't feel right. I want to turn around and run into traffic, stop and adjust my clothes, make a call, or scream for help but - for some reason - I just keep walking towards my destination.
And you know what? They've all shown up. And been nice. I've never sat waiting, wondering if someone's going to recognize me or vice versa. We've always recognized each other. But this knowledge never makes the 'journey' on the way to the date comfortable. I don't think it ever will.
Some of my friends that haven't done this online dating dance think I'm brave. I sometimes think I'm just too pragmatic. I make a plan and say I'm going to show up, so I show up. Regardless. Who knows? Maybe it's both. And each time I meet someone and it's a NO I think I'm going to stop doing this. But I haven't. And probably I won't until I meet someone.
I asked the guy I met today how he liked online dating. He looked at me and said: "I hate it." I agree.