Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Way I See Online Dating

Welcome to the second posting of The Way I See It! For those of you that tuned in last week, congrats on making it back, give yourself a gold star. For those of you that weren't here last week - what the fuck was so important that you couldn't read my stupid blog? What? Do you have a job or something?

This week, we're talking about online dating. Online dating is very similar to pooping in the sense that everybody does it, everyone knows that everybody does it, and no one talks about it with members of the opposite sex.

Online dating used to be sites like eHarmony and Places where people looked through profiles and tried to find someone they responded to in the hopes that they would be able to build a relationship with that person. It was supposed to be for people that were too busy to date, or too old for the bar scene, or just liked eating ice cream while emailing strangers. These sites (according to their commercials) were for people looking for love.

*Quick Aside: "Looking for Love" is absurd. What do you mean you're looking for it? Is it hiding from you? People don't look for any other feelings. I've never heard anyone say that they're looking for curiosity. Also, it's a bit ironic that the only way to find love is to find someone who's also looking it. Because if you find someone who has already found love, who knows where it is, that person can no longer help you. If you still don't think it's completely ridiculous, ask yourself this question: If you were on a first date, and your date tells you that they're looking for love, how fast do you ask for the check? It's like looking for Jesus - it's fine to be doing it, but PLEASE don't talk to me about it, cause you sound insane.*

Lets get back on track.

That's what online dating used to be (if you're over 50, maybe it still is). But if you have an iPhone, and you like sex or judging people, you probably know about Tinder and it's slightly less sketchy cousin, OKCupid. There are two main difference between these two and Match & eHarmony. 1. They're primarily used as apps on smartphones. 2. They're primarily for young people.

So what does this mean for online dating as a whole? Well, it means it's gone from a place where people can "look for love," to a place where people can "find sex." Do you see the difference? It's slight, and if you want, you can go back and reread this paragraph and join us back here once you understand.

First off- I know this is gonna rub some people the wrong way; they're online and they're not just looking for someone to hook up with. My point is not that the users of these sites only want sex, rather, that these sites promote a forum where sex is all that matters. You didn't match with someone on Tinder cause you guys both like Harry Potter books, or because you both speak French. No, you're matched with someone because you like they way their picture looked. This doesn't mean that after you get matched, you can't find out that you have a lot in common and dance off into the sunset together. I'm simply reminding you that it all started because she wears the shit out of that tank top.

Still, that's not the biggest problem with online dating; women have been dealing with men who only want to sleep with them for hundreds of years, that's not a 21st century problem. The main problem is that the people on these sites think they're better than everyone else on the site. Across the board. Almost every person I've ever talked to about being on OKC or Tinder talks about it as if they're doing everyone else on there a favor. People talk about the fact that they're on Tinder like it's a mistake. As if your phone was stolen and the thief set up a profile and now you just use it every day as a joke. And if you do happen to meet someone promising, you make up anything besides the truth when people ask where you guys met. I'd rather tell people I met a women while the two of us were in jail then say that we met online.

I'll meet a woman online and a small part of me thinks I'm more interesting than her because I don't have to be dating online. I can meet people in the real world. I can go to Starbucks and start a conversation with a pretty girl and ask her to dinner - I'm only online cause it's fun. Well Cole, don't you think it's possible that the same thing applies to the pretty girl you just "met"? No! Of course not! Every other person who's on OKC is a sad sack that needs pity, and if this date doesn't work out, they may just cash it in, move into an old Victorian house, adopt 15 cats and start knitting!

The silly part is that when I meet someone online, I know that they're thinking the same thing about me. I've been on dates and have had women literally say, "You're actually totally normal." As if they accepted the date and went out with me, all the while thinking I was probably some horrible troll creature.

This is what I like to call, "The Great Dating Hypocrisy",  and it started way before online dating. I've been to bars (the old fashioned way of finding a one night stand) and met women who say that they don't like people at bars. .....YOU'RE AT A BAR! You're here, right now, sitting at a bar. How could you possibly not like people who are doing the exact same thing that you're doing? I'd always hear something about how they're only here because their friends are, or that this is the first time they've been out in months, or something else that makes very little sense and could easily apply to any other living person in the building.

That's The Great Dating Hypocrisy: people simply don't hold other people to the same standards to which they hold themselves. And it's even more prominent in online dating. The connotation of "online dating" is that it's for weird people that are somehow broken and can't find dates in the real world. But everyone is online. If you are single, why wouldn't you join a dating site? They're free and all you're doing is giving yourself more of a chance to find someone. You may have to sift through a few profiles before finding someone remotely interesting, and you'll probably have to deal with a lot of people who are terrible (like a lot, a lot), but you could also find one person that makes the whole thing worth it.

That gorgeous chick you saw walking by while you waited for the bus? She may be on Tinder. The guy who helped a little kid after he slipped and fell? He might have a profile on OKC. At this point, if you're not online, I think you're shooting yourself in the dating foot. Is it a place for people to find someone to sleep with? Absolutely. But any one of those matches could also be just the person that you're looking for. Look at it this way - you're both online, so you know you have at least one thing in common.

Online dating is both the wave of the future and still the scariest way to meet anyone, ever. It's full of people who think they shouldn't be there, but also desperately want to meet someone, because the only thing worse than looking for dates online is not finding any. So make sure you have good profile pictures, talk about what you think makes you interesting, and don't take it too seriously - you will definitely end up with some amazing stories about horrible dates, and maybe (just maybe) someone who you actually respond to. I don't know about you, but I'd wade through hundreds of profiles of nonsense to come across one person that was actually worth my time - it only takes about 5 minutes while I'm in line for Chipotle, anyway.

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