Friday, 6 July 2012

Why I Can't Online Date

Let me first preface this post by saying that this isn't my chance to rail on the online dating community.

It's just me blathering on about why it doesn't work for me.

It works for a shit-ton of people, but just because I don't like to do origami, it doesn't mean I want it banished from existence.

This is just my honest experience with my attempt at dating the Internet.

It started relatively early in my singledom, and I guess these days it's an honest evolution in the world of being single. You're depressed, you go out too much, get more depressed, experiment in various levels of promiscuity searching for the filling in the void you've made for yourself and it eventually ends in moments where you're searching for an answer/solution.

I've had friends and family that have been very successful finding themselves somebody online, and after a bit of prodding and encouragement I decided to take a stab at it. I lasted 10 minutes.

I guess it started as any online experience does; Name, username, age, blah, blah, profile...STOP! That was it. Profile.

I wrote the first few paragraphs, then re-read it, deleted most of it, then wrote it again. Got through what I thought was a decent synopsis of who I might be, then went back for a few minor edits...and that was the point I stopped in my tracks and deleted the whole account.

See, what occurred to me is that when you meet somebody, you can't edit yourself. You can't start off with a few lines and then stop, un-do what you just said/did and try again to make it sound like you really wanted it to sound like.

And I don't want you to either. That's what makes me like people. Its not that we both like tennis or the same music or eggplants or whatever. It's the other stuff. See, thats what separates friends from all the other people out there. You put up with the un-edited version of them.

The reality is we're all just a mish-mash of false starts and bad takes. That's what makes us not robots. That's what I love about people and what I love about myself. And thats what I want to see and hear.

You want to know the life that I want everybody to think I lead is? Go to facebook, cuz that's what its for.

But real connections for me start with the real you. And the real me. Maybe people prefer to ease into the weirdness that we all possess. I disagree. Gimme the you. Gimme the awkward first date you, because that's you. Give me the shy doesn't-want-to-ask-for-my number you. Because that's you.

I guess I am inherently a people person. Through to my core. If you want to know me, you gotta meet me.

That's the only accurate way I can express to you who I am. And it unfortunately doesn't translate into text the way I would like it to. Maybe if they started making computers in 3D that shot fireworks and beer out of them.

Too bad tho, because my current strategy kind of blows.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Another One Bites The Dust

They always tell me to stop looking and I will find it.

I think that's dumb. It's like saying: "stop eating and you'll get full".

See, how do you not look? If you want to play basketball, you don't NOT play basketball! Argh.

I think its all part of the giant conspiracy to attempt and make those of us that would rather not be single ok with not being single.

I'm not all shitty and depressed, but I do realize what I actually want and what I don't have.

But it's sometimes a difficult balance, being bombarded with advice from coupled-up people on how they found  all their happiness (barf) and trying to do your best to just be you.

I think all of this advice and crap that we all try to shovel through kind of caught up to me over the last few months. To the point that I think it screwed up my brain a bit.

This is the scenario: Friends of friends have friends. I meet one of the friends. She's cool as hell. Likes the crap outta me. Saved by The Bell Zack Morris Pause - I don't have many "rules" about dating and my single life, but there are guidelines. A big one is meeting people that are newly single from medium to long term relationships. There is a pretty lengthly "buffer" you need to have before you can realistically expect to achieve a meaningful foundation to another long term relationship. This is something that people will tell you, that you will read and that you will experience. Pretty much, we're pretty screwed up for a while after these things go south, and though it may feel right, you're not getting that "real" person for a while. un-pause.

This was one of those scenarios. Well, it might not have been - but that's how I treated it. I believed the hype a bit too much. A stayed cautious, at arms length, believing whole-heartedly that it was the smart thing to do and that without question, this person just went through a break-up and clearly, obviously must be a complete basket-case.

And this is the sheer fucked-upedness of this whole single life.

That searching for "guidelines" or "rules" or something remotely constant that you can at least rely on as a stable leaning-post to let you know you are at least partially on the right track is completely and utterly wrong. NOTHING is constant in this. There is no rulebook or anything to let you know you're on track.
One second, it's awesome, the next; kaboom.

Every scenario is different and crazy and stupid and awesome in and of itself.

In this particular instance, she wasn't "messed" up at all. Sure, there needed to be time - but not time for me to be terrified of somebody awesome that was liking me. Just time to get to know one another. Time to let something happen.

And when I realized that. When I sat there one day looking at this person and said to myself, "Holy shit! she's actually good!" It was too late.

Over the course of a few months we hung out from time to time, and when I eventually realized that this was not only a safe path, but probably a pretty damn awesome one, I took a week or so to kind of reassess what I had been thinking and why. It was actually quite a therapeutic time for me. And when I emerged from my little self re-awesomization, I turned my attention back to this girl...and received the text message: "I'm sort of seeing somebody now."

I snoozed. I lost.

I listened to people, and my own assessment of how I do these things and got roasted. It was a bit of a gut punch, and as I write this and think how I should end this story - with some lesson or magical chunk of advice all I can think of is that the only rule is that there are no rules. And the only way you'll be able to not get an elbow drop to your heart and ego is to embrace the uncertainty and buy a round of shots for chaos.

I'm still trying to figure this out.