Online Dating: Who Gives A Shit?

7 May

Match.com - the bane of my existence.

The mother of one of my very best friends recently encouraged me to create my profile on both Match.com and Plenty of Fish, two very popular online dating sites. I’m not going to lie: I hate them both and I think even having a profile on either is completely disingenuous of me. I hate the idea of forcefully looking for someone with whom to start a relationship. I truly believe that all of the best people will appear randomly, in moments you will never come to expect.

I do suppose that I should date more to get a better idea of what I’d like down the road, though what exactly is an acceptable amount of dating for a woman my age? I feel as though this varies with the person and their life situation. Some women date constantly, while others only have two or three boyfriends in their entire life and then just get married or end up with a long-term partner. This latter situation mirrors some of my idols – both Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling, two leading female writers, have both spoken openly about their lack of romantic experience. Perhaps I will be one of them – somewhat mournful over my lack of romantic entanglement yet ecstatic that I will be bathing in money in the future.

Back to the issue at hand. I receive lots of attention on both sites, though it’s never really from people I would care to speak to, never mind “date”. There are lots of men who post shirtless pictures of themselves (in spite of not looking too amazing), others who send messages that say things like, “What are you up for?”, somehow thinking that I may be some sort of prostitute, others who post photographs taken sometime in the mid-90s when they were still hot, and still others who hide that they are unemployed and undereducated by claiming that their occupation is “being awesome”.

On Plenty of Fish, I receive about ten messages every day. How many of those do I actually answer? I’d say maybe one or two per week. Why is this? I suppose that I am much too picky, or perhaps I have these things people refer to as “standards”. One of my standards is proper grammar and spelling, which is something that the majority of men near my age seem to neglect entirely. My profile states that I was an English major, yet I still receive inquires in the vein of, “wuts good wit u?” I am beginning to think that there is little to no hope for women with class and college degrees.

Online dating is part of the streamlined online culture that envelopes every aspect of one’s life. We browse the internet for men just as we browse for shoes and news stories. The impersonal nature of online dating is absolutely frightening. I highly doubt that I will find the love of my life lurking on Match.com.

In spite of these recurrent setbacks, a very funny thing happened to me on Plenty of Fish. In spite of my thinking that I needed to look for someone new, someone I would give my heart to (and I already know personally) turned out to be my top compatibility match within a 50 mile radius. Well-played, computer. Well-played. I have not yet decided whether this is a joke or a sign of something greater, but in the meantime, I ask of online dating: who gives a shit?

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