Popping the Virtual Cherry

To eDate or not to eDate? That is the question I’ve been struggling with since my departure into the land of perpetual dating. Is it kind of desperate and a last resort? Or is it truly the wave of the future and I need to hop on? Whenever someone brought up the idea of me logging onto an online dating site, I became offended and annoyed. I clung to the idea I wanted to meet my future hubby in the most random, unforced, serendipitous moment. I don’t want to have to pay a computer money each month to sort through a collection of hand-me-down men who can’t get a date the real way. My insecure and skewed view of online dating switched in a flash one day when my gal pal, who is a total knockout, casually mentioned she had ventured on a couple dates with fellas she met on online dating sites. This stopped me in my tracks. I thought, “Well if one of my prettiest, kind-hearted friends is on there, I need to get on too!”

After this new perception of online dating popped into my head, I began realizing I was just being kind of insecure with the whole idea. When you think about it, so much of our time is spent online. Whether this is a good or bad thing, this is the reality of our daily lives. Back in the day, my grandma and grandpa met at a cute little ice cream store. Now that’s my idea of a guy. One with a sweet tooth and one who’s not knocking back a dozen beers at the local titty bar. As our culture has shifted, more of our leisure time is spent logged on than letting go, relaxing at the local soda fountain shop. I should have grown up in the 1950’s with a poodle skirt and pigtails. Would have suited me much better I think.

As I began to wrap my brain around the idea of subscribing to an online dating site, I just couldn’t get over this nagging feeling. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I know for sure the feeling was doused with insecurity. I almost felt ashamed and pathetic that I was toying with online dating. I didn’t want to be this bothered by it and was pissed this insecurity was holding me back. Typically I have the attitude of “Piss on you, I don’t give a shit what you think.” So this insecure feeling was foreign to me and I longed for it to escape my body.

The knockout friend who online dated asked me to come over and create an account for myself. She promised she’d hold my hand and I could chicken out at the last minute if I wanted to. She also coaxed me with several glasses of wine. As we filled out our dating profiles together, it was actually quite fun. You get to spend two hours gabbing about yourself and highlighting your best qualities. You also are pinpointing all the qualities you want in a match. So basically, I felt like I was creating the perfect man. This is science- how could it not work?!

When the time came to press “enter” and let the online dating world know, “this girl wants a date,” those insecurities being blaring in my head. I panicked and thought, “Well I don’t want to date the kind of guy who sits down and fills out an online dating profile. I want a man who is out in the world being confident.” I was so mad I was allowing myself to be plagued by these insecurities. Why did I have such a struggle with this? It’s not like I was sending off for an arranged marriage. I was simply casually putting out the message I was likely to accept a date.

One click and there was no turning back. I submitted my credit card and information, height and photos to the online dating underworld. I instantly felt the scarlet letter burned into my chest. I felt like I was baring a secret I couldn’t tell anyone. I also felt those shitty insecure feelings wrapping around me in a fog. I instantly got matched with some prospects and was horrified. I thought, “I’ve got a long three months ahead of me if these are the quality of matches I get.”

As the days went on, it was getting a little more exciting. What virtual love could I potentially have today? The boys started picking up on the quality front and there were even some handsome ones in there! My spirits were picking up and I thought this could potentially be a good thing! I also had the realization that it’s smart to have several different tactics all being implemented to achieve the same goal. Why not sprinkle in some online potentials with the boys I meet in real life? One of them will be great enough to keep around eventually.

Here comes a true online dating test. I have a date lined up next week with a seemingly fantastic guy I met online. Looks wonderful on paper and the phone conversation was effortless and engaging. We’ll see if the face-to-face encounter is a happy one. Here’s hoping and here goes nothing! Bottoms up!