Online Dating: Cure or Disease?

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Whether we admit it or not, many of us dive into online dating with certain expectations. They go a little something like this,

Up until this point, love hasn’t been working out so well. I’m tired of just waiting around for the right guy to find me. It’s time I take things into my own hands. I’ll sign up for online dating and then I’ll find him! Let’s get this ball rolling.

With our war cry on repeat, we select our battlefield of choice, sometimes with very little thought. Match.com, eHarmony, OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Tinder… it doesn’t matter as long as I pick one, and whichever I pick, he will be there waiting…. asleep in Cyber Space like Sleeping Beauty in her castle.

We start the hunt, eager, hopeful, hungry… we click through profiles with voracity, certain he’ll be hiding in the next round of daily matches. Except… he isn’t there. Where is he? We search faithfully for a month or two, never giving up hope. Sometimes love takes time, patience, we tell ourselves. But in our minds “time” is one month, two tops. If we’re really diligent, we may even wait six months. Then in creeps the doubt, the disappointment, and even the anger.

Online dating was supposed to be my sure thing. Why didn’t I find him? Why didn’t it work? The commercials promised me it would work. What’s wrong with me?

Doubt turns into disdain and pretty soon we’re more depressed than when we started. The cure-all has become our disease.

But here is the secret, Friends: online dating isn’t a sure thing. Surely, it will offer up men in spades, and some will even be wonderful, dateable men. Some you may even date. One, you may even fall in love with; you may even get your “happily ever after.” And you may not.

A large, important component to dating in general is timing. Online dating can speed up the process, but it’s still all about timing. And no matter what you do, there are some factors you simply can’t control. But this isn’t meant to discourage you; rather encourage you.

You don’t wait around for love to find you, but you can’t always hunt it down and capture it either. Sometimes you have to live life and leave the rest up to time.

Consider online dating one weapon in your arsenal. It gets you out there, it opens doors. It promises only possibilities. So rejoice in the possibilities, dream, hope and see what happens.

Post Apocolypse… I mean Valentine’s Day… Musings

Since a few days have passed after the dreaded Valentine’s, I’m going to assume we all survived. I, fortunately, more than survived- I flourished- thanks to a thoughtful man who took me (and my pup) away to Monterey for the weekend (sorry, I’m a slacker when I’m on vacation).

Soaking up all the coastal, Californian sun!

Soaking up all the coastal, Californian sun!

The drive was just shy of three hours and for a change of pace I decided to play one of my audio books– Not A Match by Brian Donovan. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how my guy would react- it’s a book about horrible online dates and we met online. Would he think I was trying to imply something?

Luckily, he thought it was hilarious and we laughed the entire drive to the coast, which got me thinking… We’ve all been there, online and off. We’ve all been on one (or two or three) horrible, nightmare-ish first (or second or third) date(s). Dating debacles are like a right of passage on the journey to finding “the one.”

Recently a friend of mine has had a bout of bad luck with men. And right around Valentine’s Day, all her bad luck has looked like a sign from the dating gods that she is meant to die alone. So as we sat in the living room with a glass of wine in hand, I gave her a piece of (easier said than done) advice: try and keep everything in perspective. Meaning, the hard times in life make the good times that much more meaningful.

Think about it: if we were just handed love, without any trials or bumpy roads, if we were just given it the first moment we even thought about wanting it, would we even appreciate it? Or do all of the heart breaks and bad dates make us see love for what it really is: a beautiful, precious gift that we shouldn’t take for granted? I hope it’s the latter. And I hope as we all travel on this crazy, complicated, sometimes crushing journey, we keep everything in perspective… and blog about it all along the way.. Because one thing that makes our travels less troublesome is knowing that we’re not going it alone.

So happy post-Valentine’s Day everyone!

The New (and improved) Valentine’s Day

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Guess what day it is…Now, I know you’re afraid to say the name out loud, like it’s Voldomort, and calling it by name will somehow unleash all its evil power, but brace yourself….

IT’S VALENTINE’S DAY

And this year my roommates and I all have very different relationship statuses.

Me: in a loving, long-term relationship (after meeting online, if you didn’t catch that earlier). We still have a few sweet surprises planned for each other, but it’s not the same butterfly-fest it was the first year. Not like…

L: in a brand, spanking new relationship– so new she agonized over which cutesy Pinterest gift to make him… you’re a catch (with Swedish fish)? or you’re my stud muffin (baked goods)? Wait… is that too much?? What does that gift say exactly? (Sweetie, it’s food. Just pick one.)

E: just got out of the worst relationship ever (maybe a slight exaggeration) and works in high end retail where every man hits on her, while buying his lady a V-day present. Can’t get much more jaded than that.

So needless to say, my house has been a lot of fun this week. And I think I might develop a stress ulcer from having to switch from “isn’t love grand?” to “men suck and they should all die” every two seconds, depending on which roomie I’m talking to.

And even though I enjoy the sweetness of Valentine’s Day with my man, I was brought up to have a broader view of the controversial day (thanks mom and dad). Growing up, my parents (okay, mostly my mother) would surprise us kids with little treats throughout the day, and we’d be encouraged to do things for our friends, teachers, anyone important in our lives, and even random strangers (give a box of chocolates to the neighbor, or a heart shaped cookie to the homeless man on the curb).

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be about our significant other (or lack thereof). It should be about all-encompassing love, doing something to put a smile on someone’s face, making a difference in some small (or big) way.

I know what you’re thinking… barf. Can you be any sappier? Yeah, probably. And even though I advocate online dating (I mean, why not?), today I’m going to advise staying offline. Sure, you could sit in your heart-dotted underwear, guzzling a bottle of Cabernet, belting out “All By Myself” while swiping left on Tinder. But you could also spend the day appreciating the people who are already in your life. Okay, I’ll even allow the cute guy in the cubicle next to yours. 😉

Because this year, being surrounded by old love, new love, and loves gone by, I realized there are a thousand different forms of love… what makes one any better than the next?

Don’t Let the First Impression be the Last Impression

Okay, so I already expect to get a few differing opinions on this one, but hear me out first:

WHEN IT COMES TO ONLINE DATING, YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION

Allow me to give you an example…

When my eyes first scanned my ex’s eHarmony profile, I couldn’t hold back a smile. He was not only incredibly handsome, but his profile made me laugh– out loud! And I don’t make this LOL claim lightly.

Under books I enjoy reading he wrote, “The Little Engine That Could. No matter how many times I read it, I keep rooting for that little guy! Does he make it up the hill? You’ll have to read it to find out.”

I was stunned. We had the exact same sense of humor– random, goofy, bizarre… And even though he lived hours away, and I almost NEVER write a guy first, I had to tell him how much I loved his profile. Instantly, our repartee began.

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Now, take my current BF, who I met on Match. He only posted three photos, all of which made it difficult to determine his actual level of cuteness. Then, to top it off, his profile was sparse and relatively bland– no sign of wit or spark of humor.

So you may be thinking, why did you agree to a date, then? If humor is so important, why didn’t you write him off right away? Well friends, because the profile isn’t everything.

And here’s why:

He seemed sweet from the initial emails, so I agreed to a drink. What could it hurt? Then, lo and behold, we HIT IT OFF! Not only was he sweet (and cute), but he was goofy with a sarcastic edge! My favorite! Turns out, he was new to the area and his coworkers had signed him up on Match. He wasn’t sold on the idea and hadn’t spent the time to vamp up his profile, which explains why his humor didn’t come across in type.

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Of course, it’s always a good sign when someone’s profile sparkles and catches your eye, but if it doesn’t, you shouldn’t always rule them out. In truth, there could be many reasons why someone’s online profile doesn’t do them justice.

The naysayers will tell you not to waste your time. I’ve read several online dating advice books that will tell you to end communication if their profile doesn’t stack up to your looming list of requirements. But there’s something to be said for benefit of the doubt– and the magic of meeting in person. In the end, what’s one drink (be it Starbucks or Manhattan)? And if you don’t click in person, on to the next! But at least you’ll know you didn’t accidentally pass up someone great– who just so happens to be better in person than on paper (or screen).

Worst Online Dating Profile May be the Best?

Disclaimer: this is NOT to rag on men… entirely. But the title of this article caught my attention: WOMAN CREATES WORST ONLINE DATING PROFILE AND STILL ATTRACTS MEN.

A female comedian decided to create a horrible online dating profile of a woman who is mean to the homeless, will trick men into thinking she’s pregnant, and is admittedly all about the money. The catch? She posted a photo of her hot, model friend. The result? Watch this quick video to find out–

Was I surprised by the outcome? Not really. Disheartened? Not really.

Recently I was going over my friend’s online dating profile when she lamented, “Why bother? Men only care about the photo anyway.” She had a point. Some men only care about the photo. Certainly in the case of the fake profile, that’s all the men valued. At least those men. But my reaction to that video was, “Well, I wouldn’t want to date those guys anyway.” Aaroncarterfan could have ’em!

Women, SOME men on online dating sites (as in life) are shallow. Some men will not write you unless you’re a model, no matter how witty, intelligent or caring your profile is. But notice I say, some. On the positive side, there will be other men who aren’t so attracted to homeless people tormentors or lying, manipulative, gold-diggers no matter how hot they are. Besides, you don’t want to be solely valued by your looks anyway, do you?

What was YOUR reaction after watching the ABCNews Video?