I’ve only been on one blind date in my life. My boss set us up (I work “on the Internet” where professionalism is hardly a thing that exists, so it wasn’t as awkward as it sounds) because the guy needed a date to his company’s Christmas party and I just needed a date period.
He wasn’t exactly my type, but I did appreciate that he created a well known website that was the first of its kind. What can I say? Smart people are hot.
The date was fine. I mean, alcohol can make any situation better and we ended up hanging out a few more times after that. And then a few more times after that. I don’t think either of us was particularly enamored with the other.
Actually, I know he wasn’t since he informed me that my crude jokes and constant inappropriateness made him uncomfortable. He worried his friends were judging me. I, on the other hand, wasn’t exactly thrilled with the amount of time he spent in front of the computer or that listening to him talk to his friends was like trying to decipher a foreign language. And I was pretty sure I’d never be able to get over the fact that one time he referred to baseball uniforms as costumes, but you know how these things go.
So we had sex.
For a year.
The good part of the story? I now consider him to be one of my dearest friends and I would do anything for him if he needed it. He’s funny and kind and brilliant and loves to drink. He’s a catch. Just, you know -- not for me. And I imagine he feels the same way about me -– except the funny and kind and brilliant part. But whatever. I do love to drink and that’s gotta count for something.
After that non-relationship fizzled out, I dated a few other men: a couple of decent dudes, one abusive psychopath, and one guy who was pretty damn great. But here I am again: single. Like so so single.
And truly, for the most part, I’m A-OKAY with that. (A-OKAY, a phrase no one says anymore!) I like being alone. I like watching whatever I want on TV. Reading my book until 3 a.m with the light on. Eating cheese and crackers for dinner. Peeing with the bathroom door open. Not talking for hours on end. Blasting the Rent soundtrack on long drives and singing along at the top of my lungs. (I prefer Mimi, but I sing all parts.) Solitude is a thing of glory. A gift. Something to be treasured.
But at some point, it can get a little depressing. Once in a while it’d be nice to have someone to go to brunch with. Or to ride bikes with. Or play Scrabble with. It would be refreshing not to hunt someone down every single time I have an extra ticket to something. And you know: SEX OR WHATEVER. (RIP, my vagina.)
Technically, I’m probably not ready to meet someone, but it did come up in therapy that perhaps that is exactly why I should start dating again. My immediate response, “Fine, but I have no idea where I’d meet someone and don’t EVEN suggest online dating because, ew, no.”
“I was going to suggest online dating,” my therapist replied.
“Not gonna happen.”
And then I gave him my slew of reasons: I don’t have the time. I don’t want people to judge me on my picture. Online dating seems super awkward. Everyone online lies. And don’t even get me started about my friend who dated some chick he met on OKCupid. She ran into the freezing cold ocean in her undies on their first date at which point I suggested, “She might be a little crazy.”
A little crazy? Fast forward a month when he told her it wasn’t working out and she pretended her car got stolen and that when she found it, she was raped by three men with box cutters.
But mostly: Have you MET people on the Internet? They hate me!
But my therapist wasn’t having it. “You work from home. You don’t go out that much. How are you planning to meet someone if you refuse to online date?”
“I dunno,” I shrugged. “Guess I just won’t.
Because here’s the thing. I’m not comfortable with it. I’d be far more willing to meet a stranger if a friend said she had someone she wanted to set me up with. It means the guy has already been vetted, presumably we’d have things in common, and he’s probably not heinous. Mostly, there’s someone to vouch for him, so the risk is a lot lower.
Of course, no one in my entire life (save for that one instance) has ever even attempted to set me up with another human being. But I shouldn’t take it personally (hint to friends: I TOTALLY DO) because apparently that’s totally the norm. According to the Daily Mail, xoJane’s favorite resource for all things factual, only three percent of young Britons in the past five years have been on a blind date, meaning a date where they know next-to-nothing about the person with whom they’re having drinks or dinner.
The problem? The pesky Internet. No one is going on blind dates anymore because 62% of singles research their dates online before meeting them. Which makes sense when I think about the fact that a guy asked me to dinner a few weeks ago while I was having a drink at a bar. I gave him my card, but then he never called. My best guess? He Googled me.
Mostly, however, people aren't even interested in blind dates. People aren’t relying on their friends and family; they’re relying on eHarmony and Match.com. Fact: 1 out of 5 single people have dated someone they met at an online dating site. And 1 out of 5 people in a committed relationship met their significant other on an online dating site. In fact, 17% of couples married in the last 3 years (1 in 6), met each other on an online dating site. And more than TWICE as many marriages occurred between people who met from an online dating site than those who met in bars, clubs, and other social events combined. (Source.)
Long story short: If I want to meet someone, it looks like I’d better start online dating. Long story shorter: Not gonna happen.
To be clear, I support the online dating industry. Not that they need my support since it’s worth over $1 billion a year (more than porn, even!). If people want to meet people that way, I say go for it. One of my favorite couples in the entire land met each other on OKCupid and I’m so glad they found each other. It’s just not for me.
So if a friend wants to set me up on a blind date because she thinks we’d be a good match, I’m down. But until then, I’ll just be holed up in my apartment focusing on my career. And don’t worry, my therapist said he thinks that sounds like a perfectly good plan.
Follow daisy on Twitter for more about a life as a single girl in the city that is nothing like Carrie Bradshaw's.