I'm not embarrassed by online dating. I'm not "new here" or "just looking around." I go on fun dates (and horrible ones), and I meet new people all the time. If that makes you squirm in your chair while twirling your engagement ring, so be it. For me, online dating is the most time-effective way to meet new people when you work 50+ hours per week. There, I said it.
It's been three months to the day since I moved to Brooklyn. I started online dating as soon as I got here, which is to say I never stopped online dating in my last city, I just updated a profile or two. The dating pool here is certainly bigger than in any other place I've lived, so I wasn't surprised to find email-able guys on OKCupid pretty often. I send a simple note, suggest meeting for a drink, then get back to work before my boss looks over my shoulder. Sound familiar?
After dates with two nice guys (meh) and one amazing guy who never asked me out again (dick), I did a little accounting of my progress. It seemed that, for my effort, I should have been getting a little more action. As it turns out, I was right.
In three months, I emailed 67 men. Seven of them responded to me. Four of them emailed me without ever making plans to meet (guys, don't do that), and I met three of them in person. I am currently not dating any of them, leaving 60 men who read my email, checked out my profile, and were not impressed. As you can imagine, this can wear on the psyche, particularly when you take stock of it all at once.
[Uncorks wine, orders Chinese food.]
I imagine them as the army of abs from the movie "300" staring at me with their judging looks and leather sandals. I'm repulsive to 60 men that I found attractive? DAYUM something is wrong with me. I should change my photos, rewrite my profile, lose 10 pounds, dye my hair, and lower my standards. Whew, I have some work to do.
Maybe I'm not their type. Maybe something about me doesn't fit their list of "musts." Maybe I should look at how many I emails I didn't respond to from guys who wanted to get in touch with me. Maybe not everyone is compatible with everyone they'd like to be, and here's the kicker: It's worse online.
There are more people in online dating than we'll ever have access to in like, a bar. It's essentially a visual assault of men numerically impossible in real life, so naturally the number of misses is going to be pretty high. Granted, taking the emotion of dating "failure" and explaining it with math is probably a balm for my bruised ego, but I'll take it.
That number might land in the hundreds someday. But we need to start thinking of this reality of online dating as OK, not insulting. I'm not looking for hundreds, I'm looking for someone to take me to see "Iron Man."
A web-based deep breath is in order.
I know I'm not alone, I know some of you are there, too. We're the single girls with married/engaged/cohabiting friends that just "wish I knew a nice guy for you." So here we are, with our unanswered emails, and solitary Saturdays, and effed-up dating stories our married friends are "entertained" by.
You've got a kindred spirit here.
And when you're having a rough time, a movie buddy.