So, I have written about online dating before but I don’t think I ever wrote about how and why I chose online dating. A few moons ago, I lived with an aunt who dated online. One of her dates had suggested Okcupid to her on their date (hint hint) and she wanted to see the types of people on there without actually being on it herself. Cue in me.
I of course volunteered myself since I wasn’t dating at all and had time on my hands. And thus a profile was born whose summary went along the lines of: “I hate doing summaries because I cannot really summarize myself. I love children; I think they are the best things to happen to humanity (until they grow up-Just kidding)” and some other random stuff. Last sentence of course read, “I am an awkward random person so be warned.” Great summary right! (Yeah I cringed too).
Anyways, I wound up using this profile and actually talking to people. I never edited it since the first attempt at creating the profile and I e-met a bunch of people, some of whom confirmed that I may not be as normal as I like to think I am and some who made me question humanity. I held random conversations with people on the site but never actually met up in person. Plans were made and always broken-mostly by me. In my defense, I joined the site sometime in December and winter was brutal. Everyone who knows me knows I hibernate in the winter time-I only go out because I have a day job, which I would be happy to do without in the winter if I could afford to.
And that, ladies and gentlemen is the simple truth of why I never met most of them in person. I did meet one however. He was persistent and super sweet. So I drove to dinner in the snow and met up with him. He was early and I was on time. We ate, chatted a bit and by end of dinner, I was ready to go home and be warm all cuddled up in my blankets with teddy. Date 1 and I never spoke after this meet up. It appears we mutually decided we could not go together.
Here is the thing about my experience with online dating that I have not discussed up until this point; it’s nerve racking for a person like me. Not because I am afraid I will be meeting up with the serial killer of the day but because I am one of the most socially awkward people I know (in retrospect, I really should be afraid of meeting up with potential serial killers/killers).
I have great conversations with strangers and people I know via any medium that is not face to face. The me you meet behind a text (e-mail, face book message, dating message app) is very different from the me you meet in person (this applies to first time and maybe for the duration of our acquaintance depending on the level of growth of our relationship-acquaintance). Basically what I’m saying is, I will always be that awkward shy person you met that one day if we remain acquaintances and do not graduate into friendship.
Anyways, what all this means for me is I can be me, the fun, loving, sometimes adventurous person that I think I am, one who hates crowds and most days hates people but is learning to love them because it really isn’t their fault that I never learned to be social or to tolerate people well. And also, it would be pretty lonely if there was no one to ever talk to because even I feel the need to talk to others at times. Also, I do enjoy good kisses so it would be really horrible if there was no one to kiss ever (can you tell my priorities are in order?). I can be all of this and more behind a screen. And when someone wants to meet me in person the first thought is always, “what if they are disappointed?” I always wonder if they will like the in person me or prefer the online me.
My next concern is always, “Do I match up to my pictures?” This one is a tough one because I do not always look like my pictures. I am somewhat photogenic and at times take pictures that I look nothing like in real person and this is without editing or enhancements. And it is not done to deceive people; I just take really good pictures most times. So that adds up to my anxiety levels. And so, for the longest time, I would not agree to a meet up because of all these questions swirling in this big head of mine.
But lately, I have come to the realization that I can exist outside of my cocoon (rather I can try). I shouldn’t always enclose myself in this little bubble I built around myself. Because even Netflix gets tired of me and asks me if I am still watching because obviously I have already spent too many hours on that thing to still be on-at least according to Netflix anyway. It has no idea that my watch Netflix game too strong.
I must try extra hard to be social and this means an onslaught of nerves trying to figure out how to be social and acceptable. And because I am in overdrive, my sweating starts up and I arrive to the meeting with really wet hands, wet feet and soaking underarms. It’s a whole mess. And all I am thinking this whole time is please don’t let me sweat-please don’t let me sweat which is of course futile. And Americans j(people in general) just love to shake your hand so I always extend my very cold, sweaty hand with an explanation of, “sorry, my hands are really cold and most likely damp-and by most likely damp I mean they actually are wet).
What’s funny (forgive me for digressing) is just the other day, I was at my mechanics (I am there a lot it seems), and a guy walked in with one of the mechanics and they both greeted me. I was reading a novel at the time and raised my head to respond, which I did and immediately looked down at my book. At the same time, I was having a conversation in my head going something like; “he is gorgeous and those are some really nice shoes he is wearing, I should compliment him. My mind said yes but couldn’t coordinate with my mouth to utter the words and so my mind and I sat there silently, stealing glances at him. Then he spoke again, to me this time and was like, “I like your shoes.” Of course my mind was working overtime at this (also, great minds think alike-sometimes).
I grinned and a barely audible “thank you” came out and back to staring at the book it was, trying as hard as I could to sit still, a battle I lost and fidgeted with my feet to no end. I have a problem-every time someone compliments me on something, I feel the need to hide complimented thing. For example, someone tells me you have great teeth and I automatically shut my mouth after the thank you. Same goes for pretty much everything and it gets awkward when someone compliments my body because it is hard to conceal your whole self when standing in front of someone. So I do my usual swaying and struggle to find something else to talk about. I do not take compliments well. Anyway, I texted my friend about my awkward moment with hot guy and she gave me three different ways I could have engaged him in a short conversation (since my drop head at book dismissed him, kind of) and I face palmed. She made it sound so easy! I could have easily just asked, I haven’t seen you here before, do you always come here for your car maintenance? Or a simple, thank you, is your car OK now? would have sufficed. At least I have great friends who teach me such valuable lessons that I will most likely than not, not remember when found in such a situation again. Lessons learned right. Life is so interesting. And I should stop rumbling now, so I will take my thoughts onto another post since this one is already too long.