Let’s Talk About: Online Dating

Online dating…*gasp*

This is not a new term, nor is it a new concept for our society.  Quite the opposite really, it’s starting to become…THE NORM.

I first heard about online dating back in high school and it was such a far off concept – something that I never thought I’d find myself interested in.  I thought, “Well, that’s for people who are desperate to find a man or a woman…I don’t think I could ever do that.”

Fast forward to 2010, and I go on my first date with a guy that I met online.  At this point, I didn’t get online because I was desperate, no I’ve never been that, but I went on to explore other ways to meet great guys.

Even though my dating/love/relationship history doesn’t look it, I am a serial monogamist..or at least I aspire to be.  My relationships/situationships typically last a short while and they are FREQUENT.  As I mentioned in my last post, I was normally always involved with someone – so much so that one year I was with probably 3-5 guys (I can’t remember as it seems like it was ages ago).  Little did I know, venturing into the online dating world would prove to be quite the adventure!

One question that I get when people find out that I’ve met a good chunk of my dudes from online is, “What’s it like?!”

Well, honey boo boo, it’s actually quite fun.  However, it can be extremely exhausting.  As someone who aspired to be a serial monogamist, juggling multiple men is both annoying and hard.  But my overall experience with it has been fine.  Most men that I’ve met have been very nice.  Some were complete duds and others turned out to be fantastic people! Have I met my fair share of creepsters? Yeah, but not as often as one would think.  Next week, I’ll debunk some of these myths that circulate online dating according to my own experience (so I won’t go into a ton of detail today).

Even though we live in a digital age, where people communicate via their phones, computers, Bluetooth headsets, etc., there’s still this taboo looming over the concept of online dating.

First off, I absolutely hate the term “online dating”.  Maybe it’s me taking things too literally, but if I’m dating someone, it’s definitely NOT online.  If someone asks me (and it applies to that situation) how I met my SO and we met online, I have no problems saying where.  If people turn their nose up or are uncomfortable with your level of comfortability around how you met your SO, then that’s their personal battle to fight.

One thing that I absolutely cannot stand is when people are afraid to tell people how they met, especially if they met online.  I’ve had a few friends that met their SO online and tried to cover that fact up by saying they met via another way.  Boo, I’m not gonna judge you, ESPECIALLY SINCE I HAVE BEEN IN YOUR SHOES! Just be real…

Anywho, when it came to my experiences with it, I honestly went into it with the mindset that the people on there were like me – a semi-interesting, cool, down-to-earth human looking to meet some other semi-interesting, cool, down-to-earth humans.  I never started online dating to solely find my husband or hook up with random dudes.  No! I went on to open up another opportunity to meet cool folks.  If we made a connection to the point where we wanted to be in a relationship, then cool. If not, we went our separate ways – easy peasy.

I think that people complicate things because of the politics behind online dating.  It can be a murky road to navigate, but it can also be a lot of fun.  My advice to anyone that is considering it is this:

  1. Be open – not to the point where you’re sharing your deepest darkest secrets, but enough to let people see what makes you, YOU.
  2. Be cautious – while it can be fun, there are some crazy folks out there, so be careful!
  3. Don’t think too hard about it – just go with the flow.  Don’t think, “Oh this HAS to work because nothing else has” or “I need to get married and find someone quick!” That kind of thinking can lead to even bigger heartbreak and heartache.  When you go on your first date, think, “I hope I wore enough deodarant…” =0)
  4. Be YOU (both online and IRL) – I can’t stress this enough.  Dating profiles can be iffy, especially since it’s a bit hard to express tone and feeling through words.  So when it comes to the dating bit, just be yourself.  It’s bad enough that folks have their guard up when meeting someone from online. Be genuine and be yourself.

Navigating the digital world can be daunting because the possibilities really are endless, but I’m hoping that by exposing my personal experience, it will help ease folks’ anxiety about it.

Stay tuned as the next couple of weeks will be all about relationships, online dating, dating, etc.  It’s cuffing season soon so I figured, eh, why not?! =0)

–Dee

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