It was a more innocent time back then. Except that "innocent" is completely the wrong word for it. It just sounds better than "It was an I-had-no-idea-what-the-hell-I-was-in-for time back then."
We're going back several years here. I had recently broken up with a man I thought I was going to marry. I took some time to deal with it in a healthy, mature way (drinking too much and having reckless sex), then I got my shit together.
It was time to try something new. My friends were using this website to meet people. How bizarre! It was like shopping online... but for people! Initially I thought the folks on there were going to be sketchy, but once I realized all these cool people I knew were doing it, I decided to give it a whirl. It would be great to meet guys outside of bars/clubs or ones who were friends of friends.
[Forget the fact that more than 80% of my dates ended up involving bars, anyway. Is that real-ironic or Alanis Morrisette-ironic?]
When I put my ad up, I received a good number of responses. How exciting! The internet was my dating oyster and I was sure it would be no time before I found someone special.
I decided to dig up what I wrote after my first online date:
Bachelor #1 is G.
G is originally from the mid-west, works in magazine publishing, is 25, an Aries, and his favorite film is [name of movie I love]. He's cute and, looks-wise, actually reminds me of a gay boy I kissed in college (I miss Truth or Dare).
I met G in Carrol Gardens and we went to a quiet little bar, sat in the back garden, had a few cocktails, and chatted. G impressed me greatly by telling me about meeting [director of movie we love] (he briefly interviewed him for a film magazine). He also is involved in these multi-media art/film projects that sound fascinating, even though he sees himself as more on the production than creative side. G is maybe the first person I have met that does not have a strong wanderlust, but it is because he feels that New York is the capital of the world and no place can possibly be more exciting (he has traveled only a little). It's kind of refreshing to talk to somebody so steadfast, who is perfectly content where he is.
As for chemistry, I think it's too soon to tell. I've decided to actually get to know people and not make immediate judgments on whether or not I'm attracted to them (I used to be the type that would know in the first minute if I would sleep with a guy; I've been told I have a male mentality with regards to certain aspects of relationships and sex).
At this point, even after talking to G for over three hours, I feel like I still barely know him. It could go either way. But he would definitely make a cool friend if things did not work out romantically.
Okay, now I need to send an email to the guy I'm going out with on Thursday (this dating thing is too much fun).
Unsurprisingly, that was the one and only time I saw G.
After all these years, I liken online dating to a treadmill: lots of time and energy expended, but the destination remains constant. All this time and I still have dates that could "go either way." Except that they usually go one way: nowhere. The internet has been great for my sex life but terrible for my love life. I know lots of people have met their lovers/spouses/whatevers via the internet. I also know that's not how it's going to happen for me. Call it a hunch.
The most wretched habit I have been unable to fully kick is online dating. Yes, I have met some fine young (and not-so-young) men, but deep down I have always known it was a diversionary tactic. Too much time wasted. Too many missed connections. Too many choices with too few real possibilities.
Every time I leave, I promise myself that it will be for good. This time, I really want to mean it. Seriously. Reading over the account of that date with G made me see what a Mobius strip my dating life has been all these years. Give or take a couple of failed relationships/flings, it's been a repeated scenario with no progress, like Groundhog Day minus Andie MacDowell's wooden acting. Don't I have better things to do than to peruse a cyber-buffet of men?
Why yes; yes I do.
I am officially done moping about FF and every other guy who I have ever moped over.
I am officially putting a permanent halt on all online dating, even via Friendster and MySpace. Instead, I am choosing the land of three dimensions (well, four, if you count time-- eleven if you want to get all string theory-ish about it).
I like it here. I think I'm going to stay.