A recently single girl quickly learns the ups and downs of dating online.
A year and a half ago, I re-located halfway across the country for graduate school in a city where I knew no one. Uprooting my life and moving away from all my friends was scary enough, but saying goodbye to a tormented three-year relationship from college was even scarier—it finally became real that we were over. For better or worse, my life was completely starting over. Are College Students Failing At Love?
After immediately hitting it off with my roommate (whom I found through Craigslist), I became close with the majority of her friends and I even met a guy I wanted to date. This lasted approximately a month before I got the, “It’s not you, it’s me” line along with some garbage about how he couldn’t “do” relationships. After that fizzled, I realized I had absolutely no idea where to meet men. Nobody wants to be the girl who works their way through the entire pool of guys in a friend group, my graduate program is all women, I work with an influx of gay men, and the bar scene isn’t good for anything more than one-night stands (I tried it). At the gentle prodding of my roommate, I registered on Match.com. I decided to try it for a month, and if it didn’t work out, it didn’t work out. I mean, how bad could it really be? New Ways To Date Online
Immediately upon posting my profile, I received a plethora of mail from 40-year-old men (even though my listed age range was 24-32), men who wrote in broken English (at best), and those who didn’t have any photos attached to their profile, which naturally led me to believe they were either married or super scary looking. While wading through the un-datable profiles, a gem suddenly appeared in my inbox: a 25-year-old sociology student who seemed to have a lot in common with me. After exchanging long emails for over a week and having a fairly effortless conversation on the phone, I agreed to go on a Saturday morning date with him since we both had plans for the rest of the weekend. Online Dating: Should I Lie About My Age?
When he picked me up, I was immediately struck by how much he didn’t look like his picture—about 40 pounds heavier and in desperate need of a haircut. Telling myself that I was too mature to be concerned solely with appearances, I was still optimistic. When I asked what he had in mind for the day, he told me that he wanted to go see a matinee and that he was totally “winning points for himself” by taking me to He's Just Not That Into You. Ummm, OK. I’m all about trashy romantic comedies—but with my girlfriends and not some guy who thinks it’s going to “win him points.” 7 Relationship Deal Breakers
Since he picked me up at 9:30 in the morning, and the movie wasn’t until 12:45, we had plenty of time to kill. I’m not sure which part of the next two and a half hours is the worst: the part where he took me into the Apple store to introduce me to all his old co-workers (who immediately assumed I was his girlfriend), or maybe when he took me to eat in the mall food court after we already had extensive conversations about my veganism and, when I couldn’t find anything to eat (shocker!), he proceeded to tell me that it was “because of people like me that girls had eating disorders.” Or maybe the worst part of the date was still to come: when he dragged me into a Victoria’s Secret to show me his favorite thong, even after I told him I was uncomfortable going into the store with him. Why You're Better Off Dating A Nerd
But in actuality, believe it or not, it got worse. Walking through a department store on the way back to the car, he insisted that I try on an ugly puffy jacket with a fur hood. I told him again that I want nothing to do with dead animals, but I finally told myself that I had to pick my battles and agreed to try on the coat. He pulled one off the rack.
"I think this one will fit you,” he said. It was an extra-extra-large.
I said that I thought the coat might be a little big.
“Well, how should I know? It’s not like you’re that small,” he responded.
Now, I’m proudly no size 2, but I wasn’t aware that being a size 10 was the new obese. And this is coming from someone who told me I had an eating disorder just an hour before? When I finally found something that I wanted to try on—a cute black tunic that he deemed “boring” since it wasn’t covered in fake jewels or a loud print—I was in the changing room in just my leggings and tank top when I looked up and saw him peering at me over the top of the door like the creeper in a horror movie.
I probably should have sucked it up and taken the $80 cab ride back to the city, but I decided to stick it out. After dealing with him trying to make out with me in the movie theatre, talking throughout the first half of the movie, and texting throughout the second, I was actually considering throwing myself in front of a bus just to end the misery. After the movie and the subsequent drive back into the city (where he proceeded to pick a fight about everything that was important to me (apparently he has no interest in being friends with gay people, feminism is for bitches, and the Palestinians deserve to be nuked, in that order), I was so angry at him—and myself for not just ditching him—that I had to completely stop talking in order not to smack him. Normal people would have gathered from my one-word responses, defiant body language, and generally angry attitude that I was uninterested in EVER seeing him again, but instead he called me every day for the next three days!
I’m surprised I was willing ever to go on another date again, though I’m glad I did, and that I gave Match.com another chance, because I think I may have finally found my Prince Charming.