Online Dating: Forced or Fabulous?
An old friend of mine posted on Facebook noting that she felt online relationships were forced and not necessarily a way to meet the person you’re going to spend either a few good months with or even the rest of your life. I went to comment my thoughts, both agreeing and disagreeing, but she removed the post before I could hit submit. :booo: … but thanks to good old copy and paste…and the thought being stuck in my head… I’ve moved it to here.
When it comes to online dating, I used to think it was the ‘meh… that’s not kosher’ way of life. I always felt there needed to be a person-to-person kind of connection in order to really find love or happiness. However, I never had that spark hit me and gave up. Now, I didn’t go looking for anyone.. life just kind of happened and maybe now I’m the exception to the rule. Sean and I have been together for 9 years, we’re engaged, we own a home together, and we’re at our happiest point of planning the rest of our lives. We met online. It wasn’t a dating site though, it was through my blog. We started going back and forth through comments and the rest kind of sparked from there. We knew each other based on our words first, not necessarily our pictures. Though, he is a cutie and he knows it.
For the most part though, we were pictureless people. We only spoke through email and instant messenger but we both have similar personalities and sarcasm coming out the wahzoo. It went comments to chat to phone, and eventually we met in person.
So yes, it could really go both ways. I’m not saying her way of thinking is wrong, far from it because I also believed that the old fashion ‘love and first sight’ thing needed to be more than just a profile picture and random duckface selfies going back and forth.
Her and I both had the benefit of growing up in a time where computers were just getting started so social media had no bearing on our everyday life (unfortunately it does now, but that’s a different issue). AOL was one of my first instances of being online and it, nationwide, became the ‘norm’ but I don’t believe any single person knew things would take off and advance the ways that they have. The general population didn’t see the bigger picture. If you went back to my 13 year old self and told me about Facebook I probably would have said “Hm… that’s nice, let me get back to my book”. Now? I’m unfortunately on it every single day – and not just for seeing what’s going on with the rest of my corner of the world, I’m managing like 60 different pages for my job..but I digress.
We knew based on all of those horrible 70’s, 80’s and 90’s movies that you dated people within your town or you met them at a party that X Y or Z was throwing as they did every Friday night. Or in those flash forward instances of walking into a coffee shop with your 22 year old self and bumping into a person where the angelic “”Ahhhh”” kind of music came into play and the persons face had a fresh 100 watt bulb shining into it for a halo effect. This wasn’t freaking normal either, it’s what Hollywood wanted us to believe. Actually meeting someone for the first time (depending on personalities) is the most awkward experience in the world. Body language changes, side smiles, giggles, awkward silence. Alcohol curbs most of these, not necessarily for the better, but I don’t drink so I wouldn’t know.
In the world we live in now – you have the option to swipe them left or right, you can follow a celebrity on all of their social media accounts and maybe they’ll notice you so to fulfill some long running fantasy of what you’d actually do with them if you had the chance. Then people go the complete opposite way and find someone who’s confident and comfortable with their body and jump on the hater bandwagon because they’re too fat, skinny, tall or purple. Log into your accounts and have to remove/deny numerous ‘friend’ requests from people you’ve never met and have no interest in but they found your profile pic and started to fap all over it. Or you can spend $40 a month and have a computer generate a match for you based on algorithms that were literally built by a programmer in the middle east for 50 cents an hour.
There’s a big difference between living behind a screen name and living in the real world. I think that’s where the ‘online dating’ thing gets misconstrued. The fantasy world of having everything you could ever want in a significant other with just the click of a button takes the priority over making a real connection based more on words and less on pictures.
Everyone wants a hot boyfriend or hot girlfriend, but everyone also has a different description of ‘hot’. There are people who look like her (a downright gorgeous girl with a good heart and soul) who get swiped over for someone with bluer eyes or darker hair. Then there’s people like me who would get swiped over by just about everyone unless they want their BBW fix. It’s just a matter of preference, it’s just easier to swipe on the phone than it is to do in person.
It’s all based on preference and everyone is too busy spending the day looking at their phones and not the people around them. Friends are hanging out in the same living room, none are talking but they’re having a great conversation on Twitter and Instagram. Hell, Sean and I wind up on google hangouts for most of the day because we work in two completely different areas of the house. My office is up stairs, his is in the basement but we always meet in the middle. When it comes to meeting someone online the ‘forced’ aspect is having to look up from your phone long enough to speak to them in person. It’s easier to like a pic or a status and move on than it is to have a proper conversation with someone.
As long as you are actually happy though, I don’t think it really matters how you meet someone. Now the Internet is the new ‘ladies night’ at the local bar. It’s unfortunately been added to the list of acceptable means of conversation. However, there is a level of ‘tradition’ that dating sites are trying to bring back in order to take some of the anonymity off of social media and put people face to face. Such as the theme night / bar nights that Match is hosting now. The flip side of that is the fact that people are actually paying monthly to utilize a service that’s telling them to go bowling. And that literally makes me laugh.