by Kate Richlin-Zack
Online dating is both awesome and dreadful. The possibility that you could connect with the future the love of your life from the comfort of your living room while bleaching your ‘stache and shoveling General Tso’s chicken in your face is pretty spectacular. And it beats the bar scene on convenience alone. You don’t have to get all dolled up. You can search on your own time rather than live within the confines of happy hour and last call. And when guys hit on you via emails or winks or whatever non-committal bullshit form of interaction your dating website of choice features, you can simply ignore it rather than feeling like a complete bitch as he stands there looking at you all rejected when you refuse to give him your number.
But for as awesome as it is, it’s also friggin miserable and here are my top five reasons why I hate online dating:
Sheer numbers – You might think having access to millions of people is a good thing and if you’re taking a shotgun approach to dating then yes, numbers matter. Statistically speaking, the more people you have access to, the more likely you are to find a date. Unfortunately, we’re talking quantity not quality in this case and the more people you have access to, the more crazy people you have access to and the harder it is to find someone of quality let alone someone with whom you’re compatible. Even if you’re really specific with your criteria – must be over six feet tall, have a job, live within 20 miles, not be vegetarian, and love dogs – you will still get more matches than you care to sort through. And after awhile they all start to sound like the exact same brand of boring: “I like to go out but I like to stay in… I’m a T-shirt and jeans kinda guy but I clean up nicely…. I’m looking for a partner in crime… I’m just as boring in person as I am in this profile… blah blah blah.”
Timing – Here’s the million dollar question: how long do you exchange emails and texts before you actually meet in person? I personally think exchanging a few emails before committing to an actual date is a great idea. Why am I going to bother changing out of my sweats if I can tell via email you’re a total loser? That being said, the email exchange can’t go on for too long. Number one, there’s a shelf life on enthusiasm and the excitement of meeting someone new can fizzle out all too easily if you’re spending weeks trying to coordinate schedules and number two, I want a boyfriend not a pen pal. But then there are the guys who want to meet you immediately which is also disconcerting. “Now? You want to meet now? Ha! That’s not gonna happen. More than likely you’re some crazed axe murderer because only crazy people exhibit that level of spontaneity. Also, recall, the upside of online dating is that I don’t have to be presentable while in search of a boyfriend and I’m taking full advantage which means right now I’m sporting raggedy sweats and I’m slathered in zit cream. I could easily be mistaken for an Olsen twin in desperate need of a good dermatologist so no, I will not be meeting up with you right now.”
People lie – It’s far too easy to fabricate the life you wish you had with an online dating profile. Height, weight, salary, location. All of which are the dumbest things to lie about too! With the click of your mouse you can be jet setting supermodel with a six figure salary when in fact you’re a troll living in the spare bedroom. And there’s absolutely no way to know if someone is telling the truth until you meet him in person and even then, people still lie.
Too much information – In contrast to those people who lie, there are just as many people who are far too honest. I don’t know if some people are really comfortable sharing personal information or if the internet as a medium lends itself to over-sharing. Either way, people post WAY too much information online (and that’s coming from a blogger whose only rule is to write about things that embarrass the crap out of me). I hate when guys put something in their profile like “I just got out of a long term relationship so I finally caved and decided to give this whole online dating thing a try.” Way to set yourself up for failure, dude. Guess what, I’m online looking for a date, so thanks for the backhanded insult. And by the way, no one wants to be your rebound hook up. Even worse is the guy who posts a picture with some pretty girl sitting on his lap. I know she’s your ex-girlfriend and now she has a face that is forever etched in my retina and eventually I’ll be trolling through your Facebook friends to find her so I can creep on her profile and find out the real reason you two are not together anymore. In a late night drunken moment of weakness, I might even contact her for details so please do me a favor and spare us both that humiliation; crop her out first or better yet, pick a different photo! Every jerk-off has a camera on their phone and I’m sure you’re friends with one of them. But the worst of all are the guys who go into detail about their sexual preferences. Listen, Christian Grey, I’m impressed that you managed to disguise your kinky fetishes through clever innuendo so as to avoid getting flagged by the Terms-of-Service-and-Human-Decency police (unless you’re using Craigslist), but your freaky profile is freaking me out and now I need to bleach my eye sockets. Unfortunately, no matter what I do, I can’t un-read what I just read.
And speaking of too much information…
Dick pics – A word of advice to the guys out there: no woman wants a photo of your penis. Even your wife doesn’t really want a photo of your penis. Women are not as visual as guys. We prefer to experience things and a picture of your aroused trouser monkey is only going to make us start asking questions like, “How many of those pictures did he take before he got one that wasn’t totally blurry?… Should I reply back and recommend that he see a doctor because I can’t tell if that’s a mole?… Is he really bare-assing his desk chair? I hope he’s at least working from home today.” It takes us awhile to get around to thinking “oh that’s so hot” if we ever get there at all… which is highly unlikely.
Kate’s Dates runs every other Wednesday on Kate-book.com. It is written by the lovely Kate Richlin-Zack, who fully admits to majoring in engineering to meet guys. Her articles have been featured on xoJane, YourTango, and Romance Never Dies. She’s been quoted in Fox News Magazine and featured on Huffington Post Live. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.