1. The problem people have with dating websites, I’ve noticed, is high expectations. I’m pretty sure “short-term,” to a guy, is dating, “dating” is meeting someone and maybe having sex, and “friends” is a nice way of saying fuck buddies. Anybody who has “long term” checked scares me. You don’t need to be as cynical as me, but be careful. Dating websites require lowered expectations. This makes it easier when things don’t work and better when they do. Of course, I’ve only used the free kind. I don’t know anything about e-harmony and the like, but I think you have to pay so they must be more serious. They definitely try to come off as serious.
2. Anyway, here are some of my experiences. (Select details have been changed to protect the guys).
- The Austrian-born guy, who, after we’d talked a little one evening, (a mostly one-sided conversation about how ugly and stupid the girls he had dated were), said he was going to kill himself if I didn’t go out with him. I didn’t really believe him, especially after he told me he didn’t actually want to die, “but seriously, I’m that lonely.” I blocked him when I felt comfortable with that decision, and he somehow got around it a couple months later to say hi, so I know he’s okay. Well, alive anyway.
- The Existentialist and I really didn’t get along at all. Everything he said rubbed me the wrong way, and every time I tried to explain how I felt to him he’d get something completely foreign out of it. The worst of it was that every time I said anything, he would tell me what that “made” me. Absurdest, humanist, existentialist, deist, none of which he could define, none of which I particularly felt came anywhere near defining me. One statement does not make a person, and neither does one word. Still, we remained friends until one of our deaths seemed imminent, and we haven’t talked since.
- The Libertarian and I had awesome conversations. It didn’t go anywhere, but I liked hanging out with him. We talked about starting a cult based on the fact that DaVinci’s “John the Babtist” and Robert Plant look disturbingly similar. Everyone must have long curly hair. I think it makes about as much sense as Scientology, so it’s bound to be a success.
- The Inch Worm didn’t get past the first date. He listed all his sexual encounters (along with the size and shape of the woman) while slowly inching closer to me. We were sitting on the grass at the park, and he “inched” by laying down, sitting up closer to me, laying down, sitting up closer to me, and so on and so forth until he literally laid himself across my lap to look at my cell phone. About a week and a half later he changed his facebook status to “engaged.” A few days after that, it was back to single. Hm.
- Led Zeppelin wore his shoes every time he fucked me. It’s not like we had frenzied, no-time-to-get-completely-undressed sex. He just never took them off. I would look down and there his shoes would be, on his feet, below his naked body. It was disconcerting.
3. While dating websites are beneficial for the shy, and for those who allow their expectations to be deflated slightly, I can’t decide if they’re worth it. Socially awkward is one thing, threatening suicide is another entirely. And while not every user is…”unbalanced,” how can you possibly figure out which aren’t, save trial and error? I feel like I spend more time on dating websites weeding out the creeps than finding someone I truly enjoy spending time with.
Though I’m not sure how much different that is from meeting people out in the real world.