So, I've been meaning to do this post for awhile, but never really took the time to sort out what exactly it is I wanted to say. But I think I can essentially some it up with the following sentence:
On-line dating is absolutely fucked.
No, I mean really, really fucked.
Honestly, it all boggles my mind.
Since when did we become more comfortable swiping left and right on our phones for a prospective date or potential partner than actually having face to face conversations with one another at grocery stores, pubs, libraries.
We can't even walk down the street without having our faces buried in our phones. People also don't smile as much as they used to.
This is what it's like these days to be in your mid 30s and single. You're over the bar scene and the vast majority of your friends are either in committed relationships or married already. So, where does that leave you then - the only single girl in your group of friends? I had to expand my friend circle for one - which came about in such a weird and unexpected way.
But ... back to the dating scene. First of all, I have questions.
When did it become OK for guys to think that it was acceptable to send us dick pics? Like, honestly. What's the thought process behind that? Do they think that somehow by sending us pictures of their junk that we're going to immediately jump into bed with them or something?! Has that ever worked for anyone? I don't get it. I can't speak for all of us who have received dick pics, but based on my experience ... was there every any indication at any point of our text conversation that I really wanted to know what your penis looks like? Did you assume that that was a vital piece of information I needed to know about you? Hell, I haven't even decided if I want to give you my phone number yet and you're just gonna whip your junk out, take a picture of it and send it to me?! I suppose on one hand I should thank you - because you certainly made it clear whether or not I wanted to continue any interaction with you.
I mean, we wouldn't accept someone flashing their penis around in public would we? I'm pretty sure it's a punishable offense in some areas. So why all of a sudden does it become normal behavior on-line?!
Delete. Block. Good bye.
And can someone please explain to me when ghosting became something acceptable as well, please?
Like, what the actual fuck. Since when did it become okay to start chatting a person up and just getting to know each other when all of a sudden the other person just disappears. That's like leaving an actual face-to-face conversation for no reason. You both could be sat down, having a coffee or sharing pizza or whatever, and she's probably right in the middle of telling you a story about herself as a kid when you just get up while she's mid-sentence and just walk away.
What the hell, man?!
That's so rude! You would never do that to a person - at least, a decent person wouldn't.
So can somebody please explain to me why it's OK to just disappear on-line? Just be fucking honest. Either you like the person you match with or you don't. You're either interested in the conversation or you aren't, or maybe you don't feel the spark or see the potential of a date. If that's the case then just fucking say so!
On-line dating comes around and all of sudden everyone sort've operates in this veil of anonymity. We think that because we're operating on our phones behind a screen that we're suddenly granted some imaginary free pass to act however we feel like, that we can treat people like shit whenever we want.
Do you understand how completely messed up that is?!
Now, that's not to say that I'm completely innocent here either. I'm sure I've ghosted people, but I honestly try my hardest not to. It either goes somewhere, or it doesn't. Just because I don't know this particular person from the broad side of a barn doesn't mean that I have a free pas to easily discard them. My Momma raised me better than that. In fact, I think the vast majority of us were raised better than that.
I would think that it's just common courtesy to tell someone you aren't interested, or you don't see things going anywhere.
I think ghosting became so prevalent because it's just so goddamn easy. Block. Delete. Good bye. You don't have to justify anything to anyone. You can just ... leave.
Something else I don't understand is this - and this is a true story, it totally happened not that long ago.
I matched with a guy on Bumble. It's ladies choice, so we always make initial contact which is sort of nice, as opposed to Tinder where you can get a constant barrage of messages that range from corny pick up lines to slut shaming to the highest art form of dick pics. So, we match. Conversation starts and it went something along the lines of this:
Me: Hi, how are you?
Him: I'm fine. How are you? Wanna hook up?
WHAT?! Are you kidding me?! Again, I guess I should thank him for not wasting my time because that's a pretty good indication that that's not a situation I want to get involved in. I also had another guy tell me that he had just woken up and was thinking of me (if you catch my drift) and that he liked one of my pictures in which I happened to be wearing red lipstick.
I asked him if he thought that was something appropriate to say to me, considering we'd barely exchanged more than a handful of words. His response was that he was just being honest and what was my problem - I didn't like honesty? So now, here I am on the defensive saying that yes, I do appreciate honesty, but I do not to need to know how you're getting your motor running in the morning and that I was done with this conversation.
I've had another guy ask me to hook up and when I said that I wasn't in the habit of sleeping with random strangers that I don't know he said that I had passed the marriage material test. Given the current environment of on-line dating where you have to vet the absolute shit out of everyone I didn't really make too much of it at the time. But, it kept coming up during the course of our conversation and when I kept refusing he left. I can't be too mad about it though - at least he gave me the excuse that he was going out of town camping for the long week end and that he'd talk to me when he got back.
I've also had some really great dates via on-line channels as well. Probably the most memorable of which was heading out to Banff for the day. On the drive out we talked about my questionable decision making process - I mean, I had just agreed to get in a car with a complete stranger and drive through the mountains, not once acknowledging the fact that I could have ended up dead in a ditch somewhere. But, he was a gentleman and I lived to tell the tale.
The only thing I can compare on-line dating to is an open air meat market. Some of the vendors have been there for ages - we'll call them the regulars. They have a small and dedicated customer who come back time and again to get exactly what they need. Then there are the vendors who dress whatever it is their selling up in pretty packages and fancy lines but when you open it it turns out to be something completely different. Then there are the newbie vendors, who are just trying out the local market to see what it's all about and how it works, and maybe they'll get a customer or two. And then there are those vendors who claim to be stuck at the market for far longer than they wanted to be because they're looking for that one customer who's gonna eliminate their need to be there in the first place.
And, here you are ... brand new customer at the market, and all the vendors are just eyeballing you hard, calling out to you and trying to get your attention hoping you'll do business with them. Honestly nothing in this world makes you feel more like a piece of meat then on-line dating.
On-line dating has made me skeptical. I rarely take someone at their word these days. I suspect ulterior motives at all times (usually). The thought of something real and genuine coming from an app seems about as likely to happen (in my own opinion) as unicorns repopulating the earth, or finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I could go on, but I think that the following little meme - which made me laugh way more than it should have - sums it all up perfectly.