Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Revelations galore

I don't know what it is but I have just been having all sorts of revelations lately. I think it partially has to do with the fact that fall is near. And while it's been a whole five years since I've been starting a new school year come this time of year, after 23 years of school, I guess it's just engrained in my brain. This time of year always makes me feel like we're at a fresh start, maybe even more so than the new calendar year does. It was always a time of change. A new year, a new grade, different classes, different living arrangements, etc. The air changes, the smells change, even our wardrobe changes. So I suppose, given that many years of change at this time of year, it hasn't worn off yet. And I'm okay with that.

So here's a couple of these revelations of change I've been having lately. Not surprisingly (whatsoever) most of these have been in regards to dating. (Mid-post update: I started writing this post and then realized it was a novel. So you're only getting one revelation for today. You'll be thankful by the time you get to the end, trust me.)

I'm no longer messing with the universe.
I get online dating. I understand why people do it. I even understand that in many situations, it works. I suppose, in some fucked up way, you can even say it has worked for me in the past (that is, if we're using "worked" in the loosest sense possible.) But in talking with friends and co-workers recently, I feel like it has led me to feel like I'm messing just a little too much with "the plan." Whether you believe it's God, or the universe, or fate, most people believe there's a plan for our lives. And quite frankly I am starting to feel like I'm interfering with it. (And y'all know, as a huge planner myself, I am NOT a fan of f'ing with any plans.)

What I have always considered the biggest benefit to online dating has suddenly turned into the biggest drawback for me. You can narrow down a big ol' pool in no time at all, using the most specific (read: picky) parameters possible. Essentially, you feel like you're building a pool of elligible bachelors that are all "ideal." Weeding through hundreds and hundreds in a matter of minutes. But how can you really define ideal by those things? Sure I can check a shitload of boxes and end up with men who are all over 6' tall, speak English, graduated high school, have never been married, don't have kids, live within 25 miles of me, have a job, don't drink every day, like sports, stay active, go to church, etc. (Overwhelmed yet?)

But what if I don't even know what ideal is? I mean, let's face it. After 27 years of me selecting men for myself, it hasn't exactly ended up how I pictured it at 13. What if Mr. Ideal is 5'10? What if he's divorced? Or has a kid? Or lives 500 miles away from me? Sure, I could just leave all my parameters open while online dating, but seriously, I'm a little exhausted from weeding through the frogs as it is! And really, if I don't put anything down, isn't that just like dating in real life? It's much easier to "toss out" those guys when I know so little about them. Sure I can see their profile, flip through a couple pictures, but I don't know them.

And really, nothing compares to meeting someone. Surprisingly, I've noticed you learn 100 times more information about someone in just a few minutes of face to face interaction than in a handful of e-mails back and forth. Even though you're specifically information digging in those e-mails. And an experienced online dater has a list of their "get to know you" questions, even with those, nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to interpersonal communication. Interaction. The way people have been falling in love, lust and friendship for years and years.

So this revelation has led me to the (almost 100% decided) conclusion that I'm done with online dating. Everyone who really knows me keeps telling me they don't think this is how I'm going to meet "him". And I'm starting to think the same. Although, I also wonder if not this, then how? But that takes us to tomorrow's revelation...

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