Thanks to Quinn (find her blog here: When Do I Get The Manual?), I realized I highly praised the online dating world in a previous post, but I did not address some of the ugly consequences of online dating.
And here is one. One of many.
Swipe left. Swipe right. Oh, he’s cute, swipe right. He’s getting a PhD, swipe right! Swipe left, swipe left, swipe right on the one with the snowboarding picture!
Swiping left and right isn’t just something you do when playing a game on your phone. Swiping is basically the 2017 version of “putting yourself out there.” And boy, is it different from “putting yourself out there” when a screen isn’t involved.
When scanning the crowd at a bar on a Friday night, you don’t have the luxury of locking eyes with a handsome stranger, and suddenly a biography of said stranger pops up. All of a sudden, you can learn Stranger’s name, age, town, and random facts that he has spilled in the hopes it would get the attention of someone like you. And in the blink of an eye, Stranger is not quite as mysterious and scary as he was pre-profile.
You do have this luxury when it comes to online dating. However, if you were paying attention, this is not an Online Dating Appreciation post. This is to talk about one of the many downsides of dating.
You have been talking to Jamie and Alex for a few weeks now. Jamie is in his last semester of ungrad and has a job lined up for the fall as a website designer. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, works our regularly, and cooks. Yep, you heard right, he COOKS. But…Alex is two years older than you, and is a high school algebra teacher. He has dreamy green eyes, brown hair, volunteers at an animal shelter, and loves the same television shows and movies as you do. Two great people, dates with both have been a success…but now what? It’s pretty much impossible to meet and talk to two guys at the same time in a bar, and have successful dates with both. But in the online world, it is quite easy to begin the dating process with two people at once. You just assume one or even both of the guys will turn out to be a loser – maybe one never broke up with his ex, while the other is catfishing you. Maybe you’re a dog person, but one hates dogs, and the other has ten cats and a pet Python.
It’s rare and hard enough to click well with one person, but when you click with TWO people…? That just screams trouble.
Well, Internet, I have been through this. Different names, different occupations, but I went through it. And there is a semi-happy ending to this story.
I say “semi-happy” because this story does not end messy…but, I am currently single. So, obviously, it didn’t work out with Jamie OR Alex.
Life isn’t like The Bachelor – You don’t string two people along, having the exact same feelings for them at the exact same time until you are forced by national television to pick someone quite similarly to picking if you want the turkey sandwich or grilled cheese for lunch. Deep down, you know who you have stronger feelings for. You know you really want the grilled cheese. And that’s why when you flip a coin, if it lands on heads and head is the turkey sandwich, you feel a twinge of disappointment, proof of what you wanted all along.
So, I chose the grilled cheese. Except, unlike with my lunch, I had to tell the runner-up the truth.
When Jamie asked me for another date, I told him the truth. The whole truth. That I was also talking to someone else, and I had to see where it would go with the “someone else.”
And you know what happened? Now remember, folks – This is a TRUE STORY.
Jamie THANKED ME. Yes, you heard correctly. He. Thanked. Me. He thanked me for being honest instead of giving a bad excuse for calling things off, or for hiding it and progressing with the both of them. Now, is that maturity or what?! I never knew maturity could be so sexy!
In my gut, I knew Jamie wasn’t the right one for me (though he proved how awesome it was to meet someone incredibly mature!). But…I did say this story ends only semi-happy. And stating that, plus my current relationship status, was a big spoiler alert. Because I am no longer seeing Alex. Neither Jamie nor Alex was right for me. And for all of you out there with Jamies and Alexes, don’t go for the turkey sandwich because it didn’t work out with the grilled cheese. You never wanted the turkey sandwich to begin with. Try something new, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new, favorite lunch food.
And for normal 20-something speech, and not hungry adulting speech, what I mean is: Don’t go back to the second guy as a rebound if the first guy didn’t work out. Don’t settle. Neither one was right for you. Spending your time with someone who you know won’t work out will just waste your time, and will prevent you from finding someone who it could work out with.
There are ups and downs to everything – To trying to cook a new meal, taking a new route to get to work, online dating. The important question is: Are you willing to deal with the “downs” to find the “ups”?
If you don’t try, you could be missing out on a hell of a lot of “ups.”
In the mean time, I’m going to order something new for lunch today.