Why Online Dating Is Not Stupid At All

Let’s just get the ball rolling by admitting right off the bat: I had an OKCupid account. Not one of those “OH LOL I JUST SET THIS THING UP TO LAUGH AT THE DISEASE BAGS THAT TROLL THIS STUPID SITE I’D NEVER USE ACTUALLY USE IT LOL” accounts. I didn’t trip and fall onto my keyboard at just the right angle to register myself with the side of my face. I consciously, actively set up my account, and used it. Although I stopped using it quite some time ago (upon moving to a part of the earth where it doesn’t really exist), I met guys on there; some I just talked to, some I went out with IRL. Though I no longer have it, if I found myself single-and-looking again, I would not hesitate to crank that bad boy back up and go fishing once more. This is why online dating is totally worth your time, and not just if you’re a recluse with a goiter:

Not Just Lepers Have Trouble Meeting People

It’s easy to divide society into two neat little categories: social rejects who need the romantic equivalent of a booster seat to get a date, and all the sexy people who can just walk into a Quizno’s and meet their soulmate at the condiment bar. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in. There are all kinds of hindrances to meeting cool people (your classmates are pretentious, your neighborhood is dull, your colleagues sap your will to live, etc.) and they are problems that we all live with, no matter how sexy or vivacious we are. It’s not unusual to find yourself less-than-thrilled at the prospects of the people you’d meet out on a Friday night, especially if you don’t live in a city of a zillion people who are all just dying to give each other HPV. Sometimes we’re in a small pond, or our pond just isn’t that great. There’s nothing wrong with broadening your horizons, no matter who you are.

Bars Are Not the Be-All End-All of Human Civilization

I am not going to make the blanket statement that you won’t meet your soulmate at a bar, I know it happens. My parents met at a bar, I have friends who met at a bar, and I’m sure those are not the only two exceptions on a planet of nearly 7 billion people. I get that it’s physically possible. Though, really, is this the hook upon which you want to hang all of your romantic hopes and dreams? Who goes to a bar putting their best foot forward? I go to a bar to dance in a small cluster with my friends, drink lemon drops, glare at people when they step on my shoes, spill my drink on people and go “OMG I’M SOOOO SORRY,” and occasionally yell “Woooooooh.” Not to meet the man of my dreams. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust a man whose first impression of me was Drunk Chelsea and still wanted to take me out for Thai food. What is he hiding?

By the Time I Have Grandkids, Meeting Online Will Be NBD

I can only imagine, given the logical progression of the internet and society at large, that fifty years from now it will be considered romantic and quaint if you didn’t meet in a hardcore S&M video chat room hosted by Jack Link’s beef jerky. I don’t know where we’re all headed, but I can tell you that the online dating we have now is the very tippy top of the iceberg. We’ve started to realize, as a society, that we can read what people are like before we meet them,at least finding out if they have a basic grasp of elementary spelling and are able to coherently form sentences, and it’s awesome. Our grandkids will likely be pre-matched with their actual soulmate, found through some terrifying algorithm designed by a faceless Chinese conglomerate, and dating itself will be a funny little quirk of the past. I, for one, like this middle ground.

There Is Still the Element of Mystery

As much as finding out that someone likes edamame and The Wire allows you to form a vague idea about them, and perhaps even obsess, it certainly doesn’t even paint close to a full picture in your mind. Being able to know just bits and pieces of who a person is, and having to build your anticipation and excitement on their thoughts and opinions, instead of the drunken makeout the night you met at the bar, is a wonderful way to draw things out and make the butterflies last. We’re forcing ourselves to get to know each other bit by excruciating bit, exchanging flirtatious emails and falling in love with the way the other one writes. It’s almost old-fashioned, if you think about it. And the mystery of what they will be like when you finally meet them, after you built up this funny little image of your head is, regardless of outcome, an exciting surprise.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Guys Who Date Online

Rule #1 of the universe: There are creeps, and there are cool, decent people. This is true in school, at work, at the grocery store, on OKCupid, on Match.com, in your local bar, at the blood drive, at the free clinic, on JDate, and at Wimbledon. Internet dating is a mixed bag, like anything else. But look at it this way, if the guy actually took the time to write an interesting, witty, funny little blurb about himself to attract you instead of just going “Hey sexy lemme buy you a drink hnnnnrh,” he’s 93 percent more likely to read your poetry, pick you up from the airport, and be nice to your mom. That is just science. TC mark

image – Don Hankins

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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