Disclaimer: I know a few lovebirds who’ve met their soul mates on dating apps. I know even more lovebirds who’ve met their soul mates on Instagram, Facebook and Linkedin. Like lone flowers growing amongst uneven slabs of concrete, love is possible anywhere.
However, my dating app experiences, have been super shitty–total mismatches. No mutual friends, no heat, no smoke and certainly no fire. And like Pavlov’s dogs, I now associate swiping with dread and doom.
On social media apps, however, my dating experiences have been a little less shitty. Personally, Facebook has been my most successful app, followed by Instagram, and then Linkedin. But everyone has their preference.
I’ve had two Facebook relationships, each with lots of mutual friends. The first only lasted 6 dates, so it was more like a “brief knowing”. A mutual Facebook friend introduced us over dinner. He seemed to adore me right off the bat, laughing at every dumb joke I made, which susceptible me found appealing. He then admitted he had been following me on Facebook for quite some time. “Sweet,” I thought instead of thinking, “stalker”. Dopey me continued in my reverie, “He knows my writing. He knows my feminist rants. He knows me!” Nope! He just knew my pictures, the “hottest” ones.
And here lies the problem. Social media, for all of its positives, is the perfect platform to portray a false representation of one’s self. And even if one’s feed is jam- packed with political activism, somewhere sandwiched in between is a smiley, one-dimensional pic, ready for his picking and projection.
My second Facebook relationship lasted three and half months, a big improvement. This one reached out to me via instant messenger. “A real go getter!” I thought. Besides his cute profile pic, he seemed earnest. He liked the Mets, he was single and one day, wanted kids. He wasn’t flashy or caught up in Bravado. There was no funny business with the Facebook pokes, and waves and prods. No slimy messages. He kept it on the straight and narrow.
We hit off! Go Facebook! Who needs OkCupid? But he was embarrassed by our origins of the meeting. It made him feel like a creeper. And while I thought it was playful and contemporary, he preferred we make up a whole story about meeting at a boring bar. We butted heads like total champs. But the sex was great!
I had high hopes for this one. He DM’d me, “Randomly came across your Instagram feed. I like your writing. Let me take you out for a drink some time. ” He was cute, assertive, and complimentary. I perused his Instagram photos and envisioned a whole life together. I had an intuitive feeling he was the one.
The night of our date, a fire broke out across the rooftop from my parents’ place in Manhattan. It was so big it was in the news. I spent most of our date calling my parents to get play by plays. “It’s jumping across to other building!” my mother said. “The flames are huge!” My father said.
The date didn’t go so well. To be fair, he had steep competition. His quiet disposition and lack of communication skills were no match for a raging fire. It was all just so exciting on the other end of the phone. And then he mentioned he’d never been in a relationship before and I just didn’t feel like breaking him in.
I never went on a Linkedin date but I ALMOST did. I received the most beautiful love letter via Linkedin. This man saw my profile on Bumble ( btw. even if you delete the app you’re eternally in their spooky system) and poured his heart out. But then he worried his message may have disappeared in the Linkedin Vacuum, so he emailed me for good measure. I was surprised Linkedin listed my private email, but none the less, I’ve always appreciated a thorough man.
He ended his romantic message with: “While your Bumble account is probably left-over from 2007, and you’ve been happily married since 2008, and though even if not, while every little girl dreams of meeting the man of her dreams by synchronized non-left swipes, no one ever looked at LinkedIn and thought “why don’t more men hit me up on here?” But maybe some chilly day when you’re feeling adventurous you’ll let me buy you a whiskey or cocoa and chat.”
“Oh dear God, he’s the one,” I thought, “He knows I like hot cocoa!” So I replied via Linkedin, “I’ll have a whiskey with you. Might I see a picture?”
But then came a torrent of photos. Not two, or four, or eight or twenty, but thirty or forty plus, all arranged together as a collage which he admittedly made just for me. He even wrote bubbles narrating the photos. It wasn’t just pictures of him. Then came an onslaught of his animals. He had three dogs, and a rabbit which I must say warmed my heart. But it was all too much, so I chucked him off as crazy. To be fair, everyone is entitled to a little crazy, but not right off the bat before the first date.
Dating apps aren’t my thing and perhaps, social media dating isn’t either. Although, in order of shittiness, I’ve had far more luck with latter. What I prefer, is straight up real life, chance encounters. Although, to be fair those can be shitty too.
But!! I just can’t help myself. I believe I’ll meet him at the right moment. Whether it’s through (eye roll) the world wide web, an app, or bumping into him at a boring old bar, I think it all comes down to timing and maybe even —-fate. Call me a hopeless romantic!