In Online Dating I Trust

You've Got Mail
You’ve Got Mail

I distinctly remember when I was a little girl, consumed by playing with pretty little Barbie dolls in neon pleather and having a thirst for digging up worms in moist soil, my elders surrounding me, fingering the tips of my chlorine infested hair and telling me these exact instructions:

“When you grow up, Jennifer,” they said as they pinched my cheeks so tightly that it looked like I put on a little too much Estee Lauder blush, “The boys will be knocking down your door.”

Well here I am. I’m 25, soon to be 26, living in NYC, in an apartment with four sturdy walls and what do you know—a door! A door with a doorbell, for crying out loud, so if a nice charmer wanted to come over and had too many gifts to shower me with in his hands, he wouldn’t have to fumble around trying to knock, he could just ring the freaking doorbell.

It’s silent around here.

The only people who come knocking are delivery men, who know me, intimately, by the side dishes I order with my dumplings, and my non gregarious neighbors who knock frantically to tell me to stop pretending I’m Jimmy Page by rocking out on the guitar at the measly hour of 2 AM.

If ever there was a time for a line to form, now would be it! What a grand location to even have a line. It could wrap around the peeling edges of mustard wall paper and curve alongside the building, coming to a starving end right outside of the 2nd Avenue Deli that I live above. What a deal — win my heart over and then we can go halves on a pastrami and rye sandwich.

Also, it’s spring time now. There’s a nice chill in the air and the heaters work just dandy in the hallways. There are even outlets for you to charge your phones and plush carpet, for you to glide your bum on while you’re awaiting.

The truth is I’m sick of complaining that I’m single. I’m equally sick of convincing myself that if I spend all my free time watching “Keeping up with one of those Kardashians” that somehow, someway, I’ll be putting myself out there in the universe and be attracting the attention of the male species.

The reason most of us are STILL single: Evaluate where you spend most of your time. Who you spend it with. What you do while you’re there. If your answers include: alone, with my girlfriends, at crowded bars talking in a closed circle, or watching Netflix in between my couch cushions, then there’s your answer.

There will come a day when you’ll find yourself buried underneath so many empty ice cream cartons and so much self-pity that you’ll kick the wallowing bucket and allow yourself to realize if you want to change, if you want the boys to start knocking at your door, you have to find them, dazzle them, grab them by their sweaty thumbs and teach them how knock. You have to, as my ballroom dancing teacher once tried to teach me how to do: grab a hold of a partner and mirror their lead. Hoping to get set up with your Aunt Sally Sue’s Mah Jongg playing friend’s son or wiggle around going bonkers over admiring a straphanger reading James Joyce on the subway anticipating they will miraculously pause on chapter 10 and ask for your number, is not enough.

I’ve been in NYC for over one year and I’ve tried to date the Darwinistic, natural selection, way. I’ve met guys at Shabbat dinners, while blurting out the lyrics to a Flo Rida song at a club. I even once went on a date with someone from my Ultimate Frisbee team. But I still haven’t found anyone that makes me want to scribble their names all over my to-do list at work or bring them home to dabble in a Spanish Inquisition of questions by my parents.

And so, recently, the idea of online dating knocked on my solid, pristine door, and I answered it by spending 45 minutes putting together a profile of my who, what, where, why and when.

Why would I turn to such an impersonal way of meeting someone when I find myself to be such a personal human being?

Because sometimes we realize that there’s not enough hours in the day to change where we disburse our time and therefore are not meeting enough people, or we find ourselves in a very serious, very complicated relationship with our career to-do list, or we simply just become sick of meeting tequila breath “bro’s” at stale local bars.

Either way, it’s a great alternative to searching for love on Craigslist or LinkedIn, which I may or may not have tried before. TC Mark

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