After my four year relationship, ended I decided to try online dating. It wasn’t something I was particularly excited about, but I wasn’t entirely sure how to meet someone new. Not to mention, my shift pattern at work doesn’t allow for much of a social life. And I refuse to meet a man in a bar.
I’ve never liked the idea of meeting someone through a screen. It’s false, forced and far from romantic. I hate the fact that everyone is trying to be someone they’re not.
Texts are crafted to make you sound hilarious but not over-bearing, flirtatious but not slutty, smart but not pretentious.
The whole thing is an act.
But I was lonely and to be honest, craving male attention, even if it was from some weirdo with a pet tarantula and a need to send 27 back-to-back texts in one sitting.
So I signed up to match.com, and after a lot of convincing from a single friend, Tinder. I deleted Tinder twice, after one guy decided to inform me very bluntly that he’d love to taste my asshole. (Yes, he actually said that.) And another time because a man became aggressive after I didn’t reply to an earlier, offensive comment.
It actually made me cry.
I sat there staring at this stream of horny men’s crude messages and I ached for my ex, who even in his dirtiest of texts would have never, ever disrespect me.
Match was a little better. Men actually wanted to get to know me, but after a week I deleted that too. It felt…unnatural. And no matter how charming or seemingly good-looking these dudes were, I couldn’t feel a connection. I didn’t sense chemistry.
I couldn’t know that look in their eye when we smiled at each other.
And I was afraid that after a few messages they’d want to meet face-to-face, and then what? A slightly awkward conversation over a bottle of wine and maybe, just maybe there’s something there? I couldn’t face it.
As much as I respect the people who go through this miserable process, who happily tell friends and family they met their significant other online, I do not want that for myself.
I want to tell you how he saw me reading his favorite novel in a coffee shop and he just had to ask me what I thought of it. I want an instant spark, a friendship which forms over months, both of us knowing there’s something more there.
I want something raw. I want the kind of stories my grandparents tell me on their wedding anniversary. I want chance meetings and fate.
I want the kind of ‘romantic crap’ you see scrawled over pages in Nicholas Sparks novels. I want a love so epic that there will never be enough time for me to write about all of our adventures.
I do not want modern dating; I want an old fashioned kind of love.
I want a slow-burn. A stubborn flame. I want a Noah and Allie or Meredith and Derek kind of love. I want natural, unforced, serendipitous love. And I sure as hell won’t find that through a screen.