I wouldn’t say it is virtually impossible to meet someone the old-fashioned way, but it’s really difficult in this day and age. It is crazy to me that I have to refer to meeting someone by chance, out at the bar, or at the supermarket.. the old-fashioned way.. but this is our reality.
When I was a sophomore in college, I wanted a mature relationship. My seasoned roommate/bff recommended I go the online dating route. I was only 20 at the time, but figured I would give it a try.
I joined OkCupid. I will preface this by saying this experience was a shit show. LOL. While I do have hilarious stories from my time online, I would never wish them on anybody. There is nothing worse than meeting a guy that lies about his height, says some pretty vulgar things, “forgets” his credit card, expects me to pay for an entire meal and his movie ticket, oh.. and reeks of chewing tobacco.. all on the first date. Let’s just say this was also the last date.
I once met a guy who wouldn’t stop talking about his ex-girlfriend… the entire time. GTFO buddy.
My motto during this period in my life.. ON TO THE NEXT ONE. I also went on a double blind date with my roomie. That was one for the books.
I got so frustrated with OkCupid. After many failed dates, my mom paid for a 3 month subscription to Match.com for me. (Thanks Mom!)
Match was a much better experience. Still not amazing.. but better. When you have to pay for a service, it’s inevitable that there are going to be serious individuals. There are still goofballs who just want to hit and run, but I did meet some great guys. They were just not for me.
I had reached my final straw on 1/15/14. I was on the train going to meet a guy in the city (lesson learned, you never go to a guy). He stopped answering me while I was on the train. Later blaming it on a plumber working in his apartment. I was frustrated and about to give up. Literally crying on the West Trenton Line. The SEPTA employee said something really nice to me. I sometimes think he was an angel. So I saved the regional rail pass to remind me of the kindness of a stranger.
In February of 2014, (I say he messaged me, he says I messaged him, twice hah!), I met my boyfriend. I had zero expectations at this point. I was willing to give it one last shot. Kevin met me in West Chester. A coffee date turned into lunch, which then then turned into talking and walking around town. We will be together 5 years this March. We share a mutual understanding of the world, a love for travel and good food, and most importantly, a mutual respect for one another. Despite my rocky online dating experience, it led me to something, and someone really amazing.
Drum roll please…….
Here are some general rules I have come up with for dating and online dating. What better way to gain experience, than from other’s mistakes?
1) Don’t go to a guy for a first date. They should come to you. Or… at the least, they should be willing to meet in the middle if they can’t come to you for some reason.
2) Talk on the phone. Absolutely no lengthy texting until you have established some kind of friendship or relationship. Also, make the effort to talk on the phone before your first date. You can learn a lot about a person by speaking to them… and hearing their voice.
3) Make sure your first date is in a public setting. Don’t go to their house or apartment. Tell a friend/family member where you are going.
4) Never settle, and be honest. If you aren’t feeling it, don’t ignore the other person. They will appreciate the honesty much rather than being ignored.
5) Pick up on the early signs. If they don’t reach out to you (whether you reached out first or vice versa), they aren’t interested. It’s really plain and simple.
6) Find commonalities, but also embrace differences. Opposites do attract.
7) Don’t lie about your appearance and use current pictures if using a website/app.
8) Don’t change yourself for anybody, ever. Stay true to yourself, and don’t settle.
9) This one comes with a story. During this time in my life when I was getting disappointed, I stumbled upon a book in a donated bookstore. I flipped to a random page and was drawn to this very important life lesson. This book served as a reminder to let life happen, rather than making life happen. With so many failed attempts and high expectations, I took this book as a sign from the universe. Sometimes, you have to take a step back, and just let it unfold. You may just find what you are looking for, when you least expect it.
I truly do believe that there is someone out there for everybody. Be patient and stay true to yourself. Don’t give up.
I would love to hear your positive or negative dating/online dating experiences. All funny stories are welcome! Comment below.