I’m not a newbie when it comes to online dating. If I had to think back to my first online date, it happened my freshman year in college in 1994. Back then online dating consisted of IRC chatrooms. I remember sitting in the computer lab and noticing other students around me reading messages that were scrolling fast on a screen. I looked over to my friend’s monitor and asked what he was doing, and he said “chatting”. Being the inquisitive person I was, I asked him to set me up. I picked a screen-name and started my journey into the abyss of a chatroom.
A week later, I found myself sitting in the student center waiting for him. “Him” was a guy that I met in an IRC chatroom. Coincidentally he was right on my campus, so we decided to meet for dinner at our dining hall. As he approached, I breathed a sigh of relief. He looked like the description he gave me. I wiped my brow, twice.
My IRC guy and I dated for a few months, until I realized he was chatting up every other chick on campus. Having access to the internet afforded him with tons of options. Needless to say, this hasn’t changed when it comes to people and internet dating.
I’m a firm believer that everyone should have options, but when the hell do you draw the line when it comes to dating? Online dating gives people the option to talk to hundreds of people simultaneously, all freaking day. If you wanted to have a date every day of the week, it’s all possible thanks to sites like OkCupid, Match, Plenty of Fish, e-Harmony, Craigslist and the list goes on.
Never-ending options is exhausting. It’s like eating at a buffet at the Golden Corral. You pay one small price, and you can have everything from chicken to dried steak. But with having options at your disposal, you have to know when to step back and just say no.
This is the issue I have with online dating. So many people don’t know how to step back and say no. They’re always on the look for the next best thing. Men and women, alike.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a close guy friend and he was talking about all of his online conquests. Within a matter of 2 weeks, he went out on 10 dates, with 10 different women. I asked him if there was at least one woman who piqued his interest, and he answered yes. I told him that instead of taking out the starting lineup of a WNBA team, then maybe he should have attempted to focus on the one woman. Of course that would make too much sense and he looked at me like I was crazy.
Ladies, you’re not off the hook either. I’ve been in the situation where I wanted a gaggle of men. One to serve each purpose in my life. The mechanic, for when I need my brakes fixed. The dentist for when I needed a cleaning. The retail buyer for when I needed some items before they hit the stores. But what I learned was that juggling a bunch of men was exhausting and time consuming.
When you have the world of men and women at your fingertips, it’s sometimes hard to walk away from the all you can eat buffet. But in my case, I’m exhausted. I just want to randomly meet someone in real life. Have a conversation that doesn’t include LOL, emoticons or a subscription. A gaggle is overrated.