To date, or not to date

After my decision to move my newly single self back to my hometown last summer, I wondered how much time I should allow myself before I jumped back into the dating pool. I hadn’t been on a first date in nearly 7 years, and I was quite sure things would be a little different than I remembered, especially since I was now nearing thirty. Not really sure how to go about it since I wasn’t into the bar scene anymore, I decided I would give online dating a try, just to see what it was like.

It was terrifying.

Let me paint you a picture. With the particular site I tried, you can set up an account pretty quickly. After answering a few questions about what you’re looking for, you can start interacting with people in a matter of minutes. The questions, however, were my first hurdle. One of the glaringly bright inquiries was “what are you looking for?” and the list gave options like “nothing serious, dating, a relationship,” and my personal favourite, “I want to get married right now.” Whoa, whoa, whoa! Can I select “coffee?” If I selected marriage, was a Justice of the Peace going to be waiting alongside my date, impatiently looking at her watch until we were done our drinks so she could get the ceremony over with? Mazel tov!

I got through more of the questions. Do you want children? Are you ok with dating someone with children? Are you ok with dating someone who is unsure if they want children but would be ok with dating someone who is sure that they want children?

What an exhausting five minutes.

I made it through the question round, and when the time came to put up a picture, I decided one couldn’t hurt. I chose carefully, as one does when selecting a picture that looks like a much more attractive version of themselves, and got down to business.

Here’s where things got weird. The notifications starting popping up. Then the emails started coming through. Ahhhhh! There were so many. And to make sure I’m not coming off as egotistical, I assure you that after speaking to many women about online dating, it is a normal occurrence to be bombarded with an absurd amount of messages when you first sign up. As much as I would like to think it was my *attractive* picture, I also had to keep in mind that the last time I tried flirting with a guy in public, winking at him perhaps too enthusiastically, he thought I was having a stroke.

I tried sorting through the messages as best I could. It’s so hard to give the appropriate amount of attention to each person trying to contact you when you’re getting “Hey girl, waz up?” every 30 seconds. After it died down a bit, I was able to message a couple of guys for a while, and ended up having some pretty funny conversations.

Even though I saw some potential, I decided after a few days that I might not be completely ready for all that online dating had to offer. It was a good lesson on what dating will be like in 2017, and perhaps I’ll try it again this summer.

Until then, if you see a girl out in public, furiously using half her face to wink at people, do say hello.



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