Confessions of an Online Dating Virgin

To say that the dating world has changed in the last dozen or so years since I’ve been in it is an understatement. Back in the day (in the year 2001), the majority of people would look at you askance if you mentioned that you were going on a date with someone you met on the Internet.

Nowadays, conversations between singles go something like this …

“I have a date tonight!”
“Where’d you meet him?”
“Match -- of course.”


Or Eharmony, or Plenty of Fish, or OK Cupid, or Christian Mingle, or insert-dating-site-of-choice here. It’s weird. It’s weird that this is normal. It’s a new normal, and one I obviously had no idea what I was getting into, but I’m starting to learn the ropes. I think.

It’s a minefield out there, actually. Someone hold me. Preferably a beach-loving male, 35-42, with dark hair and a kind heart. I’ve filled out some profiles recently, mmmkay?

Anyway, this road to true love is bumpy, and holy moly do I already have some stories to tell.

Like the time I joined Tinder, which is a dating app that works based on first impressions. You only get to upload a few pics, and write a couple of sentences about yourself. Then you scroll through other people’s, hearting or x’ing them. If you mutually heart each other, you’ve made a match, and you can text each other through the app and decide where to go from there.

More from The Stir: The 12 Stages You Go Through on a Really Bad Date (PHOTOS)

Only the app has a swipe left or right feature that auto-hearts or x’es for you. So maybe when you’re a 31-year-old online dating nubie, you might be trying to swipe to the next potential match, but you accidently heart a 22-year-old instead. And then he turns out to be a mutual match, and he texts you, “Hey Mama!”

You might close the app in terror and throw the phone across the room and under the couch and tweet, “Tinder is terrifying.” But only maybe.

Or then there was the time I was messaging someone from Match, and he sent my a picture of himself without a shirt on. I responded, “Well hello there. You may not have a topless pic of me. ;-)” with a winky face and everything to make it flirty. A few minutes later, he responded, “How about now?”

Um, no. Then he said he wanted to be upfront, and was I interested in FWB? I seriously had to google FWB, you guys. It means Friends With Benefits. Oh geez. So let me get this straight -- you’re not even willing to wine and dine me in an effort to get into my pants? Put some effort into it! Gah.

Then again, there was the guy that wanted to take me sailing on his boat. We’ve never met. We’ve never talked on the phone. In fact, our second communication was his invitation to me to go sailing -- that day. On a workday.

I said that wasn’t about to get on a boat with a strange man and go out to sea where no one would be able to hear my screams or find my body. He said, and I quote, “ I think you’re over-thinking.” I said, “Well how do I know you’re not an axe murderer?” He said, “You never know.” I think I just saved my own life.

Although one of my favorite moments was meeting up with someone for coffee, and when he saw me, the first words out of his mouth were, “Thank God you’re not fat or ugly!” I can totally appreciate weird compliments like that.

Will I find true love on the Internet? I have no idea. But I’m sure having fun trying, and I’m collecting some great stories along the way.

Have ever dated someone you met online?

Image via Joanne Wan/Flickr

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