Online dating is strange

In a flash of extroversion, and immediately preceded by several disappointing potential romances, I joined Match.com…along with thousands of other single New Yorkers.

I’ve decided that I deserve someone interesting, engaging, cute, and available–all qualities that I am assured NOT to find in some bar in Manhattan. It’s been about a week now but seems like much longer than that: the ups, the downs, the nervousness, the drama! Well, not so much drama I suppose.

One date down, and the search continues.

What am I searching for? That remains unclear.

I continue to send witty emails to intriguing guys, but I haven’t quite figured out the protocol for this new world of cyber-flirting. I am not a fan of the “wink,” as I see it as basically a cop-out: if you think someone is cute and interesting send them a damn message. That said, I did wink at someone yesterday, and they winked back. What this interaction means, no one knows.

The most bizarre part of this whole deal is the anonymity that it provides, in contrast to the clear expectations of outcome. I had a totally lame date this weekend with a perfectly nice guy. There was absolutely nothing wrong with him, and yet it was just kind of like meeting some acquaintance from college to catch up on superficial stuff. As it was my first date in about 4 years, I didn’t really know what to expect, or how to interpret certain interactions. In the end, prodded by well-meaning friends, I sent him a message about meeting up for drinks. Shockingly, he wrote back exactly what I didn’t have the courage to say:

“Nice to meet you, but I really didn’t feel any spark, so let’s just leave it at that.”

Okay, so he might not have said those exact words, but you get the point.

Completely honest, and in a city of nearly nine something million people, we’ll never run into each other, and it’ll never be awkward! How liberating. This whole “directness” thing is strange to me, and will take some getting used to. We were on a date, this was clear. There were expectations of attraction and “chemistry” (whatever the fuck that means), and there really wasn’t any. So it didn’t work, and we both move on to other options. Then I realized, I don’t even know this guy’s last name–and what’s more, I don’t need to! Everything is so factual, cut and dry, with none of the bullshit that goes along with “dating” in college…

…we’re hooking up but we’re not dating…we’re dating, but we’re not exclusive…we’re hanging out and we’re dating, but we’re not hooking up…we’re studying and I wish we were dating but we’re not…

There’s none of that here!

It’s a crazy world out there, the New York singles scene, but this seems for the moment to be the best way to navigate through uncharted waters without capsizing in an overwhelming sea of uninteresting assholes. I haven’t quite gotten my sea-legs yet, but I’ll get there eventually.

oh, and P.S. 2008 is shaping up to be the bizarre Japanese connections year. Remind me to tell you about that sometime.

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