55/365 Jumping Into the World of Online Dating

My dear readers,

Once again I’m sorry to disappoint on the writing front. Yesterday I was hoping that I would be back at my computer last night in time to write about the events that were unfolding. Even if I had decided to write earlier in the day I’m not sure anything coherent would have been delivered, due to the fact that I was a complete ball of nerves.

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I’ve done things like jump off cliffs in the South of France, but for some reason the prospect of a date had me battle nausea all Sunday and Monday morning. I’m a new participant in this world that they call, “online dating.” A world, to be truthful, that I’m actually quite ashamed to be a part of. In fact, when speaking to mother yesterday I lied to her and told her I was grabbing dinner with a friend from high school, when in reality I was going to downtown to meet a total stranger.

I know it’s silly to carry anxiety over an activity that has become widely popular in this modern age, but it’s not popular among some of my close friends and family. I don’t think anyone pictures meeting their next significant other over the internet. Everyone wants the fairy tale story, they want the meet cute. However, when you live in a city with millions of people and have a limited social circle, you have to turn to alternative methods.

In my family, casual dating was never a thing. My parents have known each other for their whole lives. Their families were friends, they went to camps and church together and twenty-eight years later they are still together. My brother met his wife when he was a teenager. He carried a monstrous crush on her for most of his adolescent life, and when she moved back to the area they fell in love.

I’ve got tons of stories like this. Stories of people finding someone in a traditional matter. Then there is me. It’s not like my dating history is colorful, it’s actually quite tame. I’ve done the monogamous relationship thing, I’ve had the kiss strangers at a party thing, and now here I am. I’m putting myself out there again because if anything it will just be nice to have a meal with someone who is not my parents. I’ve never been that good with romantic relationships, and so after being single for a few months it seems like I should try something new.

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The thing about online dating though, is that it is kind of like sticking your hand into a giant bag of jelly beans. There are a variety of flavors, and you won’t like all of them but sometimes you just have to try. Then there are jelly beans that look like one thing and are completely something else. Like cantaloupe, it looks exactly like orange sherbet and so you’re immediately disappointed. Because cantaloupe is gross.

And yes, I am mostly using this metaphor because it’s the week after Easter and I have a mixed bag of jelly beans next to me. And yes, I realize that this metaphor comes off dirtier than I probably wanted. The point of this post is that last night I went on my first dating app date, and I didn’t die. I wasn’t kidnapped or murdered, and he wasn’t a complete freak. I got home and felt a little exhilarated that I had tried something new, and it didn’t have me land flat on my face. When confessing to my father about where I had been, he said I was a pioneer for the family because I was embracing this new dating ritual.

So here I am, dating pioneer of my family and hoping that things won’t get too weird. Wish me luck.


Day Fifty-Five

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