I know online dating really works. Wanna know how I know? Because this awesome couple met online:
Oh, and it worked for my other cousin, too.
They are blissfully happy. And apparently this picture is from the future since it’s dated in the year, 2015. That means they will still be really happy next year. See? It really does work. For the right people. At the right time.
I am not one of those people. Or maybe it has never been the right time. Or maybe the person I was supposed to meet online got hit by a bus or something.
The problem I had with on-line dating is that it is overwhelming. You have this catalogue of people who you know nothing about. (Except for when you actually come across someone you DO know personally on an online dating site. That happened to me before–talk about socially awkward :-/.)
I don’t have a ton of free time, since I have my daughter with me about 75% of the time when I’m not working. So online dating is like a crapshoot. I would sit down, look at these dudes’ profiles, chat with them a little, and then try to find a time to fit in a first date.
The thing is, I’m an organic person, and I’m not talking about vegetables and fruit here. I’m organic in the sense that I feel I’m at my best when things develop naturally; when there’s enthusiasm on both sides, and when you actually know at least SOMETHING real about the person or know someone who knows SOMETHING real about that person and who he is. Online dating felt like I was searching for a needle in a haystack; or to give a more modern day illustration–like I was at Burlington Coat Factory scouring through the crapload of clothes everywhere to find my prom dress.
I’m talking my way around the heart of the matter, which can actually be best explained by the final event that caused me to completely take my profiles off the online dating sites. And that was the day I went on two dates.
As I mentioned, I have limited solo time. At one point, there were two gentleman I was communicating with online– Daniel and Corey. Corey asked me out for breakfast, and I said yes. Daniel had asked me out for a drink the night before. I really was not in the mood to go out for a drink with a stranger. I declined, but told him I could meet him for coffee the next day.
The minute I got off the phone, I realized what I had done. I had planned two “dates”– albeit one was just coffee– in one day. I felt a little weird about it, but because I really hadn’t made any sort of real “connection” with them, other than a few one-liner messages, I tried to not think too much about it and just see what happened.
The next morning I felt unsettled, though. “Stop it!” I told my overactive brain. “You always overthink!”
I went to breakfast with Corey. I think we met up around 10:00 am at Taste in Broad Ripple. We had a great breakfast. The conversation really took off and we talked about our children, our professions, and our best friends.
Corey said that his best friend, Dan, was the one who first told him about the “ins and outs” of online dating. He went on to tell me about all fun trips to Vegas they did together, as well as the upcoming competition he was training for, thanks to Dan, who also happened to be a personal trainer.
The conversation went by quickly, and all of a sudden I realized it was almost 2:00… And I was supposed to be meeting Daniel!
“Um, I have to go,” I abruptly stated. “I have an appointment at 2:00.”
I wrapped things up with Corey, even though I really didn’t want to. Corey was easy to talk to. He now was a person to me– not some face floating around in cyberspace.
By the time I sat down to chat with Daniel, my brain was turned off. The conversation was a little flat. We chatted, but I kinda just wanted to jump ship. Daniel was certainly handsome. He was a personal trainer, former bodybuilder, and ran his own business. We just didn’t connect, though. Perhaps it was already because I had connected with Corey, and just wouldn’t let my mind go there.
Either way, I was out of there in 30 min flat. I ran some errands, and then went home to chillax. I was sitting on my couch, doing lesson plans for the next day, when my mind slowly began to churn.
“I like Corey. He was cool! Kinda funny he and Daniel are both from Fort Wayne originally. And that they both live on the north side. And that they both went to Ball State, and–”
It suddenly hit me. Maybe they know each other??? What if Corey’s best friend, Dan, was actually Daniel?
Corey had told me his last name. I looked him up on Facebook. I immediately search for a “Dan” in his friend’s list, and holy Mary, mother of God: Daniel’s face appeared.
The reality hit me hard, because of the momentum that had been building up inside me all day. I just went on two dates with two friends in one day, back to back. I opened a bottle of wine and called my best friend. This was too much.
“This is a sign you need to stop online dating,” she counseled.
And I knew she was right. Because online dating made me do weird things. It made me do things that weren’t myself, because the very framework of it just wasn’t “me.”
I called Corey. I asked him if my deductive reasoning skills were on target. He called me back and stated that yes, Dan was indeed the same person as “Daniel” that I had gone out with. I apologized and told him I felt horrible. He was very kind, but also was just as shocked by the whole situation as I was.
You see, these “profiles” aren’t just people floating around in cyberspace. They are REAL people with REAL feelings. And pushing buttons and clicking on their pictures and reading blurbs about them had caused my mind to lose sight of that.
The reason I had felt unsettled that morning about the two dates was because in my heart, or some might say, my value system, I knew it wasn’t the right thing for me. I knew that these were two men who were real people with real feelings.
That was my moment- my moment of realizing that I had been freaking out all day because I wasn’t being myself.
And the more we know ourselves, the better we become at making decisions that align with our value systems. And my value system is telling me right now that I need to tell you about this salad that my mom makes.
My mom makes the best cauliflower, carrot, and green onion salad. Dear God, it’s good. And here it is:
Oh, and when she wrote the word, chill, she really meant chill. Like you need to leave it in the fridge for a couple hours to maximize the taste.
And here’s a random card I found in my recipe box. Just because.
I drew that at age four. Clayton and Ruth were my grandparents who I apparently liked to call by their first names.