Bullet Point Tuesday: Online Dating (Again)…Because I’m Not a Quitter

-BridesmaidsSo this Sunday I decided to fire up the old OkCupid profile. You know, to do something nice for myself.

And enough time had passed in my online dating stints that I forgot. I forgot how depressing online dating is. Especially on Sunday.

Because…even though it’s online, it’s pretty transparent. I mean, you can see who’s viewed your profile, who’s seen a message you sent and never responded, and if you look really closely, you can see your standards–and dignity–fading fast.

I’m not sure about other sites–I’m too cheap to try them and OkCupid is free–but it just serves as a reminder of what’s really out there for you.

Exhibit A: Nicely Bearded Man, 31

After clicking on his profile, here’s what I found:

  • Works at Ace Hardware
  • Fired from Ace Hardware (so the above should be in past tense)
  • Tried nursing school, but it was “too boring”
  • Lives with his parents
  • Currently looking for roommates (maybe he got this site confused with Craigslist)
  • Looking for a trendy, good-looking woman with a “career”

But you know what–I have to give this homeboy credit for putting it out there. How many times, ladies, have we been out with a guy and it’s just this snowball of horrible information: I don’t have a job–BOOM–I’m completely unambitious with my life’s goals–BOOM–I’m going to pretend I forgot my wallet and make you pay for my negronis–BOOM–

Exhibit B: Blondie, 32

For those of you who haven’t been on OkCupid (or hit rock bottom), the service provides a space for you to fill out a self-summary. It’s super awkward because no one really knows how to talk about him/herself without sounding incredibly lame. But we all fill it out in the name of finding true, OkCupid love. Here’s how this homeboy’s went:

  • My Self-Summary: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah blah, blah

I know. WHERE is that second-to-last comma?? Is he so lazy he can’t even correctly punctuate his “ironic” self-description? I. Can’t. Even.

Exhibit C: Too-Good-To-Be-True, 36

This guy was just a little too good-looking–like did you airbrush your photos or just step off a Ralph Lauren photo shoot?

I thought about messaging him anyway until I saw this:

  • Optimal dating age bracket: 20-31

Hold up, dude. You’re ok with dating someone who still has to bring a fake ID to the bar and you’re 36? Yeah….I’m out.

Exhibit D: the Creative Message Guy

I received the following message from this homeboy:

  • “Do you think sneakers, sandals, or flip flops look better on a guy with shorts and a T-shirt?”

First of all, unless she’s a store clerk, do not ask a woman you don’t know for fashion advice. Second of all, none of that footwear is appropriate for a grown ass man. Neither are shorts, which I imagine are of the cargo-nature. Don’t even get me started on guys who think it’s acceptable to wear concert shirts to any place other than the gym.

Just imagine if the situation was reverse. If I sent that message to a guy: “So, do you think I should wear my TOMs or clogs or Crocs with my oversized sweatpants from high school?”

Dude was from Indiana, though, so I guess I have to cut him some slack.

 

*This is just an obligatory * after the plethora of my ***** were called out last week. See, dear reader, I listen.**

**Kinda. I just had no real after-thoughts on this one.***

***See what I did there? Ok, I’ll stop.  

 


Monday Jams: “Uncertainty” by Jagwar Ma

Jagwar-Ma-0072-658x350So this is a band that my younger brother told me to check out in hopes to make me cooler and perhaps find something other than the Frozen soundtrack to jam out to. I took his recommendation…which meant that I would just randomly drop the band’s name in conversation to make myself appear cooler to interested gentlemen folk. The only problem with that was, since I never bothered to actually look up the band, I pronounced it “Jaguar Ma,” once again proving that I am not, in fact, cool.

Turns out that when I actually listened to Jagwar Ma, I realized they’re a band I can totally get into. Especially since the lead singer is rockin’ a Devon Sawa haircut. You’re welcome.

 


Guest Post Wednesday: Online Dating vs. IRL by Hanna Wilcox

phonesThere is still a certain stigma around meeting someone online,* but I don’t get it.  It’s 2014, era of Facebook replacing class reunions, LinkedIn profiles replacing resumes, and me constantly accidentally liking my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s photos on Instagram.  Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, etc. make perfect sense. In real life (or IRL), the first thing we notice about a person is usually their face, and so many of us (even if we try not to) check whatever social media we are into with alarming frequency.  Your friends faces are probably usually illuminated with the glow of a smart phone when the couch, at the movies, at a bar or a restaurant, or a street fest.  Hell, I even watched some people on their phones while on the dance floor at a wedding last weekend.  Face + phone = great idea.

It’s the phrase “online dating” that sends me through the roof.

Dating suggests going out socially–getting to know someone in person to see if you are interested in making out with only them or bringing them to your friend’s birthday dinner or your nephew’s first communion after party. Online dating should be called online meeting or, better yet, online arranging to meet.  To say that staring at 5-7 flattering photos of people (totally filtered, and usually ranging from the years of 2008-2012) and the best one-or-two-liners someone can come up with is as equivalent to dating as ridiculous as the following conversation:

“I just re-watched [insert movie here].”

“Oh, I loooove that movie!”

“Me, too!  What’s your favorite part?”

“Well I haven’t actually seen it, but some of my friends like it and I read the Wikipedia.  It seems like something I would love.”

I’m sure that I seem like someone plenty of people would be into. There have been plenty of times that I come across a profile for someone that seems like someone I’d really like.  Maybe we have some mutual friends and interests or maybe he just appears handsome. It is the presumption that there will be (or already is**) a real life connection or chemistry that irritates me.

Let me elaborate. Pictures of Fiji look great. I would of course go to Fiji, the same as I’d of course go out on a date with an internet guy.  That said, I have never actually been to Fiji.  Maybe I’ll love it, or maybe I’ll get food poisoning and never see the beach or have a weird regional allergic reaction after a few days. Moral of the Fiji analogy: NEVER ASSUME!

Will the presumptuous potential beaus of the world wide web keep me away? Of course not. But for anyone reading this that might run into me on the net, please don’t be offended if I don’t take too much stock in whatever happens before a real-life meet up.

 

*If you’ve ever dabbled in “online dating” you’ve seen a version of the classic “We’ll tell out friends and family we met at [blank]!” at the start of an “About Me” section

**I legit had a guy introduce me as his girlfriend on our first (and last) date

[Editor's Note: I did not realize until this moment that Wikipedia isn't a credible answer for having seen a movie. Mind. Blown. And thank you for confirming exactly why I haven't gone to Fiji.]


Bullet Point Tuesday: Steve Harvey, Hopping Fences, and the Music Man

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 10.43.09 AMSo after the airing of the my appearance on the Steve Harvey Show, it left people with one burning question. The answer: both dresses are from Bloomingdale’s. (On sale, obvi.)

And since I wasn’t able to discuss the show until after the airing, I can also now dish on the very dapper date my friends and fam chose for me. Affectionately called by so many: The Guy on the Right.

The first date went great–national television and all. Guy on the Right seems to be a person with solid values, a good sense of humor, strong sense of self, and–as noted by my mom’s friends–quite good looking. Guy on the Right and I laughed a lot and, despite the fact that cameras were on us and tourists were taking pictures of us, we had a great time and decided to do it again. But, as it happens with celebrity couples, the paparazzi was too much for us to bear. So the date never happened. Still, Guy on the Right is an incredibly stand up gentleman, and I’m very happy to have met him.*

Though Steve Harvey didn’t find me love, the experience already changed my dating life. And it’s because of the fence that Steve talked about. Not everyone was on board with the fence metaphor. I fucking loved it.** To paraphrase, Steve said that a woman needs to build a really high fence with barbed wire on top, trying to make the point that a man needs to earn a woman’s time and attention.

I like the idea of a guy having to work for my time and attention, climbing over barbed wire, knife in mouth, fending off rabid dogs just to have a shot at my heart. The problem is that the fence idea walks a fine line with “playing hard to get,” which often gets confused with playing games. Though different concepts, having high standards and playing games get grayed together in the dating world.

And this is where I’ve run into trouble with dating. I don’t play games.*** So much so that–as my family so kindly pointed out on national television–I’m often an open book. And because I don’t play them, I don’t understand them anymore. And kinda forget they exist. Just like all my ex-boyfriends.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 10.29.03 AMSteve was very adamant about a the guy paying for a woman as a part of building this fence. (The picture to the right is me breaking a sweat when Steve stared me down, pointed, and said, “Don’t buy another man NUTHIN’.”) But having a high fence involves more than the good gesture of buying drinks or meals. See, when I’m in a relationship (yes, I promised it’s happened, dear reader) I’m alllllllll in. Just as some examples: I’ve worn a Nigerian headdress to a Nigerian**** wedding, I’ve spent long weekends in Indiana, and I’ve even dressed up for Halloween–so they’re not donate-your-kidney gestures, but they were big enough to mean a lot to the person I was dating and completely take me out of my comfort zone. (I fucking hate Halloween.)

I’ve always believed that you shouldn’t expect people to treat you the way you treat them. It’s my choice if I want to go the extra mile for another person and there should be zero expectation for reciprocation because that was my decision. But I’m beginning to understand that concept doesn’t–and shouldn’t–apply to intimate relationships. I’m certainly not saying that I want a quid pro quo relationship where we’re keeping score. (i.e. “I went to your cousin’s Bat Miztvah, now you’re going to go buy me tampons at CostCo.” Which actually seems like a fair trade.) But I have every right to expect a man to treat me the way I treat him. Which is like fucking golden-dipped tater tots. (I dunno, I just love tater tots and was trying to make them more valuable by dipping them in gold. Which kinda takes away the appeal. Another. Successful. Metaphor.)

So now I have a fence. And the way for a guy to get over it is through kind gestures, considerate actions, generosity of spirit, and–God help me–someone who laughs at my jokes and has a job. I just want to be held in the same priority status that I hold my partner. Without having to fight my way to be there.

Enter Music Man. You know these guys. They’re super into music–they attend all the fests, know the latest bands, blah blah blah. That’s great. Everyone needs a passion. Just don’t judge me if we don’t share the same fucking passion. There’s nothing worse than a music guy who looks at me all crookedly because I fucking love Taylor Swift’s new jam.*****

We decided on a Friday happy hour. The day came and at 1:00 I hadn’t heard from him, still didn’t know where we were going or what time we were meeting, and I was beginning to wonder if this would happen at all. At 1:42 I received a text from Music Man asking if we were still on. We volleyed text messages back and forth, and I realized that he was trying to get to a music fest that night and our date was sandwiched in between. He invited me to come with as an alternative option.

I didn’t feel like this was fence climbing.

I told Music Man not to worry about it. That he should go enjoy the fest with his friends and we’d do it another time. He was hesitant, but I insisted. We could reschedule for a time that worked better for both of us.

We never contacted each other again.

I wasn’t playing games; this wasn’t a test. But I certainly didn’t feel like this guy made our date a priority. He hadn’t planned ahead and he was trying to have me meet him at a convenient time and place so he could get to his real plans later–all signs that he wasn’t really into it. Does that make him a bad person? Yes. Just kidding. It just means that neither of us felt that strong of a connection. And I’d much rather open a bottle wine and read Jenny Lawsen than go on another mediocre date.

And that, my friends, is how to climb a fence.******

 

*That’s all true, but I’m also afraid of getting sued for saying anything else.

**My affection for the fence metaphor could also be directly correlated to my love for hopping fences. Not metaphorically. I literally love to climb them just to see if I can do it. My one pair of jeans can attest to it.

***If you want to read an amazing post about guys and girls dishing honestly on playing games, check out Fran’s post here.

****No, I don’t have a picture, and yes, it kills me that I don’t.

*****How could you not? Do you have no soul??

******I realize that ending doesn’t make a ton sense, but it’s so strong and confident that I had to keep it. But now I guess this is the real ending to this post. If you’ve made it this far, then I admire your tenacity. Let’s go fence hopping together sometime. Not metaphorically. The real kind. (Refer to ** to know what I’m talking about.)

 


Monday Jams: “Back From the Dead” by Skylar Grey

Once again, I’m turning over my musical credits to my favorite Singaporean who, for the third week in a row, has recommended the jam of the week.

Skylar Grey totally rocks these vocals and that lace dress (is it a dress?…I’m not sure, but it’s fucking fabulous and I want one…mainly to wear around my apartment by myself so I can finally justify buying a flapper-style cigarette holder and just carry it around–sans cigarette, of course–and pretend to be Audrey Hepburn). And, as Allie (aforementioned Singaporean) pointed out, this video has some solid creepy factors–just gearing you up for Halloween. En. Joy.

P.S. After posting this, my brother informed me that he helped on the set of this video. Once again proving that everyone in my family is cooler than me.


Bad Ass Babes: Iona Calhoun-Battiste

Students of the Iona Calhoun School of Ballet preparing for their recital.

“We want to include everyone and make everyone feel important and special,” said Iona Calhoun-Battiste, founder of the Iona Calhoun School of Ballet at the South Shore Cultural Center. Wearing a fitted black tee, her carmel highlights caught the sun in her dark, wavy hair as we sat at Starbucks in Hyde Park. “But we recognize that not everyone is at the same level, so how do you support the girls who are really good and want to dance as a career, and how do you support those that dance recreationally, but it’s still important to them?”

It’s this type of supportive mentality that has built the foundation for her school and sets it apart from others in the field. “Other schools will say, ‘If you can’t do it, then you can’t stay,'” Calhoun-Battiste said. Having gone through that myself, we want to be the opposite of that.”

And they certainly are. Since founding the school in 2000, Calhoun-Battiste has worked with dancers of ranging talents and challenges. “We had one student who was deaf, so she would put her hand on the radio to feel the beat. She did incredibly well,” Calhoun-Battiste said. “And I had one student who started with me when she was four and continued until she graduated college.” She began going through the pictures on her phone, showing me photo after photo of her students–recent grads to her very first class.

“We started from really humble beginnings but then just kinda took off year after year and the classes got larger and larger,” she said, as she fondly looked on her memories.

After returning from graduate school at Columbia University in New York with a degree in Developmental Psychology, Calhoun-Battiste knew she wanted to combine her love of dance and therapy but wasn’t quite sure which direction to take. “My cousin was teaching drama at South Shore Cultural Center and she said they needed someone to teach dance,” Calhoun-Battiste said, her eyes shining, “And that’s exactly what I did.”

Her volunteer experience in college created the perfect skill set. Calhoun-Battiste taught dance and mentored high school girls as a student at Howard University. “I danced on campus at Howard and started a program with a local high school where I taught young girls how to dance.” Dancing quickly turned into mentorship, as Calhoun-Battiste would spend much of the time after class talking with the girls about what was going on in their lives. “I realized that this was pretty cool because I was mixing both mental wellness and dance together,” she said.

And such is the successful combination of her school today–getting to the core, personal meaning of dance  for each, individual student. “If a student is having a problem, it’s not just that they can’t pick it up, but maybe there’s something else going on in their life that is preventing them from being able to do something like Russian turns. So let’s take a minute, let’s figure this out.”

This type of individual attention is exactly what drove one of her instructors, Chaniece Holmes to create a dance project called Searching. “They [the students] brought inspirational quotes to class that related to their feelings towards dance and what it means to them. It was just about being honest and finding their truths,” Holmes said. “Then I gathered their quotes and got a projector and had the quotes playing in a slideshow off the back wall so they could see them as they were dancing and hopefully have more of a connection to their work.” Um, that sounds way better than my dilapidated vision board.

2869734

Iona Calhoun-Battiste. Still got it.

Calhoun-Battiste knows what it’s like to have dreams of dancing professionally. At seventeen, she accepted a dance scholarship at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and was asked to stay and train with the company. But her mom had other plans. “My mom was like, ‘You’re finishing school,'” Calhoun said, laughing, “which made sense since she was paying tuition for Lab School [University of Chicago Laboratory School].”

There was a realism that Calhoun-Battiste understood at a young age, too. “I had a knee injury from fifteen on. My knee pops in and out of joint when I land. And dancers have a shelf life to dance professionally from around fifteen to twenty-two years old. With knowing all that, I thought, ‘I can run a dance school. I can create something very similar to what they have in New York and do something like that here in Chicago.'”

But that doesn’t mean Calhoun-Battiste can’t still walk the walk. Er, dance the dance. “I don’t dance as often, but I can still put on my point shoes and show them [her students] how it’s done.”

When she’s not shaping the lives of young people at her school, Calhoun-Battiste is creating positive change in Chicago in other ways. As the Anti-Violence Program Director for Quad Communities Development Corporation, Calhoun focuses on creating violence prevention programs. This summer she curated a program for young people that involved writing, research, and–of course–dance. “There’s a traditional dance called African gumboot dance, which is like stepping and it originates back to South African miners–that’s the way they communicated–and these kids translated the meaning for their presentation incorporated a really amazing dance.”

“Dance creeps into everywhere I go,” Calhoun-Battiste said. And we’re so grateful it does.

Check out the Iona Calhoun School of Ballet dance company, which performs all over the city of Chicago. Their next performance is this Sunday, September 22 at the Children’s Book Fair in Hyde Park.


Guest Post Wednesday: The Stages of Online Dating Part II by Katie Roach

As a 22-shutterstock_45432064year-old recent college grad, I can safely say that most people in my general age bracket use Tinder (and other forms of online dating) as more of a game than an actual dating mechanism. While people do occasionally meet up, it has the general aura of a frat party, and guys usually message you romantic, endearing things like “sit on my face” and “nice tits.”

On the off chance that you do meet someone you kind of like, you have the opportunity to get to know them a bit before you go on the First Date, which is pretty cool. But it’s also hilarious because it takes the normal stages of dating and completely f*cks them up.The best and worst part about the virtual world is the shield of anonymity—how easy it is to say things you would never, ever say in person when you’re safe behind your cell phone.

Normal dating, for example, goes a little something like this:

  1. Meet someone somewhere IRL. Perhaps you are sober, perhaps you are not. Flirtation ensues regardless.
  2. Cute Person asks you for your phone number (or vice versa)
  3. You text each other for a few days, usually about innocent topics, such as what you’re eating for lunch and what your favorite show to binge watch on Netflix is.
  4. When texting conversation goes on for awhile before you see Cute Person next, winky faces become a thing.
  5. You go get a few drinks or dinner.
  6. You might repeat Step 5 a few times.
  7. Cute Person kisses you.
  8. The relationship progresses physically, generally as you spend more and more time in their physical presence.

And then there’s online dating.

  1. You match Cute Person online and the first message ensues. If he does not include the acronym “DTF” in his first sentence, you are surprised. This is Prince Charming, I tell you!
  2. They snag your phone number (stay with me here)
  3. You text each other for a few days, usually about entirely scandalous things like what kind of underwear you’re wearing and what your favorite position is.
  4. At some point in your virtual flirtation, Cute Person is probably jokingly going to ask you if you want to exchange pictures. They are not joking. You will laugh and say “Omg, noooooo! I’ve never even met you!”
  5. A few days pass. You exchange pictures.
  6. More sexually charged conversation happens for another week or two, occasionally interspersed with discussions about more trivial things like, you know, your career and life’s ambitions.
  7. Meet IRL. This occasionally might involve shaking the hand of someone you’ve already seen naked.
  8. Sit through a couple of hours of intense sexual tension. Drink several beers and wonder what you should do next. I mean, you’ve already hooked up. Wait, no—that’s not right, is it?

Perhaps the latter is more indicative of a demographic making a sad attempt to switch from the dating norms of one life stage to the next, but I’m not sure it’s necessarily a bad thing. While I’m certainly not advocating virtual sexy-time with every Right Swipe Gentleman Caller that comes your way, I have a friend who met a guy on Tinder, went on several great dates, and then scored in the editing room of the major TV network he works at.

It may not make the screenplay of the next Rachel McAdams movie, but if you say that’s not on your bucket list, I think you’re lying.

[Editor's Note: I love Katie Roach. Like a lot. But I think this post distinguishes between the young guns and the old twats like myself. Rachel McAdams hopes? You. Go. Girl. Remember when we had that kind of hope? That's now gone with our thongs and fertile eggs. But, man, I really want the deets on that editing room.]

[Editor's Note 2: Read more of Katie here.]


Bullet Point Tuesday: So This Is Happening

Steve Harvey

My friends and family innocently look on as I realize I’m in the middle of an intervention. Note: I’m blocking Nana in this shot. Which is a shame because she looked gorgeous and really hit it off with Steve.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to be a guest on the Steve Harvey Show. For my first date tips? For my hilarious array of dating stories? For my inhuman ability to correctly combine independent and dependent clauses at a rapid rate?

No. No. And, most disappointingly, no.

This was an intervention.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever witnessed an intervention or looked it up on Wikipedia, but it generally involves loving friends and family, reassuring words, and a safe space. Or national television. Tomato tomato. (Wow, that phrase really bombs on the page. It looks like I’m just repeating random vegetables.)

So this Thursday and Friday you–and the rest of America–get to see what a dating disaster I am. Pretty sure some former dates are claiming karma right now. Zucchini zucchini.

The show airs this Thursday and Friday (9/18 & 9/19) at 2:00 P.M. CST on NBC.* If you see a bunch of drunk tweets about that time, just kindly disregard. It’s all a part of the fifteen-step plan.

 

*If you’re in the Chicago area. If not, check your local listings, yo. 


Monday Jams: Not Another “Shake It Off” Spin Off

taylor-swift-shake-it-off-2So, yes, I’m obsessed with T. Swift’s new effing fantastic jam. Which means that every time it comes on, I’m caught doing a super-cool and chic dance. Which then means that I love the alllll out takes and every spin off that’s come as a result.

This one, however, is especially inspiring because of organization, coordination, and well, eye candy. It is also courtesy of my current (though unbeknownst to her) Monday Jam sponsor, Allie, of Expat Adventures. And, as one gal on our group text pointed out, “Guy at 2:10 isn’t anything to shake a stick at.” Agreed. No stick shaking here. You’re welcome.


Guest Post Wednesday: 5 Stages of Online Dating by Dating Olivia

neil-wax-five-stages-of-griefWhen Chloe asked me to write a guest post for her, my first thought was, “Holy shit, someone reads my blog!” My second thought was, “Holy shit, someone likes my blog enough that they want me to write something for their blog!” And my third thought was, “Holy shit. What the hell am I going to write about?”

Lately, I’ve been hit with a rather large case of writer’s block. I had created two years’ worth of posts on my dating blog (datingolivia.wordpress.com for those of you looking for some shameless self-promotion) that was based on the fact that I was painfully single, and dating pretty much everyone in my town. My online dating life was particularly eventful, and led way to so many stories that I haven’t really begun to tell them all. But as luck would have it, after years of dating many a douchebag, I finally found my boyfriend (who I call Boyfriend on my blog because I’m very clever and original). So while it’s good for me, it’s bad for my writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss dating. I may have gotten used to being single and going out with many different men over the years, but I am happier than a kid at Disneyland to be in a loving relationship. And even more than just plain old dating, I really very much do not miss online dating. I mean, after all, I am old enough to remember a day back before cell phones existed, when guys actually had to call your one and only landline and risk talking to your dad first in order to get ahold of you. I started dating in a time before MSN Messenger and MySpace were around, when to ask someone out without calling them you needed to pass a note to their best friend in math class with a “check yes or no” option at the bottom. Ah, those were the days. Online dating may be the way that our world is finding love these days, but it’s definitely not the most ideal, or the most romantic. Call me old fashioned, but I miss the days before dick pics were the norm in the dating world. And the more that I think about it, online dating can be so bleak that the stages of finding love on the internet bears an uncanny resemblance to the 5 stages of loss and grief.

5 Stages of Online Dating

1. Denial

You sign up for a dating site “just to check out what all the fuss is about,” but not to seriously date. You log on fairly steadily though and talk to lots of people you would consider dating, but you still don’t think of yourself as an “online dater.” When people ask if you are seeing anyone, you always say no, because you aren’t really seeing anyone, you just happen to be meeting a lot of different people for coffee, and well, anyone would agree that that isn’t really dating. Besides, if you did tell them you were seeing someone (which you aren’t) you’d have to answer a bunch of questions about who this person is, and what they do for a living, and the worst question, where did you meet. And as we all know, the first rule of Online Dating Club is that you don’t talk about Online Dating Club.

2. Anger

At a certain point you will be very angry with online dating. “Tittysprinkles? Really?! I have to sit here and look through messages from guys with screen names like motherfucking Tittysprinkles? Oh, yeah, I am soooo sure that you have a nine inch penis, that doesn’t sound like a lie at all. It’s nice to see that you are unemployed though, and living in your mom’s basement rent free, having money these days is so overrated and really, who wouldn’t want to live off a diet of mac and cheese and Ramen noodles? Oh, that’s nice, I see that you have a bunch of kids all by different women; this means there is a good chance that you have met Maury. Oh, but I guess that’s all ok, seeing as though you don’t want a relationship anyways, you just want to have lots of random sex, and HOW IN THE FUCK AM I EVER GOING TO FIND A DECENT PERSON IN THIS RIDICULOUS EXCUSE FOR A DATING MECHANISM?????” *Turns into the Hulk, starts incoherently screaming, flips a table, and punches a baby* Anger is a very important step to online dating and will also lead to no less than five instances of looking at the computer monitor or your phone screen and going, “Fuck this shit, I’m done!” while looking for the “Delete Account” option.

3. Bargaining

“I will just meet this one last guy and see what happens. If it’s bad, then I will give this whole online dating thing up forever, I swear to God.” Or another popular thought here is: “Please God, just let me meet one great guy online, let this seemingly awesome guy I’ve been talking to for a few weeks now be an actual awesome guy, and let us live happily ever after. If you do this for me, I promise that I will be nicer to people. I will give up my seat on the bus to all the old ladies and pregnant chicks, I swear. And I will call my mom more often. And give all the dollah billz to homeless people. And I will stop laughing at Kim Kardashian when she cries. Actually, I will just stop watching Kim and all the other Kardashians altogether. I will just radiate sunshine and shit rainbows, just please, for the love of you, let this guy be amazing enough to be the last guy I meet online.” Incidentally, for those of you who were wondering, this step is the step that directly led to me meeting my boyfriend.

4. Depression

Before I met Boyfriend, I spent close to seven years logging on and off the dating site, and spent countless hours meeting many, many non-contenders. During these seven years, I spent a great amount of time hating myself. And hating everyone else. I felt like there was something wrong with me. There had to be. Why hadn’t I found anyone worth dating yet, and why had the few guys I actually had liked when I met them turned into nothing? Why was it so hard for me to find love, when everywhere I looked around me, people were in love. How could a person not be depressed after a certain point? How could you go on that many awful dates with awful people and still walk away feeling good about yourself, and your life? This is the worst stage of online dating by far. Because unlike in real life, where yes, you see countless men everyday walk right by you, you don’t get to actively see just how many of these men would openly reject you or see just how many aren’t right for you in any conceivable way. The knowledge you get online is not the greatest self-esteem tool at your disposal, trust me.

5. Acceptance

At a certain point, all that anger, and depression and denial will fade away, and you will accept online dating as the reality you are in. Yes, it’s definitely not ideal, and it for sure can lack the excitement and magic of the old fashioned way of dating, but online dating has its perks too. For the most part, you can find out a lot of information about a person before you even talk to them. This gives you one big advantage over in person dating. You can weed out some of the guys who you want nothing to do with, without having to actually meet them first. You can tell if a guy wants a relationship or not, if he wants kids or not, or if he’s smart enough to know the difference between there, their, and they’re. You know, the important things. Sure, people can lie online, but people do that in person, too. If anything, being relatively anonymous behind a computer screen usually gives people the balls to be more honest with others, and say things that they might not be able to say out loud. (Which, if you read my blog, you would know that this is what it is entirely based on.)

And hell, after a certain point, you may even find online dating fun. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. After a while you may find your groove online, and start enjoying it. I know I sure did. There was a good year not long ago where I enjoyed getting messages on the dating site. I even enjoyed getting these messages from the weirdos. Once I learned not to take things so seriously, I got entertainment out of it, and had it not been for all those idiots who once messaged me, I wouldn’t have any material whatsoever for my blog. I felt the same way about the dates. For every bad date I went on, I got a great story out of it. And every once in a while, I’d meet a new guy who gave me butterflies, or go on a first date that would give me hope that someone decent was still out there, and worth looking for. I’m not the kind of person to believe that things last forever, but had it not been for online dating, I probably would have never met my boyfriend, and I consider him to be the absolute cream of the online dating crop. Every once in a while, you never know, you might accidentally hit the jackpot.

So there you have it. The stages of grief/stages of online dating. I’m glad that for now I don’t have to deal with all that, and that I can now sit back and listen to everybody else’s online dating horror stories. What I enjoy even more than that is discussing which guys to stay away from with a friend of mine who has recently rejoined the online dating world, and is now looking to me to make sure she doesn’t date someone awful. The circle of life is complete.

I’m glad that my dating douchebags wasn’t in vain.

Olivia

[Editor's Note: I find that I am in a constant flux between Anger and Depression. Both lend themselves to mass quantities of tater tots and alcohol. Which is not, as luck would have it, helping me in my search.]

[Editor's Note II: I fucking love Olivia.]