‘WANTED: AVERAGE HOMOSAPIEN’
No really, I am. On one hand, it’s 2015, the internet is king and I’m part of the generation that blindly trusts and accepts the internet as part of human existence. Therefore, online dating should just be another facet of the internet that works for me, like using Google before I use a dictionary or relying on ASOS to fix emotional insecurities.
On the other hand, I just don’t get it. I’m trying, honest. I’ve swiped my way through Tinder, I tried OkCupid and have recently spent actual British sterling on match.com but I’m still not 100% comfortable with the whole thing.
As a bit of background, I initially decided to try online dating because I realised that after uni had finished, it’s actually really hard to meet people if your life is just work work work and no more lectures, jaegarbombs and regret. Also, every job I’ve had so far has been dominated by women and though this is a good thing when you need to talk about the 5:2 diet or feel insecure about how frizzy your hair is, it’s not so good for meeting men. This continued when I moved back to Leeds (LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS) and every man I’ve met here is either taken, gay or an absolute cretin. So online dating it is!
Now I should make it clear that I’ve never actually met anyone, in the flesh, from any of these sites or apps. But I’ve been using them for probably around a year. And this is because I’m TORN. I really do want to meet new people and have fun and I definitely don’t want to do any of that dying alone thing but it all just feels so………..weird.
First of all there’s sheer size of it. Right now, as I’m typing, there are 33,774 people on match.com. And it’s 10am on a Friday morning so this is just the people that are sneakily looking for love when their boss isn’t looking or the currently unemployed (It’s my day off before you ask). How do I know who to talk to? Naturally I judge people primarily from their photos, but then what? How do I know who really does like to ‘have a laugh’, who really is ‘easy going’ and who genuinely likes rock climbing/salsa/going to gigs/cooking?
And that takes me onto the second major issue with online dating. Everything everyone says is bullshit. Utter convoluted exaggerated nonsense. Or so painfully general that it’s like reading an advert saying ‘WANTED: AVERAGE HOMOSAPIEN’.
Oh you’re really into music? EVERYONE LIKES MUSIC.
Oh you like eating out? WHAT HUMAN DOESN’T EAT?
Oh you’ve done a bit of DJing? Pressing play on Spotify does not a DJ make.
Oh your life changed travelling in South East Asia? Drugs and noodles are well known game changers.
And I know, I sound like such a cynical misery guts right now. But it’s just so fake that I fail to see the point of it all. It would be so much easier to wade through these profiles if people were just honest.
For example, ‘Did you hear the one about the magic tractor? It was driving down the road when it suddenly turned into a field! Love jokes so bad they’re good. 🙂 My name’s Darren, I’m 26 and working in accounting atm, it’s a hard slog but I’m making the big bucks LOL. I’m just here checking it all out, not looking for anything serious but just someone laid back to have some fun with. I’m all about rap, hip hop, the footie and can’t wait for my next adventure in Australia!’ would become……
‘My name’s Darren, I’m 28. I work in accounting but I fucking hate it and it’s slowly sucking out my soul. I’m here to find someone to have sex with, anyone who’ll have me really. I like pizza coz who the fuck doesn’t like pizza, I listen to Take That when I’ve got my headphones in but I say Kanye if anyone asks. I wanna go to Australia some day but why save up when there’s pints to be bought?’
I think what it really comes down to is that meeting someone is about face to face chemistry. It’s about walking into a bar or into work or bumping into someone in the street and feeling your stomach flip and your loins burn (ew) and thinking ‘I wouldn’t fucking say no’. It’s about flirting and giggling and seeing where the night takes you. All this ferocious typing to an on screen profile just seems forced, repetitive and ultimately joyless when you know you’re all there for the same desperate reason. The chase is gone only to be replaced by a conveyor belt. It just doesn’t feel right.
And don’t even get me started on the bad spelling and grammar……