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How-To-Online-Date-And-Not-Get-Kidnapped-Murdered-Or-Shanked: Part Four

I’m sure by this point you’re all atwitter with online dating induced hormones due to electronic winks, e-nudges, and witty interweb banter. You’ve made it past the scary, disgusting, and lurking online dating trolls, and you think you are ready for your first IRL interaction.

Part Four: First Dates

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that is troublesome.

Issac Asimov

If you replace, “Life” with “Flirting” and “Death” with “Being in a relationship” then this is totally applicable to online dating. In fact, I’m pretty sure that our man Issac probably meant to say this, but was trying to sound deep to impress some girl. Whatever his intentions, there is a lot to learn from this statement in regards to your online dating life. Here are some things I’ve learned to avoid bad first dates.

Messaging for a long time before you actually meet: If you are new to online dating you are probably nervous to meet with someone after just a few message exchanges. Trust me though, this usually leads to nothing but a lot buildup and quite a bit of disappointment. The wonderful thing about the internet is that it is quite easy to be a different version of yourself, and an internet persona can be well crafted and implemented. For example, after reading a few of my blogs I’m sure you’re imagining me to be socially adept, quick with witty banter and anecdotes, and with a laugh like Julia Roberts. In reality, I usually eat all of my meals hunched over the kitchen sink, and I once received a compliment by saying, “Uhhhh thanks…you have…a nice face.” Not to say that these things aren’t charming in their own regard, but not what I choose to put out there when I’m “spitting game” on a series of tubes.

Remember when I wrote about awkward-side-hug-no-eye-contact-I-hate-my-brothers-guy in Part Three? This was a classic case of well-crafted, internet identity gone awry. Please don’t let it happen to you.

Moral of the story is, don’t invest too much time or energy into their internet persona. Its like the book version of themselves, it is always better than going and seeing it acted out in theaters.  Chances are that you probably are not going to listen to me on this one, and will just have to learn for yourself.

Going on a date after one message: So you didn’t listen to my advice, went on a date that went terribly after sending messages back and forth for five weeks, and now have decided to not spend so much time and energy on the online portion anymore. This is also a bad idea. I did this once, and we had so little common ground to build from that making conversation was painful. To be honest I had just barely skimmed his profile. All I could I remember was that he was a med student, his profile pictures were cute, and that we both like sriracha hot sauce. This translated into finding out he was a bit stuffy, sucked at mancala, and 1 hour and 15 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

Let’s go back to the book and movie version analogy. Before you go see the movie, you’ve probably read at least part of the book right? You have the main gist; you’re fairly certain there are no teen vampires, and you know that Dumbledore is going to die later in the series. Wouldn’t it have been terrible if Edward Cullen had skulked onto the screen in the Sorcerer’s Stone and stabbed Dumbledore? Answer: Yes. Solution? Don’t go on dates after one message.

Not-kidnapped-murdered-or-shanked euphoria: You are probably going to be super nervous for your very first date after reading a blog titled “How-To-Online-Date-And-Not-Get-Kidnapped-Murdered-Or-Shanked.” Odds are it will go just fine. Like a real gentleman he probably left his shiv and kidnapping paraphernalia at home for the first date. {Kidding, kidding, kidding…} You’ll have a few laughs maybe, some polite conversation, and maybe hug goodnight.

Post-date you are going to be relieved and amazed that your face isn’t on the side of a milk carton and you’re not bleeding onto your new blouse from fresh stab wounds. “Wow,” you’ll think to yourself, “this guy really is a keeper.” The next day you will regale your friends with tales about how he didn’t drive an unmarked white van or make death threats to you. They’ll smile and congratulate you, but you see a strange glint in their eyes. Perhaps, envy? Clearly, you’ve found “the one,” and they’re jealous and threatened by the deep connection the two of you made the night previous when he didn’t apprehend or assault you.  You quickly make plans for a second date with him, and are further impressed when he replies with a normal text message and not a picture of his genitalia!

The second date rolls around, and the euphoria begins to wear off. Didn’t he tell this story last time? Why are there so many awkward pauses? Did he really just say, “Thanks brah” to the waiter?  The let down is a bit brutal when you realize this is probably not true love sitting across the table from you, but just a nice person that, like most people, never had the inclination to kidnap, murder, or shank you. Sorry slugger, happens to the best of us. After learning your lesson once, it should be relatively easy to differentiate between infatuation and total relief.

And that, ladies and gents is the conclusion to the online dating tutorial. Questions, concerns, and embarrassing online dating anecdotes for my reading pleasure can be directed here.


Allison B.