I imagine dating never has been an easy prospect. There likely always were downsides to the dating world.
Modern technology has desensitized most to the natural interactions between humans.
Most people don’t look up from their phones long enough to see the world, let alone potential dates.
Add the time-suck of social media and other internet black holes, and there is a very limited time to meet organically.
Sure, the internet has made the world a smaller place, but it hasn’t made dating more simple.
One would think the shrinking of the world would be positive, but it opens up a whole new level to individuals who legitimately are looking for their significant other.
There are so many different things for people to be interested in that the odds of finding someone with whom you are compatible seem astronomical.
At 25, I believed I would find love the “organic” way — we would become friends, fall in love and get married.
To be fair, I had at this point what I thought would be my last job, a 401(k), a newer car and my own place.
Trust me when I say it is impossible to find an eligible man at work in an industry full of well-established, slightly older men.
Nerd or not — it’s a tough market.
So I waited.
And I waited.
It seemed like I waited forever.
After years of starts and stops, of heartache and heartbreak, I gave up on an organic meeting and instead turned to the internet.
Internet dating is not ideal for everyone.
You have to create a profile, which takes quite a bit of time and practice — my first attempt failed so badly I trashed it and made a new one.
The settings on the profile all have to be checked. If you leave them alone, you could be soliciting casual encounters.
And you have to weed out the fake and “bot” profiles.
The struggle doesn’t end there.
After all the time and effort you put in, there’s still a chance the person you have spent time talking to is not the person to whom you think you’ve been talking.
It’s called “catfishing” — people actually spend time creating fake profiles and tricking people into believing they have found true love or friendship.
Some pretend to be different people, use different names or pictures, or claim to be of a racial background that is not their own or of the opposite sex.
Because this kind of dating starts online, there is no way to know for sure if the person is being truthful or merely playing games.
So, you’re putting yourself out there — way out there — with no guarantee the online dating profile you’ve created will get you anywhere positive.
At this point, I had become comfortable with myself, who I was and what my life was — I still wanted love, but was okay without it.
Gareth wasn’t even on my radar. He was located too far away for my taste.
I was, however, on his.
It took five weeks of communications with him, via messaging, Facebook, texting and phone calls, but he finally wore me down.
I agreed to go on a date.
And yet another.
As it turns out, if you can avoid the pitfalls, online dating isn’t nearly as scary as it seems.
The time I took meticulously creating a profile, the ridiculous amount of “quizzes” I took and the hours of spending time on the internet were worth the outcome.
I will give this warning, though: Do your research. Use a reputable site, don’t give out too much personal information and always double-check the person to whom you’re talking.
Hopefully, you will be as lucky as I was — to find someone to love and marry.