by Lu C. Huynh
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of online dating, you’re missing out on heart-racing sparkling conversations over messaging platforms that will create romance butterflies the size of Texas in your stomach. Psych. I wrote that entire sentence to intensify the dramatic let down that online dating has in store for millions of daters the world over. Specifically, I’m talking about the folks out there looking for love and/or who want something beyond casual. For the record, I love dating. It’s fun to meet new people, flirt over a meal in a dimly lit restaurant and check out a Keith Haring exhibit at the De Young Museum. The problem is that a lot of potential dates never make it to the in-person dating phase due to something I like to call — message fatigue.
Related: The Perils of Online Dating
Ask anyone who actively online dates if they know what message fatigue is, and they will probably groan, roll their eyes, and agree that this part of online dating blows. It’s the introduction phase where the wheat gets separated from the shaft, and, truthfully, it’s an important phase, but it can be a real time-suck that produces little results and lots of disappointment. Now, there’s a number of very solid reasons why it’s smart to message back and forth with a potential date. If you are exclusively looking for a long-term relationship, it would be good to do some clarification messaging with user LetsHitit_69 to make sure you aren’t wasting each other’s time; some folks are strictly looking to bone. Furthermore, it behooves you to investigate why user Init2Winit listed Making a Murderer and Dexter as “favorite tv shows”, especially after you noticed photos of dead animals on their profile; maybe true love – maybe creep factor too high. Just sayin. Then there’s user Just4Kiks_lol, who answered every part of their profile, including the About Me section, with the phrase “ask me.” You might want to follow instructions with this one.
After you’ve pre-screened a potential date and feel confident that they are not a serial killer and will never vote for Donald Trump, it’s time to GO ON THE DATE. This is where many online daters get sucked into the vortex of when-will-this-boring-conversation-get-interesting-enough-for-me-to-want-to-meet-you-in-person. The answer is probably never. Ok, that’s a little dramatic, but for reals, there’s plenty of super awesome cool ass folks who have zero online social messaging talent. Think computer programmers and data analysts. They’re those people who shine bright like a diamond in the flesh, whose zest for life comes through as they boldly demonstrate Crossfit lifts in the lobby of the restaurant you just had a terrific date at. Conversely, there’s a whole host of people who have online messaging as their only talent in life; these people make horrible love partners.
The internet has conditioned us to live more through our screens than our skin. We read copious reviews of products that still sometimes end up being shitty products once we buy them. We trust the opinions of yelp users, people we’ve never met, to convince us to try the best sushi they’ve ever tasted instead of taking a risk to, ourselves, try and survive a sushi experience that is less than the fucking best. Love, connection, that butterfly feeling…it’s not real until its in-person. I can’t count the number of times someone seemed so fucking Gucci until we met face-to-face. But I don’t regret any of these dates. I learned things from being in their human presence that no amount of pre-game investigative research could have given me. And that’s exactly why instead of getting caught up in a week or twos worth of subpar online messaging with user YodaBest100, I encourage you to just schedule the goddamn date before the fatigue of being asked “how was your day” and responding “it was cool” for the 5th time that week makes you sick of this person.
So calm the fuck down. It’s just a date. You already know you’re great, and the person you could be meeting might be great too. If you trip and fall in front of them, there’s always the option of just not going on a second date. OR, and it’s a big OR, that little mishap might be the one thing about you they fall in love with, which, in all honesty, is probably worth the risk.