So, here I am a month into this online dating endeavor and I’m like “why aren’t there directions for this thing!?” I mean I guess in today’s world dating goes without any rules and regulations. It certainly doesn’t abide by the the laws it used to. I mean unless of course there’s a new rule book hidden among some secret dating society. Online dating, lets just clarify, isn’t for everyone, yet neither is dating in general. It’s a lot like an extreme sport. Lets use skiing as an example. There you are, all bundled up, adrenaline beginning to build under your skin, skis tightly snapped to your boots as you approach the chair lift. You sit comfortably, or as comfortably as you can, with your body covered in gear head to toe. The chair lift slowly creeks its way up the mountain as you dangle your feet in the breeze. You watch the other skiers gracefully glide down on top of the fresh white snow. Higher and higher you climb to the top as you feel the excitement building and your heart begins to beat faster. The chair lift drops you off at the top and you approach the edge of no return. “You got this” you think clenching your poles and curling your toes in your boots as if to grip on to anything you can. You descend. Picking up speed as you go. Back and forth you glide just as the other skiers did. The wind pushing against you as you go. “This is great!” you think as your heart races and you feel invincible. Now here’s where it gets tricky. At any point as you descend your luck could change. Worst case scenario you fall and hurt yourself. You hope you don’t, but it crosses your mind. You hope it’s as easy as picking yourself back up and continuing on the path to your goal. You must dodge the obstacles as you go like trees, other skiers, etc. while remaining upright. You can only hope that luck is always on your side.
I compare this to online dating as it is very much the same thing. As you create this profile that is meant to outline you as a wonderful, one of a kind, great catch of a human being, you get that feeling of nervous excitement. You hear those stories about people finding true love online and think, just as you watch the skiers descend down the mountain, “I’m going to do it exactly like that”. Once you hit that ominous “submit” button you’ve begun the long windy glide down the mountain. Here’s where the obstacles and your hope begin to surface. This journey of finding a match online is like trying to dodge a monster of a pine tree on skies. You’d either better a be a damn good skier or be able to bounce right back up when the going gets tough. It takes a lot of work to online date, searching through profiles, messaging, winking (I don’t know what the point is), holding a conversation through messaging, setting up a date (if it gets that far), meeting, hoping it goes well, hoping he calls if it goes well, worrying if he doesn’t call, wondering when is he supposed to call, feeling like you’re never going to find the one when he doesn’t, and the list goes on and on. It’s exhausting. Just as if you’re being pushed back by the wind on your skis. You just want that moment of calm when you can take a deep breath and know you’ll make it down okay.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why is it that meeting someone as you get older becomes more of a challenge than learning to tie your shoes as a child? If only that was still our greatest challenge. We build up this hope as human beings that the fairy tale exists and that the trip down the mountain will be a obstacle-less journey. Though we all know it really won’t be that way at all. Do we enjoy the challenge? Do we enjoy the ups and downs that finding love brings? No, we as humans can’t possibly enjoy such torment. Instead we carry with us the optimism that there is someone out there for each of us. Someone whom we view as “the one”. This someone whom we choose to seek out online as with our busy lives we may never meet otherwise.
So, a month into this moutnainous decent I start my journey. I should also point out that I’ve only ever skied once in my life and as a child. Like so many even experienced skiers, we all travel down the mountain with the same question, “what will this journey be like?”. I’m optimistic to make this trek with an open mind and continue to not let the obstacles deter me from trying. As a “newbie” and having only been on a few dates I already feel the overwhelming sensation of “how does this all really work?” and “what am I supposed to do now?” What are the rules to dating, really? Do we call? Do they call? When should they call? What does it mean when they text what they do? Yes, as we all know texting is the new calling. What makes the process the right way to date or the wrong way? These questions have all been flooding my mind since I started this endeavor. I’m beginning to think there may not even be one specific answer to all of this. I’m hoping through this method I will be able to learn and guide others in the process. My goal is to make it down the mountain not only in one piece but to answer these questions, skis still attached, a smile on my face and proud I will have reached my goal.