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Online Dating...Not The Cure For Loneliness.

Let's see. What type of story would you like to hear? I have no successful online dating stories. If I did, I most likely wouldn't be on here writing anything at all. I'd be content, with that digital significant other made flesh, in the real tangible world. But that's not the case, because I've found that online dating is nothing more than matchmaking my neuroses with someone else's neuroses. And can you guess what that makes? Some interesting stories. Loneliness is a hell of a drug.

I've been on about 15 online dates in total. Some of them were forgettable. Some of them stick out. Typically what I wind up getting involved with, is complete and total false advertising. I think a lot of people who make online dating profiles must buy all their rose tinted glasses from the same store. You read their profile, they seem interesting if only because they've listed some of the things you're interested in... They throw as much spaghetti at the wall as they possibly can. Kind of reminds me of politicians running of office, or better yet, a job interview. No one is going to tell you or show you the bad things. No sir. No one is going to post the pictures of them waking up in the morning, or the pictures of them coming home from work. They're going to get all dolled up, make all the cute faces, make sure the angles of the photo are correct so that their triple chin and spare tire is conveniently hidden by optical illusions. They'll post the pictures of that 1 great day in a sea of below average days living within the desert of the Real. That one good day, or good night where they appear to be having oh so much fun. They're the life of the party, everything is awesome and the music is playing strictly for them. The stars came out that night, specifically for them. They want you to believe it. Maybe they don't even know it, but that picture is what it says. They're going to show you and tell you all of the lovely wonderful beautiful things, which due to personal perception, really isn't any closer to the actual truth than those rose tinted glasses will allow. There's a barrier that exists. The barrier is self perception. And oftentimes, fantasy.

Some of the people I've met online... One girl actually showed up on date with her 2 homosexual friends. I thought to myself, alright whatever, she needs a wing man or 2, fine. She was also at least 150lbs more than what her photos conveyed. Angles. Great dampeners of truth. The entire time at the restaurant, I was being hit on and flirted with by 2 guys who kept earnestly trying to put ice down the collar of my shirt, and making sexual innuendos. I found out later on that she thought it would be fun to try and set up a random straight guy from a dating site with one or both of her gay friends. Joke was on me, I guess. Still, I try to keep an open mind.

Met another girl who in the middle of our date, ran into an old friend by chance, and just kind of left me there to deal with the check. Really? I didn't really know what to think at the time. I'm slow to anger, and have more patience than you could imagine. I didn't even know what to say. So I just kind of sat there alone, taking it all in. Here I am, on a date. Things appeared to go well, and oh here comes her friend. Alrighty then. Oh, and now she's leaving with her friend. That's how fast it happened. Like I wasn't even there. Date? What date? I called after her and she gives me this half-assed little wave lol. What a ****** date.

And the coup de grace. Made the mistake of putting "420 Friendly" in my profile on one site... And out of nowhere, I get an IM from a girl wanting to hang and smoke. So I take a look at her profile, she claims she has a bachelor's degree in business. She has dreams. She's not looking for intimate encounters. She's looking for a relationship and something real. She likes to read, and have in depth conversations. Her intentions are already beginning to contradict what she wrote in her profile. And I'm thinking, hrm... I have to go to work in 2 hours... So to make a long story short, she talks me into calling out (which, influenced by loneliness, I do stupid things habitually), talks me into going over to her place... Went over there, talked, smoked, and wound up having the grossest most awkward hookup in the history of hookups. The entire encounter was so completely awkward, I don't know why I just didn't leave. Don't know why I even went there in the first place. And she still IMs me from time to time... Her loneliness must be great too.  I've never personally taken the walk of shame before, but I did that night. She passed out, I went home, poured bleach all over my junk in the hopes that I didn't catch anything, and sat in the shower praying to God. Loneliness. Why does it have such a strong influence? It causes me to put up with intolerable ****, causes me to do completely irrational things, and meet completely crazy people.

So here you are, you find someone interesting on Dating Site X Y Z. You talk, everyone's on their best behavior... You finally meet the person. And...Disappointment. Maybe it's not physical, maybe it is. Maybe it's intellectual disappointment... Something's off. Either with you, or the person you meet. But there's something definitely not right with this picture. But the phone call went so well! We emailed for a month, and I felt a connection! And therein lies the problem. Perception. What you feel is completely inside your own head. Your mind creates the chemicals for loneliness, which is the whole reason you're on the dating site to begin with. And the brain creates the chemicals for perception. People are simply different online than they are in person. Maybe it was the build up that lead to the day of actual meeting. Maybe you had envisioned instant chemistry... And here you are, in a coffee house, in front of a stranger (more or less), trying to be funny or witty, or trying to appear interested. You go through the mental checklist of things you remember from their profile and find that you've already had this conversation already. You probably had it within the 2nd or 3rd email. Maybe the person was a little shorter than you expected. Maybe a little heavier. But the reality is, this is the person you've been corresponding with, and your expectations didn't add up to it. So you make the best of it...

The date continues, you've shelled out money... Was it better than sitting at home? Probably, since you know what sitting at home gets you. If you're anything like myself, you've sat at home many times thinking of how great it'd be to have someone to go out with, to do things with, to have experiences with... And here you are now, having a date with someone, trying to live through those physical and emotional needs, trying to make it all add up. But somehow, it doesn't add up. Never fear though... There's always another online date waiting to happen. And another, and another...Names and faces kind of blend together. Maybe you keep in touch, maybe you don't. In my case, the texts become fewer and fewer until one day, I feel absolutely no reason to text someone who gives me 1 word answers anymore. Or, in the extreme opposite, you wind up finding someone who really likes you...and you just don't feel the same way. What do you do? Stick around hoping those feelings will develop? It's such a lonely world... And sometimes I wish I had a set of those glasses.
TheDarkTower TheDarkTower 31-35, M 9 Responses Mar 2, 2012

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First of all you're a great writer!

I feel your pain with loneliness and online dating. I've met 4 people now and my experiences are similar. I hope one of these days you meet someone great! You seem like a wonderful person. *hugs*

I love your honesty.....i enjoyed your story.

I'm on a dating site now. It's only been a week but no luck. I truly believe ppl don't take things seriously now and days :-(

Maybe it's that, maybe they don't know how to take anything seriously with this culture of cynicism and sarcasm. I think art imitates life and vice versa, and people feel as if they need drama in their life or their life has no meaning. No one knows how to work at anything meaning or how to be very still and think about it.

It's all about perspective and our expectations. What do we expect this relationship to do for us? If we can set our expectations to nil - then, maybe, just maybe...we can get through a date (relationship) that doesn't disappoint.

Your words resonated with me. I've dated virtually (online, text, email, chat, phone) for over 20 years. I can attest to the fact things never turn out the same in real life. However, the ones I meet in real life first are the same - as you mentioned, everyone is on their best behavior and you never know the real deal until you are sucked in already!

Hello! I'm looking for online dating stories. I want to write a book with 100's of stories, are you interested in having this one published? We can change all the names and I'll place you under the thank you section! (: what do you say?

I enjoyed reading this. Usually I find someone amazing on accident, when I've stopped looking..when I look, I run into disasters

I have been dating online for the past year and yes...this all rings true. It is frustrating and has caused my self esteem to drop. I KNOW I am a great woman, just need to find that great man..or have him find me.

Hello! I'm looking for online dating stories. I want to write a book with 100's of stories, are you interested in having this one published? We can change all the names and I'll place you under the thank you section! (: what do you say?

Such a delightful read. A 67-year-old friend wrote, never give up, and he's still looking. Law of the Seed.

Everything you said about online dating is true. I tried it for about 3mos, it felt so much like my most desperate move. But unlike you, I found a special soul (atleast for me he was). I will never forget the experience but I've learned a lesson never to dive again to that ocean. It's crazy how it left me feeling much lonely than I ever was.

Hello! I'm looking for online dating stories. I want to write a book with 100's of stories, are you interested in having this yours published? We can change all the names and I'll place you under the thank you section! (: what do you say?