Thursday, October 25, 2012

Plenty of fish?

Plenty of fish? Eharmony. Zoosk. Plentyoffish. OkCupid. I could go on. Those are just some of the most popular online dating sites today. And I have come to a conclusion. If these sites worked for most people and dating was easy, online dating wouldn't be the billion dollar industry it has become. There wouldn't be a need for it. Much like the diet industry, there's a reason it's also a billion dollar venture. People try and fail. Or in the case of dating, try and maybe meet someone and break up and try again. Sure, there are married couples and people happily paired up. Some of my friends met their spouses online. But that's not the majority. If only one in five relationships start online, where do the other 80% start? Then there are the ones that fall in the one in five category. The "dating is just not working for me but I'm not totally ready to give up because mr/ms right could be the next click away" category. Eternal optimists and romantic comedies fuel the online dating economy. And then there's dating in general. Which at age 30 is a double-edged sword.

You're smarter about who you want and what's important to you but also realizing that the people that fit that category might be few and far between. Or are already married. Or gay. Or both. Or the famous "just not that into you". Which, by the way, has given people the power to use that excuse more than ever before. That book perpetuated stereotypes-and unfortunately gave people (read: wimps not strong enough to admit the truth) a line to tell someone and let themselves off the hook and not having to feel that guilt you feel when you hurt someone who cares about you. It's not MY fault I'm not into you. It just took 3 months to realize. Ladies (and men) please. You know almost rapid-fire fast if you're into someone. With the Internet today, you find out more about someone before you meet them than you used to find out in the first three dates. I'm not saying that's a good thing; I'm just saying that's reality. And maybe that's the problem. There isn't much of a mystery to dating these days. It's all a google/linkedin/facebook click away. With online dating, you should proceed with caution but that applies to dating in general. You don't really know who the other person is unless it was a carefully vetted set up by mutual friends. But still. The mystery is gone. Manners are sometimes gone under the guise of "I'm blunt, deal with it". People say "oh I'm just being me" or "This is who I am like it or not" but not a lot of people are going to like profanity-laced phone calls and constant stories about themselves and tales of the "good ol' days" of getting into fights. That may or may not have been someone that I talked to. (OK. It was).

The point is, dating is no easier now than five years ago. There are many theories why and depending who you talk to-ahem my guy best friend- some people feel that it's because women have more "power" now, more earning potential and more influence. Roles are reversed. I don't entirely agree because most women still want that courtship, still want to feel like a lady (OK princess), still want to be appreciated and treated well. We just want respect for what we have accomplished. Not insecurity. Not judgement. Not "well you make more than me so you should pay more than I do". That also may or may not have happened to me. But, with so many other "options" a click away, people get scared to settle. And not just men. I see women do that too. But oftentimes, someone better isn't just a click away. Everyone brings something to the table, both good and bad. We all have the "stuff" that makes us us. We have the good, the bad and the ugly. It's being able to stick with someone for more than a passing fancy and take a chance on someone and not bailing and thinking "i might be able to search for a guy/girl that won't do that" when things aren't fun and hot and heavy 24/7. Yes, you may be able to search for someone else who doesn't do whatever "it" is, but I can guarantee you that other person will do something else that irks you regardless. While a lot of things are ordered on-demand in our society, a date, partner, or spouse should not be. You may have met online and known more about each other up front than had you met otherwise, but that does not mean you need to speed-date through the relationship. Take a chance. Get to know someone. Put the mouse down. Hide your profile awhile. You just might surprise yourself and realize that someone better is the someone you have already met

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