The only thing I like about online dating is that you get to be sort-of anonymous. Assuming you’re not about that Catfish life, you are using your real picture, and if you care about actually meeting someone who will like your personality you try to display enough of it on the essay portion of your profile. I don’t bother with sending what some people call a “representative*”. I lay all of my Harry Potter loving, Sex in the City watching, Nutella eating, and cat cuddling on the table as to not appear “normal”  and then turn into the weirdo after a guy gets to know me. But alas, I’m deeper than that, and for the most part, online dating is set up so that the stranger on the other side of the computer screen or app has to ask more questions to get to know you.

I like the idea that it takes a little longer to establish a connection online because then you get to feel someone out before you allow them into your personal space. If you meet someone in passing and you give them your number, they can reach you personally at any time. Online conversations only happen when you have time to check your inbox.

Anonymity In my case, is crucial because over the past eight years, I have spent the majority of my time leaving a digital record of my personal and relationship fails on the Internet (using my real name). That’s eight years of breakups, gushing over the wrong people, and self-deprecating content. Yes, I know that you can’t complain about what’s on the Internet about you especially if you’re the one that put it out there. So I’m not. But when it comes to dating, I would like the guy I’m interested in, to get my issues and past fuck-ups directly from me. Otherwise I picture the misunderstanding that happens in the Key and Peele skit about texting. While I’m over here typing and laughing while crying sometimes about my dating fails, I picture my potential love interest taking notes, judging me, and probably strategizing on how to back away slowly. I already overshare on dates because of this.

I’ve gotten to the point where I am amused by my singleness. I chuckle to myself every time I cuddle with my cat rather than an actual human being. But it’s hard to think that my humor may go over the head of a guy who stumbles across my writing. He may look at me like a sad sack who wears mismatched socks,  buys cat food and ice cream in bulk, and drowns all of my sorrows in a Venti sized Starbucks cup or a glass of wine. Though all of this is indeed true, I find it downright hilarious and a source for great writing material. A guy I’m dating, who hasn’t been around me long enough to find my quirkiness endearing, probably won’t.

At this point I’ve only gone out more than once with two guys I met online. There’s the one I’m currently hoping isn’t reading about my life as we speak, and another who went the extra mile to dig up my life instead of just asking me questions. What irked me about The Digger was he was super secretive. While on dates that were designed so that we didn’t have much to do but talk, he would act as if I had a light on his face asking his whereabouts on a dark and stormy night, when I inquired about basic things like his favorite color. I chalked it up to him being shy and me being a tad too outgoing.

I told him that I was a writer and that I wrote for a publication about places to go in my borough. He took it upon himself to Google my first name with the term “writer” then tracked my professional writing back to my blog. I felt violated because I didn’t even know his last name and this dude had already formed opinions on me that were wrong because he didn’t get my humor. The Digger spent the entire time we hung out after he discovered my blog, hinting that I shouldn’t write about him, ever. Then after a week of silence on both of our parts, I got the awkward “let’s just be friends” text. Of course I declined.

The guys I usually date, get to know me before they are exposed to my writing. Some of them are gracious about appearing randomly in my diatribes, others haven’t read a word I’ve written (those situations didn’t last long because once it’s known that I’m a writer it’s almost mandatory that the guy I’m dating is supportive of my writing). Even if I wasn’t leaving a trail of my thoughts and feelings all over the interwebs, I think these days it’s even harder for things to develop slowly. In the olden days before Google, you would find out pieces about someone’s demeanor by how they act in front of you or discover information about their past because it is revealed to explain a current situation you are going through with that person. If someone decides to look you up, Google is like:

“Here is all of this person’s shit, enjoy the smell.”

It puts you in a situation where you have to work backwards.

googling you

When I got a text yesterday from the guy I’m currently very much into, that said “Say Waaaaugh?!” and a picture that was featured on my inner outer fat girl blog post, I laughed and then I started to panic. Thanks to Apple switching our conversation from the phone numbers we exchanged to our iCloud info, he was now in possession of my full name. I have nothing to hide, and he already made me comfortable enough to not be ashamed of my clumsiness and chocolate addiction but I responded to his discovery by saying that I wanted to personally introduce him to the home of my neuroses (my blog). His response was that in our several face-to-face encounters and our conversations, I already did. In other words, he could already tell that I’m pleasantly nuts and he appears to be okay with it. In fact he set our next date right on the spot.

The thing is, I write about my life here, and because of that, I get paid to write about my life elsewhere. The way my bank account is set up, I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. If you date a writer you will be immortalized one way or the other. It’s already hard enough to find a guy in these streets but it feels good to date someone who not only sees all of your dirt but the flowers that are growing out of it.

 

Representative*: The version of yourself that displays your best qualities in order to get someone to like you.

 

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