Retrospection

November 1, 2014

 

 *Reader submission, photo of author*

 

I’m quitting OK Cupid. I’m surprised I even have a profile to begin with.

 

I am quite the old fashioned gal, one with a need for courting and chivalry—to an extent. I am enraged every time a man judges me based on my looks and this probably lends a huge factor into why I don’t enjoy meeting men in bars or clubs.

 

How could you possibly think you are attracted to me by just my appearance alone?

Granted, this is a sizeable factor in any relationship, as physical attraction plays a hefty role in sexual attraction. However, in my experience, I have found that I have forged any longer-term relationships on personality and their ability to grow a solid friendship with me.

 

Once you’re in with friendship, you are golden.

 

This method of cultivating a romantic relationship poses a few problems however, one huge issue being the fact that once settled in as friends, it may be hard for one party or the other to move into a romantic realm of thought.

 

Some long stories later, here I am, single and young in NYC, looking for love. Where do people meet? I was told, “on online dating sites, of course”.

 

So I set one up.

 

First couple of weeks: I spend hours browsing thousands of profile pictures of semi-decent men within 10 miles of me. I begin to judge them based on a simple carnal attraction to a photograph. Hot? I click into their profile. Read their bio.

 

I found one man quite my type—if you know me at all you know I go severely weak at the knees for mixed guys. He had everything going for him. UK, Cali and NY made up his background of upbringing and he lived fairly close to me on the island of Manhattan. He was older, and hopefully more mature than the men I was used to being around. I was looking at his profile because he had sent me a message. He liked me, or rather, my profile. We had some back and forth banter, and finally, he asked me to coffee. It sounded innocent enough, so I agreed. Of course, I was nervous, not being an avid dater.

 

On Saturday, I asked, “what time today?“

No response.

So, on Monday, I forgot all about him. And it was quickly onto the next .

 

This was November, the holidays just beginning. I put OKC on the backburner and lived my real life, dealing with the trauma of a long distance lost love. I was miserable, and by December was back on the site to check out new prospects.

 

The “virtuality” of OKC is mind-boggling to me. Here I am, in the comfort of my home, browsing these potential dates and love interests and heck, even potentially a life long partner through photographs and 6 paragraphs about them (if you’re lucky). I wondered about the practices of online dating. Are there social cues? I stumbled across “mixed-race November man” and clicked into his profile. This was new years.

 

“Happy new year” he wrote me, two hours after he clearly had seen my activity on his page.

I didn’t answer him.

 

Somehow, I was still pettily upset at this man I didn’t even know. I was upset at how he abandoned our very lucid date plans back in the fall, and this now tainted everything that he may try to do to dig himself out of that hole.

 

But this brings me to a question. What makes this disappointment any different from the disappointment I felt from a relationship cultivated on months of friendship and care and reality when he decided a new girl was a better choice than me?

 

I felt defeated when a person I had touched, smelled, kissed, rejected me. But I also felt that similar sting of rejection from this man I knew nothing about but three pictures.

 

Could it be that all forms of dating are one in of the same and can ultimately illicit the same emotional responses?

 

Perhaps this is clear writing in the sand that I must not be too rigid with this modern form of dating, a modern form of love.

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