The Awkwardness of Online Dating

12:36 Lissa Reed 2 Comments

 I was never one to date online. I never liked the idea of it. But after moving to London and realizing that online dating has become even more common than picking up guys at bars I realized that I needed to reconsider. If some of you have doubts about online dating, then I know what you are thinking: what if he’s not the guy on the photos from his profile? What if he’s dangerous? What if he gets disappointed when he sees me? And the list goes on and on. But, living in world where our lunch gets instangrammed and our broken heart gets promoted through sad quotes on everyone’s facebook newsfeed… why not date online as well? So after I met a happily married couple from an online dating website I thought I should give it a shot (Even if it doesn’t work out I would still do it in the name of research!).  I decided I would meet someone, chat them online and then meet up with them just to see how awkward online dating would be!

  It didn’t take long for me to get accustomed to the website (I won’t give a name, this is no promotion of any particular website) and from there on I started chatting guys up or they would start chatting me up. Truth is, I am picky and I see lots of mistakes while online dating, which I will soon make a post out of. So for me to start talking to guys it meant that I really liked what I saw and read and that they didn’t seem weird (which is extremely common when online dating!). I met Jacob about three weeks into online dating and it didn’t take long for us to start talking on a daily basis. After a week or so of online chatting we decided to exchange numbers and the conversation went on there, and I must say it was quite pleasant. I usually lose interest in guys an hour after I start talking to them (I know it’s really bad!). It wasn’t long until we decided to meet up. I said ok when he suggested a day but as the day got closer I got anxious and scared… what if he’s someone else? What if I’m in danger? What if he doesn’t like me and he turns around and walks away?... I was about to cancel on him because I was too scared but then I realized that it’s stupid and I might as well get it over with. 

However, you I need to emphasize that STRANGER DANGER IS REAL and you need to take precautions for that: meet at a public place and trust your instinct when it comes to these things. If your gut tells you that you are not safe with this person then go with it! Leave immediately! Besides that, the rest of the fears are usually a lot more superficial. 

 So we met up in a public place for a drink. At first it was a bit awkward and we shook hands and I felt like I was on a job interview… but then again every first date is like a job interview. We stayed for a couple of hours, trying to learn more about each other, but it was nothing remarkable. I would have forgotten the whole day if there wasn’t one little thing that freaked me out in a way. The guy lied about his ethnicity. When I asked where he was from he said he was English. I knew he didn't look English, but I didn’t question it. When we met up and started talking about families he mentioned where his family was from (I don’t want to mention it here, for privacy reasons) and he just said that he lived a long time in England. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with wherever he was from, but why lie about it? I wouldn’t care if he told me, but when I realized he lied about it, it put me off immediately. He walked me to the station when it was time to say goodbye and then it was the awkward moment… to kiss or not to kiss? I wasn’t sure if I liked him or not, but I thought ‘what’s one kiss?’ I didn’t know what he was thinking so I just leaned slightly forward and waited to see his reaction. He leaned in and kissed me goodnight, we said we would meet again soon and then we never spoke again.

 Now I realize that this is not a great story and there’s nothing remarkable about it, but that was just the first time I met up with someone through online dating, and I realized there’s nothing to fuss about. Later when more guys started chatting me up, I talked to someone that had gone on a lot of online dates and he said ‘it is just like meeting someone in a bar, it’s no big deal’… and I had to admit he was right! You wouldn’t blindly trust someone just because you met them once in a bar, and it’s the same with online dating. After all, if you meet up and you decide you don’t like them then find an excuse and run for your life (well not run for your life, but you get the idea!).

 Even though my story has nothing remarkable, and the kiss wasn’t even that good. Sarah met up with probably the best kisser in the world (according to her!). One late night, she told me over the phone “I couldn’t stand listening to him one more second so I had to shut him up… turns out I chose the right way to do it!!” The guy was self-obsessed and adored himself more than words can say, but at least he knew what to do with his hands and lips! They spent together an hour and a half and they were in lip-lock for the bulk of it! They barely talked to each other after that, but when Sarah decided she wanted to be in a lip-lock with him for another hour she received a reply: “I’ve been a little messy lately and prefer to be alone for a while..”. It’s acceptable that he may not want to meet up with her, but come on man! We all go through personal issues, but if she barely knows you; you better it keep it to yourself! Just say I’m busy or come up with another lame excuse… on the other hand, despite the awkward reply, you gotta give it to the guy: he was honest! So Sarah’s first online date wasn’t exactly a dream come true either, but that’s not the point here. The point is that both she and I overcame the fear of it and tried it. If you are one of those people that want to do it but are just too scared and too hesitant, say to yourself: What do I have to lose? Honestly, absolutely nothing. As long as you are safe and responsible, then give it a go and see where it goes. I didn’t meet prince charming, but a really close friend of mine did, and they’ve been happily married for over 5 years now. And even if you don’t meet ‘The One’, you’ll meet new people, maybe have a couple of laughs or maybe sit around and count the minutes until he’s gone, but it’s all part of the process. It’s all going to be an experience and something to look back at and laugh later on. Don’t let the ‘awkwardness of online dating’ hold you back! Give it a go and see what comes out of it.

 All in all, I didn’t meet up with Jacob again and I don’t online date that much anymore. Maybe I didn’t like Jacob, maybe he was nice and I’m just not ready to date again or maybe I’m not cut out for online dating… but at least now I know, I gave it a try and who knows I might go back to it sometime!

Did you have any experiences with online dating? Feel free to share them with me and tell me how it turned out!

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  1. Giving something a try is important - what would make you try online dating again? Do you think a different site might help your experience?

    1. I don't think it was a matter of website, I think it has to do with the person individually. You can meet all kinds of people from any website, and it also depends on the state of mind you are as well when you try online dating.
      As to whether I would try it again, maybe I would. I wouldn't say no, but given that I just started recovering from a break up, maybe I'm not ready to date altogether yet, not just online date. I guess I would try it again, in the future.