Online Dating Is Not My Jam

I avoided online dating until I was twenty-eight. I wanted nothing to do with it. I talked shit on it for all the obvious reasons, but was mostly just afraid. I didn’t want to get axe murdered and I also don’t really like meeting new people.

But then I had this fucking awful breakup and hid indoors for many moons and everyone was like, “C’mon, girl. You gotta get back out there.” I rolled my eyes SO HARD, but I did it.

Meeting up with friends in a crowded public place is one of my least favorite things in life. Going to a bar to meet an online stranger date is much worse. You know that person’s face from seeing five pictures of them that are probably very old. You also have no real concept of their height/stature unless they’re over six feet tall, in which case it’s proudly listed on their profile (“I’m 6’2” because I guess you girls care about that sort of thing. Yes, you can still wear heels”).

This one guy invited me to dinner at his favorite Italian restaurant. When we got there, the waitress tried to seat us up front, but he requested his favorite table in the back. Anyone else would be flattered that he wanted a special spot for us, but I saw right through that shit. He was going to be difficult.

I wanted the food, so I sat patiently while he ordered appetizers, entrees, and wine. Throughout the meal that followed, he reveled in the glory of being featured in a somewhat-famous blog (“You haven’t SEEN it?”), spent a good amount of time lamenting his ex-girlfriend’s recent cross-country move (“We were going to move together, but she just couldn’t wait”), and even managed to insult my cute outfit (“Haha, you know who you look like? Like one of those Orthodox Jewish women!”). Don’t get me wrong, those gals wear killer wigs and jumpers, but my dress was hemmed ABOVE the knees. I know about these things.

At the end of the night, after bragging that he’d just spent over $200 on a concert ticket, he slid the check over to me to split the $120 bill he’d ordered. Trust me, I am ALL about paying for my own shit, but when I got home that night, I stomped around my apartment laugh/screaming, “SIXTY FUCKING DOLLARS!! I WANT MY SIXTY DOLLARS BACK!!” I decided that I’d essentially paid $60 to never have to see him again, so it was alright.

Another time I went out with a hairdresser who tried to hook me into a second date by offering to dye pink streaks in my hair for free. That shit’s expensive, so I considered, but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it.

There was also a celebrity cat dad — this means his cat is Instagram famous. Apparently there’s a ton of drama in the cat community. I don’t even like cats. This did not work.

I went on two dates with a scientist. My friends and I referred to him as “The Scientist” and I put a little beaker emoji next to his name in my phone. The first date was cool because we were at this dive bar and they set up karaoke. I sang “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks — not a traditional first date song choice, but I wanted to lay my cards out on the table.

On our second date, we went bowling (I fucking love bowling) and I arrived in high-waisted jeans, a cute raglan tee, and a ponytail. The dude was VISIBLY DISAPPOINTED that I wasn’t wearing a dress like on our first date. I got uncomfortable and made a joke like, “Haha I looked cute earlier, but I can’t bowl in a skirt.” He ACTUALLY SAID, “Oh, well you looked great the other night…oh, is that your backpack?” I clutched my backpack and said, “Yup, this is how I really am.”

I honestly should’ve just gone home at that point, but I was already there and we had the lane and the shoes, so I committed to bowling one game. We went over to the weird little bowling alley bar and I got a Blue Moon. He ordered a Bud Light. There wasn’t a terribly wide selection, but there were enough beers that you wouldn’t HAVE to get a Bud Light. He chose that beer because he liked it.

Then we started bowling and head’s up — don’t go bowling with a stranger. It’s fucking weird. You think it’s going to be cute and sweet and it’s not — it’s weird. Think about it, you go up to bowl your turn and then you go sit back down, and then they go, and they sit back down. So, you don’t really talk unless they stop and talk. Which he did. He told me about his rocky relationship with his brother and that he was going to a wedding with a bunch of his best friends from college, but they all got travel accommodations without him, so he had to get an Airbnb alone. He told me that he chose this Airbnb based on the review left by a woman who was angry that she and her friend tried to have a girls’ weekend at this guy’s house, but he hooked up with her friend and ruined it. THIS IS WHY HE CHOSE THE LISTING. Because he wanted, and I quote, “The weirdest one possible.”

The icing on the cake was this incredibly off-putting way he kept high-fiving me. Likely out of rage, I was bowling very well. So, every time I bowled my round, he would high-five me. But it wasn’t just a high-five. He would double high-five me and then weave his fingers into mine, as if we were holding hands. He didn’t do this once, he pulled this shit upwards of five times. So many times that I finally gave him a handshake instead of a high-five because I couldn’t take it anymore.

After The Scientist, I deleted the app. I tried one or two more times, but I honestly just don’t like online dating. A lot of people meet their boyfriends or girlfriends or even spouses that way, and I think it’s awesome. Someone made a good point recently, “We use the internet for everything else in our lives, why not dating?” I agree. It’s just not for me.

I don’t regret any of these dates because they’ve made excellent stories, but I think I have enough stories for now. I’m totally cool doing my own thing until I meet somebody in real life one day — somebody who’s fun and chill and won’t high-five me like a fucking weirdo.