July 9, 2024

I always saw online dating as something unnatural. It sounds like a dim view, but it feels forced to me. I mean, picture this: You’re sitting at home, lonesome and unloved, maybe even horny as hell. You go online, create an account and start cruising for potential men or women living nearby for either a casual encounter or something real. You find a couple of people you’re interested in. You strike up a conversation with your top pick, exchange numbers, text each other day and night before you decide to meet up. You go out to meet one another, always keeping yourself in check, trying so hard to put forward the best version of yourself.

Things end up not working out for whatever reason, and after a week of wondering what the hell went wrong, you decide to try again. You go online and you see this person online again. You wonder if he or she is looking for someone else, or if they’re just killing time. You strike up a conversation with the second best person on your list, and soon, you find yourself stuck in this loop where you keep on going out with people you don’t get along with. Then you run out of options and decide you’re better off being single.

Regrettably, that was me on the first year after my college graduation. It was finally time to get out into the world and make something out of myself. I spent the first couple of months looking for jobs and found none to be even remotely satisfying. During that time, the bed was my only friend. Ryan and Lee were gone, and most of my college friends moved away right after graduation. I would lay in bed and stare into nothingness for days on end, and time went so slow it started to feel unbearably painful. So I decided to go on dating sites and see what happens.

The first guy I went out with was a veterinary student. He had just gotten out of a relationship carrying with him a lot of emotional baggage, and I immediately spotted that as a red flag. He had to be avoided, so I let him go. Second guy worked in real estate. During our first hangout together, all he talked about was work and how he made a lot of money. It wasn’t too hard to see how insecure he was about his physical appearance and how he lacked a ridiculous amount of self confidence. Me and him didn’t stay in touch. Third guy was a paramedic. He was desperate for human contact, and as soon as he laid his eyes on me, he started planning for the future. He was ten steps ahead of me when we met up for coffee, and I knew right away I couldn’t put up with that kind of pathetic behavior.

To me, none of those encounters were actual dates. I say that because nothing even in the slightest bit intimate happened. There was no romance. There was no real attraction. No spark. There was no looking forward to the next time. And the worst part is that I let myself get affected and derailed by some of those guys’ negative behavior. It was such a waste of time. I had to deal with insecure, closeted, brainless and inexperienced guys. They were unreliable, lonely, desperate, heartbroken, depressed. They put themselves out there strictly as some sort of obligation. To prove to themselves they can actually attract somebody to them. They were uninterested and uninteresting. Just shallow human beings. A total waste of my time. The troubling part however, was that I saw a little bit of myself in each one of them. That said, I still managed to take the high road and present myself as a happy and confident individual. I wasn’t faking it to lie about who I truly was, I was trying to be a better person, and I thought if I could find someone who’ll appreciate me, maybe that would change the way I perceived myself. People say you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. I don’t think that’s entirely true. How can you love yourself if no one in the entire world ever loved you?

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