Original cover art by the talented Jenn Guo
This is the final part of a 6 part series about my personal experience with online dating. Click here to see other parts to this series.
So here we are at the big finale. I had set out to give online dating a test drive for one month. My time was almost up (this was in June, and I was leaving for Japan in July).
Let’s take a quick review. The bad: frustration at the difficulty of getting responses from girls. The good: the hilarious light-saber story, the fun of being an attention getting girl online, and of course, the prospect of a real life date. Things were looking more good than bad. However, let me warn you that the ending is rather anti-climactic.
So let me tell you a bit more about this girl I had planned a real-life date with. We’ll call her L. Her cute profile picture and nice profile description caught my eye on Lavalife, so I sent her a smile. After she smiled back, I sent her a short polite message with some casual pleasantries, to which she responded in a similar manner. Shortly after, we added each other on Facebook and chatted on MSN before arranging a date.
L seemed like a very sweet and positive girl. Among her Facebook quotations are idealistic and inspirational lines like “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” A little cheesy? Probably. But I still thought it was cute. L had just graduated from the University of Waterloo. She seemed smart, fun, and adventurous. It was around the time of the ROM opening, and we talked about our separate plans to attend the overnight opening event.
So, for the first date, I suggested this lovely little tea salon on Queen St. W. called Red Tea Box. I had just discovered the place a few months ago and absolutely loved taking people there. It’s a very cozy place with delicious tea and delectable snacks. In the summer, the courtyard opens up and offers a beautiful sun-splashed piece of heaven. We set the date for Sunday June 16th.
I was looking forward to it and even a little excited to have my first real-life date that resulted from an online dating site. Sunday rolls around and I roll out of bed around noon. The date was sometime in the afternoon around tea time, maybe 2 or 3 pm. Soon after getting out of bed and about 2 hours before our date, I receive a message on my cell.
Hi JP, I forgot today is fathers day. I have to spend it with my fam. Can we go meet up next time? *L
So that, ladies and gentlemen, was the anti-climactic ending to my online dating story. Hey, I did warn you!
I think the excuse for cancelling the date was borderline acceptable. I can understand the importance of family. One day, when I’m a father, I’d love it if my daughter cancelled her date to spend father’s day with me. But still, did she honestly only realize it was Father’s Day 2 hours before our date?
My reaction went something like this:
Self Doubt: WTF. Did I say something to screw this up? I put in too many smileys in our last MSN chat didn’t I? Damn it!! I should have know.
Voice of Reason: Dude, it sounds like a pretty valid reason to cancel. It probably has nothing to do with you. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
Cynicism: Hahaha, I bet she found a hotter guy on Lavalife. Hey, why don’t we play for the gay team? Maybe we’d actually get some action now and then.
Voice of Reason: Yeah… real funny!
Idealism: Now, now, let’s not look at this too negatively. She’ll probably suggest another date. She did mention “next time” right?
Cynicism: Shut up you dumb ass. What do you know about women anyway? The last time you saw ass, it was the first three letters of “assignment”.
Pragmatism: Hey guys, what are we gonna have for lunch. Hunger’s calling here.
Hunger: Hello? … Hi. Hunger here. … No, I won’t please hold!
Anyway, I don’t remember what I had for lunch that day and this brings us to the end of my online dating story. Why did my online dating adventure end here you ask? I guess I could have tried to arrange another date, or hit on more girls, but I was leaving for Japan in two weeks and I had a lot of stuff on my hands. Plus, I really didn’t feel like throwing more time and effort into online dating. The effort to return ratio worked out rather poorly for me.
So what did I learn from my one month of online dating?
Online dating actually requires quite a bit of time and effort: clicking through profiles, thinking of thing to say, sending messages… it starts getting tedious after a while. In the end, I find it’s easier for me to talk to strangers in a social setting and strike up a connection than it is to jump through the hoops of online dating to get a real date. But this is very much a personal preference. In real life, I’m not particularly shy, I enjoy going out, and I’m fairly comfortable with hitting on strangers. Online, I probably don’t get much attention because I’m not dashingly handsome. I can imagine how online dating would work out quite well for the guys who are smart, nice, good looking, but a little shy (which applies to quite a few of my friends in engineering). If that sounds like you, I’d suggest giving it a try. It’s actually quite fun for the first few days due to the novelty of it all.
As for girls, it’s quite a different story. Girls get way more attention than guys in online dating. It might seem like a good thing at first, but it gets rather tiring very quickly… especially if the guys messaging you don’t really stand out from one another. I actually thought of a good solution to this. First, I suggest girls take off the pictures in their profile and write up a good description about themselves. Sure, you’ll get a lot fewer messages, but you’ll be sure that the guys who message you are not simply interested in your looks. Second, browse through men’s profiles and send messages and pictures to the ones you’re interested in. Be sure to include a photo with your first message so they know you’ve got nothing to hide. I think guys will be flattered by the attention. Plus, why be the fish when you can go fishing?
As for L, I’ve exchanged a few messages with her since then. I think she’s in Taiwan now, so I doubt that we’ll be going on a date anytime soon.
As for me, I’m still single. I won’t be doing any more online dating. Personally, I’m more interested in fun ways of meeting new people in real life. So far, I’ve found salsa dancing to be a great avenue.
As for the readers who read this series, I’d love it if you left a brief comment. Let me know what you think of the articles. Perhaps you have an interesting online dating story to share?