Before my days as Geek Outlaw, I wrote a short-lived – and let’s say briefly read – column for a publication about the world of online dating and relationships. While viewership was low (visitors clicked on banner ads to escape the articles), I did receive praise from the few that did choose to read through to the end.
More importantly, many of my articles incorporated my nerdy tendencies and have the same stylistic feel as Geek Outlaw. Now that I have a few more followers (two to be exact) I figured this would be a great time to open up those writings to a whole new audience! I will post an updated article from my archive of classics every now and again for your reading enjoyment.
Alas, here is the first of my many writings… tweaked to remain current during these fast-changing times we live in.
Online dating in 2012: Not Just For Geeks Anymore
Attention! Now that it’s officially 2012, I can say with full authority (for which I have none) that online dating is not just for the geeky computer basement hermits anymore.
That’s right, nerdy, dorky, goofy, shy, and socially awkward people have hopped on the digital highway to search for love also… thus it’s official, everyone is doing it. Unless of course you are referring to actually doing it, for which the geeky crowd is still not.
Obviously that’s a slight exaggeration, but according to a recent statistic from an originally named online news source called ‘The National,’ 40%, or roughly 40 million single adult Americans are using some form of online meeting service.
Of course, should anyone decide to conduct their own face-to-face survey of every unhitched adult in the U.S., you would probably find that number to be a tad closer to eight people; seven of which were declared legally deceased back during the Lincoln vampire-killing administration.
The point being, despite almost half of the single population looking for that special someone – or someones – online, it seems that most people would rather try to saw their left leg off with a plastic spork than confess they have signed up for Match.com without the influence of alcohol or being held at gunpoint.
Why is this you ask? Simple. Admitting that one has left the fate of their love life to a mass of silicon parts void of any emotion, heart or reason (which ironically was already a problem in LA even without computers) is just too embarrassing to live down.
However, it’s understandable in an anti-romantic sense, especially when compared to the improbable but occasionally entertaining love stories that Hollywood now charges us $15 a piece to watch ($20 for the 3D version). Plus, don’t forget the popcorn which will require refinancing your home mortgage.
While painful to admit in a just kicked-in-the-groin kind of way, I can personally vouch to the above-mentioned hesitation having been a part of the internet dating scene equally off and on for over 10 years now. Well, slightly more on… actually, mainly on… ok, ok fully on. Feel better yet?
Whether we care to admit it or not, relying on a pay service is the last thing us prideful human species want to do when it comes to our love lives. While I gave up the old “I met her at the library while she was studying for her PhD and posing for a model shoot” story, there are others that are still in denial.
Case in point, a dating experience at a local comedy club a few years back with a young lady I was just meeting for the first time. Come to think of it, she was a slightly older lady. Age aside, my first mistake was entering into a full four-hour commitment with a woman I’ve never met and whose pictures ended up being taken approximately two decades prior to our first meeting.
Actually, there are at least two mistakes in there, but those are topics for a different day. After a bearable but unplanned dinner – that was supposed to originally be drinks only – we headed to the club de comedy.
Since we were about 30 minutes early to the club in hopes of an early start time and an even earlier end time, we had the first pick of seats. Despite my desire to sit in an area as dark and far away from the stage as possible — preferably the parking lot — my date felt it wise to sit front row center, roughly five inches from the microphone.
My hope was that the comic might feel so guilty for sweating all over us, he would pick on another couple with a little more than three hours of relationship history. All was looking well and I thought I had survived unscathed until the final act. Long story longer, I quickly became the favorite for a line of questioning that soon involved my first-row loving date and I.
Upon asking ME how we met, my companion convincingly responded “At the gym” faster than Charlie Sheen gets a line of credit at a strip club. In fact, she proclaimed it with so much authority, I even believed we met that way in fear of any repercussions in the form of bodily harm had I responded otherwise.
The moral being, my online date was willing to sacrifice providing the comic much funnier material to avoid what she perceived as possibly embarrassing.
Will this perception ever change? One would think that in a society that has become comfortable enough sharing what they had for breakfast on Twitter, or post on Facebook what cartoon character their latest bowel movement resembled, it wouldn’t seem such a tall order sharing with others their search for that elusive emotional connection via the world wide web.
Like it or not, in the ever evolving techno-society we live in, it’s only inevitable that a larger majority of future wedding vows and stories with friends will recount the tale of how many user names and frogs the loving couple had to click through before falling madly in love at first webcam session.
Soon will be the day where grandma sits around the full scale wall TV with the grandkids and shows them screen captures of grandpa’s old eHarmony profile that captured her heart back in 2012.
Romantic or not, it’s arguably small potatoes compared to the possibility of finding that one true love you might not have met if it weren’t for the infamous superhighway.
Remember, acceptance is the first step towards $29.95 a month. Of course, there is always the gym.