There’s Something Between Us

Meeting new people is scary. There it is. I said it. You know it. It’s one of those that most of us accept, but none of us acknowledge.

I think that is why so many of us have become more comfortable online dating; it offers a sense of security and status control. The unfortunate informality, and often physical detachment, in the technology of dating sites can cause serious misapprehensions, and unguided expectations. The separation between the people attempting to date seems much greater than air.

I am sure that we’ve all had our fair share of horrible first date experiences. The profile promises a DiCaprio who, of course, works in business. That “promise” has turned out to be someone’s husband, a creep, or some socially awkward juvenile more times than I care to remember.

A large part of this deception is based on the freedom we, as individuals, are allowed on these sites. I’m sure this is not news to anyone; this has been of the key problems with online dating since it’s birth. For the moment, I would like to take another viewpoint on the matter; turn the perspective around and focus on us, women.

How often, in all honesty, do we represent ourselves correctly online? I have spoken with many women who do the majority of their dating online. Often, we have discussed their problems with the compatibility comparison technology on a lot of these sites. Although I believe men are guilty as well, I think women are creatures of habit. We have constructed this façade with the opposite sex over the internet. How many of your interests, morals, and goals are portrayed to the full and honest extent of the truth on your profile? I know mine weren’t.

We have to separate ourselves, as people, from the tags are on our pages. When I took my first compatibility test, I named all of the traits that I thought I was supposed to like in another person; the ones my mother told me to find honorable… and boring. I thought it would look good on paper, and in congruence, make me look good. It made me look phony and insecure.

I took the time to reevaluate the answers to my tests, and in doing so, got to take a deep look at my own values. It sounds a little silly, but realizing I didn’t want the “perfect man”, the one I had conditioned myself to find, helped me accept my own flaws a little better. I remembered all of the little things I find so cute about men, and to my surprise, they were mostly quirky, obtrusive things. Sometimes, it’s not whether or not he holds the door open for you; it’s how he opens it in the first place.

When we put up that blockade online, it is impenetrable. The only truths we share about ourselves are the ones we deem admirable to onlookers. Writing this, I feel a little giddy, almost naïve; that these evaluations sparked such ideas in me. Next time you take one of these tests, be honest. If the reader doesn’t like the truth, he was no DiCaprio in the first place.

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