Beautiful Stranger

Dating, Online Dating, Television

No, this isn’t another Maura Murray post. Ever since my summer dating rendezvous, I have wanted to followup on those experiences.

Times haven’t been easy when everything is so fleeting. At the time I published my dating expose, I must have up met up with 5 or 6 more individuals. Needless to say they aren’t around anymore. So pairing up for cool Halloween costumes, freaking out over the new Tame Impala record, and meeting up for lattes at your friendly hipster cafe unfortunately did not fulfill the boyfriend bucket list. Often during reflection I’ll think back on the rotation of individuals that I’ve met. The first Joe, a 20something aspiring political reporter (who introduced me to Bernie Sanders) with a flair for Wayfarers was the main guy I legitimately dated last year. He made an opening entrance in my first blog. 2 weeks ago he randomly messaged me out of the blue. He said sorry. To be honest, springing out like that felt nice.

Starting off where things last ended, Joe #6 first comes in the picture. On a day where the sky was cloudless and pristine blue, we chit-chat for hours, sipping our lattes over a decked out yellow table out of Saved by the Bell. Second date took place commingling between bars and eateries. Days leading up to this meeting I contracted the worst sore throat of my life. Thankfully my symptoms minimized through medication, enough to the point where kissing miraculously didn’t make him sick. After that night I thought we had made an even greater connection. The following Monday resolves around us being hand-holdy, staring into our eyes, chatting life away. Sipping more coffee. Driving away from Wynwood that day would be the final time we spent together.

Big deal. Four podcasts have personally shouted me out. Who is the loser now?

Just like Bennifer, that Hollywood pairing was perfect for its time. I kinda think of the same with these Joes: glad it happened and glad we are no more. Hypothetically In hindsight we’d be 6-9 months together today. Thinking about the time span is pretty trippy. By not sticking around we are doing ourselves a favor here.

Not everything is what it seems. People become excited at first sight. The rush of befriending through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, while monitoring our devices with excitement is a dopamine filled, rush of blood to the head. Then things dwindle when feelings don’t matter anymore. Unfortunately the dating paradigm has shifted to situations becoming utterly impersonal. 9 times out of 10, these guys did not know my last name, address, and favorite podcast. You do not acquaint long enough to even acquire these personal details. The online dating machine disposes you in short notice.

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Tinder these days

Once I gave a confused look at the sight of a contact named Richard, having never met but acquired their number in passing. Also, during the holidays the time came with uncertainty on whether to message that photographer you previously hit-it-off-with a friendly “Happy Thanksgiving” text because you didn’t think it was your place to do so.

Normally I refuse to meet men who live far away; however, I gave one guy a chance: Alex. It is not everyday you connect with a Jewish music journalist from Boca Raton. We met twice. Today we are long distance friends. The one dude who happens to think I am legit (smart, cool, sweet) resides far away to hang. Just my luck.

At least he heard Serial.

In my opinion through the people I’ve encountered, online dating is a man’s world. They tend to seek hookups due to their busy work grind. Men consider avoiding relationships unless the woman is the ultimate package. That isn’t to say some will settle for less. Alex always personally recounts his dating life with me. Even though he considered one girl unattractive for wearing braces, even while becoming IG buddies, despite his reluctance they still met up. I kept warning him to not meetup if he considered her ugly. Physical attraction is a must (at least in my book). Right after the date ended he spilled the same ol’ can of regretful beans: that he was so disinterested, that she wasn’t pretty, that he was mentally removed. My rebuttal was that he kept trapping himself in a rabbit hole. In defense of his gender, guys have a hard time getting matches. Sometimes they’re just longing for attention and devotion for any person, even if braces are too distracting. Regardless, people are paranoid.

So much so, Catfish: The TV Show exists. Nev Schulman and Max-With-The-Gray-Hair consult their time being amateur investigators. They fly all over the nation protecting the hearts of online daters. If you don’t think people aren’t flocking to Tinder, think again. Thankfully I’ve never conflated my profile; in fact, I’ve very straight forward about my personality. The introvert loner is who I am. I wish I could be puckering with my squad at a beach or brewery on Instagram; however, the sad reality is I’m spending my twentys watching Forensic Files most nights. The up side is that men still respond so positively to my identity. They appreciate my interests for pop culture, podcasts, music. Most messages I receive are heartfelt in that guys are flattered about my kindness and honesty. Firstly, I refuse to heighten or lie. Second, lying only brings more confusion and hurt. At least I’m somewhat approachable without saying that hiking and playing percussion is my life hobby. I rather not lead on with my lack of extroverted appeal.

Just be real.

Halloween, a podcast acquaintance tweets me that she read my dating post. She expressed that she met her husband through EHarmony in 2007. Previously she felt trepidation in telling her family about how they met, the mechanics of it all. Often that is how I feel. We kinda feel stigmatized due to our inability of meeting someone in the traditional, real way. I appreciated her approaching me. The little things you didn’t think people experience actually connects us even greater.

These things shouldn’t matter anyway. Millions of people possess multiple accounts. The next generation will harbor dating the same way. My advice is to not settle for less. If you have a checklist make sure it is realistically compatible. I have deleted apps for my well being. A temporary getaway is a must. Matches are addicting. My co-dependence existed in feeling validated for the right and wrong reasons. Taking the time away from being bombarded or bummed out is a necessary step. You can always go back when the time is right. Go for it with pure intentions.

The lyrics for Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger -most notably known as that dope music video for the Austin Powers sequel- resonate with my dating experiences. We get into these things for the excitement, spontaneity, and a bit of danger. Emotions smack us with reality. Hopefully, a reality check that doesn’t appear in the form of an awkward highway billboard.

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