we barely have time to react in this world, let alone rehearse…
so, i hate to say it. but i think some of you may know- i’m, uh, skeptical of social media sites and our twenty/thirty something dating lives. it’s just so new. and we are most certainly in a societal paradigm shift when it comes it relationships, marriage and dating. but this morning i was overwhelmed with excitement when i read the comment on my last post. and boom it hit me. the positive side of this gathering of information.
i’ve clearly decided that taking relationships slowly is the way for me (and honestly, all of us, hooking up is like poison on actual relationships…but more on that later). and i know i need to take relationships slowly, and become friends with someone first, but there is just allllll this information out there. and we have ideas in our head of what our partner should and will be. and we can find out about others and their standing in out perfect mate outline by searching them on social media sites. and though i’m still totally in need of holding my self accountable for not stalking boys i may be interested in… i have a new perspective on this.
one thing i have noticed about getting older and dating (and so has the academic community!) is that we seem to want the perfect mate more than ever, yet we don’t necessarily want to do all the things that attract or create the perfect mate. such as get to know them before hooking up, not meet at a bar, take things slowly and so forth. so i see a lot of my friends in this weird stage of dating- old enough to have one or two really serious relationships in their past, not wanting to get into ‘that‘ again unless it’s with the right person so they are going out, drinking, having a good time meeting a guy/girl and hooking up and maybe continuing to see that person, knowing that they are not the ‘one.’ and ‘just wanting to have fun’ until the right one just happens to appear (uh, sorry, not that easy). so, what i’m trying to say- we go out, find someone at the bar to play the game with, flirt, hook up, and get the attention we are in need of. all while waiting for mr/s. right.
and i teeter between thinking this is just a way to dig ourselves deeper into dating/relationship purgatory and thinking that it’s healthy to play the dating game and it’s ok to know that someone is not the ‘one’ and keep dating them. so i was talking to a friend of mine who is on a dating website. and he is most certainly in the “i don’t want to jump into anything serious again but i do want to meet a cool girl that i don’t have to see everyday but i can see whenever i want that is hot and wants to hook up with me even when i only see her every two weeks but i want to be able to meet other girls too and not feel bad but really if the perfect girl came along i would totally snap out of this and do things right” stage. yes, i clearly have an opinion about this ;). but we were talking about a girl he met and went on a date with and he was like “i dunno, she’s well… nah, it didn’t work.” i reply, “well what was one thing?” him, “she so didn’t look like her picture.” and we got into how it sucks because there are some really cute girls on the site smiling/poking/winking (or whatever flirtatious nonverbal movement the site uses) but it’s annoying that they want to email for like two weeks. and ask how many siblings he has, and what are his hobbies and blah blah blah. and i’m going to go ahead and give him the benefit of the doubt that he finds this annoying because he would just rather go on a date to find these things out (the things i do to protect my boys from my own criticism). but thinking back to his “she didn’t look like her pictures” comment made me realize something. he was most certainly NOT looking for what they are looking for. someone to date. he was looking for above super crazy unrealistic perfect guy situation girl.
where am i going with this. somewhere, i promise. so, this morning, while reading said comment on my last post it hit me. the things we find out from these social media sites are exactly the things that my friend was annoyed with having to discuss in email. the things that DO matter in a relationship. similarities, and interests, and hobbies. so this is good. but what really matters, is that, oddly finding out about someone, or ‘meeting’ someone on these social media sites slows things down immensely. you’re not fighting off your attention needing hormones and liquid courage induced flirtations.
i don’t know rickt (in all traditional senses of the word know). but somehow, based off of mutual interests and ‘getting to know’ each other via communication (!) we have created some sort of genuine connection. that had nothing to do with seeing each other across the bar and wanting to go home that night. woah. there’s hope after all!
maybe i can chalk up my self sabotage talk to my newness of fully embracing the techie world. back in the midwest my accountant, PR, sales, and other non internet/computer based career friends and i thought we were being stupid and embarrassing to talk about someone’s myspace and facebook profiles (and, no, they don’t even know of twitter) in public. and there’s still a part of me right there with them, even with all the life style change i’ve embraced over the last three months. yet, they are still on myspace and facebook because, yea, it IS our life now.
so thanks cali, for keeping it honest. duh, we all use social media sites. maybe my seeing it as self sabotage is a bit of midwestern induced embarrassment for living my life so entwined in the interwebs and not IRL. but, as “i <3 my internet friends” solidifies… what’s so wrong with that? connection is connection. and let’s be honest, no matter how we go about dating… it what we are all really after.