The Downward Spiral of Online Dating
Online Dating Spiral
Wide red eyes are glued to the computer screen as if they are connected by a magnetic force. A smile is plastered on your face and your finger frantically presses your mouse to scroll down the page. You aren't even sure why you are scrolling down the page, the first line captured your attention and most importantly your heart. Hell, scratch the text of his page your body melted after seeing his best most impressive pictures. Your mind is already planning your first romantic date and scrambling to fast forward to your honeymoon.
You shakily type a message to him. You hit the delete key more than you type. Your mind booms loudly "don't screw this one up." You obsess over what you should write, so you opt for something short and casual. Hey, you aren't desperate, right? Well, maybe you are considering you are sitting on your bed (in your parent's house) with a bag of Doritos in ratty sweatpants. You cringe as you hit send and now you play the waiting game. You already know he won't answer anytime soon, who wants to date someone too eager? It's been a couple of days and you haven't heard back. Immediately you think something is wrong, he must have gotten injured while crossing a ninety year old lady across a busy city street. That thought makes you giggle, so you opt for a more practical answer, it must be your internet connection. You hit the refresh button and think "any minute now." However, you know all too well that It's easier to make an excuse than to feel rejected.
So you continue your online hunt. Your mom always told you never to judge a book by its cover, but as you bounce around from profile to profile that is exactly what you do. You pass picture after picture, as you think to yourself "too short," "too muscular," too many tattoos," "too hairy" amongst a thousand other thoughts. You don't even bother to read any profile pages. You tell yourself you will only look at five more pictures, but an hour passes and you lost count. As you are searching for Mr. Right, you get a message. Your heart flutters and you take a deep breathe. You open up the message and read "I would love to get to know you." You toss your laptop across your bed and do your happy dance. Before you reply back, you read every inch of his profile page. You even search his name in Google since you've seen one too many Lifetime movies. When Google confirms that he is not a murder, you contemplate how to answer him back and when. When you finally decide what to say and when you think, "ugh this is exhausting." You both message each other back a few dozen times and he decides to cut to the chase and asks you out for a cup of coffee.
You alert your best friend where you are going, just in case he pulls a Catfish on you and winds up being older than your dad. When you get there you lock eyes, notice his attire, and think that all the online searching has lead you to him. You notice he already has a drink, so you awkwardly go pay for your own. You talk for a while over a highly caloric coffee drink that you don't even like, but you will do anything for love. You don't notice any red flags until he starts to become a little too touchy and flirtatious. He picks up his cellphone and you sneak a peak only to see him swiping right on Tinder. You quickly realize he is not looking for Mrs. Right, but Mrs. Right-Now. Your heart deflates like a balloon and you leave the creep. You look back over your shoulder into the coffee shop and realize he is already slipping "Mrs. I'm Wearing A Shirt As A Dress," his digits. As you drive back to your parent's house, you wonder if the expectations you have due to all the love movies you have seen is real. You believe they aren't and you once again lower the expectation bar a notch.