“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller
It’s 2016. There’s nothing unusual or weird about online dating. Just like most things in our lives, smartphones and the internet have made it completely mainstream. So why do I find it so terrifying?
As a 34-year-old, I came of age in the year 2000. I remember a time when people actually had to make a move in person, if they wanted any chance at getting involved in a relationship, or at the very least getting laid. Now we can totally bypass the ‘initial’ in-person cold calling approach. Which I guess is quite liberating. And yet for me signing up to a website seems more overwhelming.
Is it ego or an attachment to some romantic idea of how I’m going to meet “The One”?
Perhaps there is a little bit of that. But as I signed up to a dating site on Sunday night, and started being ‘winked’, ‘favourited’ and emailed. Instead of a sense of elation, I felt weirdly exposed. Now I didn’t put any intimate or sensitive information on my profile, just the usual stuff, you know vital stats, an attempt at being funny and casual whilst not coming across as a dick. But as I stared at pictures of men, who I had never met, of all ages (some completely inappropriate can I add), I felt like all these strangers were gazing at me, and I felt a bit naked. I guess I have always been quite private, I’m not big on social media, yes shock horror! So the idea of suddenly opening my life to 30,000 potential strangers, was a bit mind-blowing.
But as I allowed this initial pang of terror to pass over, it occurred to me in every other aspect of my life I have been happy to engage in a ‘search.’
A job search, house search, even a library book search, these things were taking place before the dawn of the internet. It’s just common sense. If you want to make something happen in life, then you have to put the feelers out. Sometimes things ‘happen’ because you are in the right place at the right time, but more often then not we put in effort and actively search out different options, choosing the one that feels best suited. Some would say, you are in the right place at the right time, because you put the effort in in the first place.
So as someone who believes deeply in self-effort, I am going to stop moaning, and open up to this new type of search. The ‘love’ search. And who knows where I may end up.