Online dating is very much the norm these days. “Where else can we meet people?” the singles complain. “I’m not into the bar scene, so I guess Match.com is the way to go…”
I understand. To be honest, if a stranger struck up a conversation with me at the grocery store or was watching me at the dog park, I’d have my guard up. Which. Is. Stupid. But we live in little bubbles, don’t we, and we want to be in charge of when the bubble bursts.
I’ve been divorced long enough to have experimented with online dating and dating people I (thought I) knew. I know many have met a significant other online; in fact, when I was feeling optimistic about the platform, I encouraged my dishearted (and also divorced) best friend to give it a whirl. Damn her. She met an amazing guy on Match.com (they live together now), and I never came close to finding a match on Match.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, folks, but I now reject online dating entirely. And if you’re considering it, let me put in my two cents.
Yeah, yeah, people lie about stuff, their height, weight, profession, income, living situation (I met guys who eventually confessed to living with an aunt, a sister, even an ex-wife…). What’s new about that? Especially now, in an age of filters and photoshop, we can hardly be surprised.
And yeah, the text people write is sometimes painfully bad (“I really don’t like talking about myself”) or similar to literally everyone else’s (“I’m easy going and live life to the fullest” and “I want a woman who can get dressed up for a night on the town or stay in and snuggle on the couch”).
I’ve decided it’s not them that’s the “problem”, though. It’s what it does to me, to us. We now have created literally Superstores of Love, in which we believe ourselves to be pushing our heart-carts up and down the aisles, looking for the right one to throw in. And what variety!
It’s not the platform. It’s not the people. It’s the twisted mindset that I am actually in control of my love life.
I want to write more about this in a separate post, but I can’t help but spill it out a little here. Ashtanga yoga is teaching me how I want to handle all aspects of my life. When I began the practice, I wasn’t trying to get anywhere. As I learned more, I cared less and less about my advancement. It’s been a crash course in non-attachment, and I wasn’t even trying to learn non-attachment skills. It just happened on its own.
If I apply this to other aspects of my life (What work should I be doing? Who should I deepen friendships with? Who should I be dating?), everything becomes very, very simple. And extremely difficult. I adapt the notion that if I keep showing up with an open heart, I’ll have what I need when I need it.
This feels like a radical way to live.
Wandering around a Superstore of Love kills time and wastes resources. It convinces me I am in control. When really, we never are.