I went on my first date of the new year last night. And I met him online. Sometimes that statement gets a surprised reaction from people, even some of my close friends. What are YOU doing on an online dating site Kadi?! Ummm, trying to get partnered up like you? This reaction is usually from friends who have been in relationships that began before the Internet took over our lives. Yes, I’m that old. When I was in college, I got my first email address. JUNIOR YEAR. These same friends wonder what happened to the old fashioned way of meeting guys. Like in a bar on a drunken night? Like walking down a city street? Well, this is what happened- I grew up, got a demanding career, moved to LA where I live in my car and spend the majority of my day in a hair salon with women, and men not interested in women, if you know what I mean. And then, after working 12 plus hours, working out, hanging out with friends, volunteering for charities, taking care of my pain in the ass dog (love you Alphie;)), I pass out at the end of the day. You do the math. To meet my Harry Belafonte, I was taking my search online.
At first I balked at the thought of meeting some random stranger online. It just felt so, EXPOSED. The pressure of having to fill out a profile that accurately represented me and had the perfect balance of confidence and self deprecating, approachable humor was overwhelming. Not to mention filling out some of these profiles are akin to taking the LSAT’s, writing a dissertation and college finals all rolled into one (I’m talking to you Eharmony). Though Match.com is apparently easier, and one of my dearest friends is getting married this May to an AMAZING man she met on Match, it’s always felt too much like a meat market to me. So my profile resides on OkCupid. So far, it’s been more misses than hits, but the process is fairly easy, and I can be as involved or indifferent as I feel like being, depending on what I feel like that week.
The biggest caveat of online dating? The lying that some men (and apparently women) do when filling out a profile. Usually it’s innocent enough, with an inch or two added to someone’s height, or posting the best picture ever taken of themselves, 10 YEARS AGO. But lately I’ve realized that more men, more than ever are lying about their age. They usually come clean about it sooner than later, and the number one reason I’m told is because they want to discourage women close to their age from contacting them! Seriously. One man that I met and dated on and off for 8 months has his age listed at 39, even though he hasn’t seen that decade in a long time, because, according to him, he doesn’t want to deal with “women of a certain age, i.e. HIS AGE, pressuring him about having children, a serious relationship, etc. He is adamant that the lie is necessary in the beginning because he just doesn’t feel like wading through all the old broads. Mind you, I was almost 10 years his junior, yet i was still too old. We’ve since become friends, because he would prefer to date a carefree minor, thank you very much. Madness, I tell you, madness.
On the surface it would seem that I had nothing in common with the gentleman that I agreed to go out with last night. A white mathematician from Indiana who has never even been to NYC?! Hmmmm. He loves beer (just thinking about beer gives me flashbacks from high school of my friends doing keg stands-barf), he spent the first 28 years of his life in the same “fly-over” state, and he’s four years my junior. Yet, I went anyway, and we dug around long enough and found enough things to talk for almost 3 hours. There he was, telling me about one of his best friends who he loves that happens to be gay, and about his sister who has also flown the coop and left the mid west to live her dream and shares my birthday (so she’s obviously cool and interesting). I had to give the guy credit. He was nice, unassuming, and pretty comfortable in his own skin. Not bad qualities at all. Confidence and humility goes a long way, and this guy had both and made me want to stick around and not bolt for the door. It’s way too early to know if a lasting connection can be made, and there were a still a few things that gave me plenty of pause, but it certainly wasn’t a bad place to start. Maybe I’m not looking for a modern day Harry Belafonte after all?