I've been on a lot of online dates.
Under the guise of “investigating dating habits” for a column I write, I committed to going on one online date every day for two months…at the least. Meaning, if I was feeling extra masochisty, I would do a coffee date, followed by a dinner date a few hours later, with different guys of course. Ok, ok and maybe sometimes if the dinner date was a snooze-fest, I'd go meet up with yet another guy for a drink. Or four.
So yeah, “investigating dating habits” clearly translated to “desperately needs attention, may or may not be a slut.”
I didn't last the whole two months, but only because I slipped up and fell in love with someone I already knew in the “real world” and those pesky feelings got in the way of my social experiment. ANNOYING.
You definitely don't need to be dating like it's your job (no seriously, it was my job) to get burned out on the whole thing. I like to think it wasn't all in vain, though. I mean, let's look on the bright side-I ate a lot, drank A LOT MORE, made out a lot, and walked away with my sanity (completely) and dignity (mostly) intact. Here's how I did it.
1. Safety First. Ugh, I know-boring. But here's the thing, it's the internet aka freakfest 2011. I didn't have much time to talk to my dates before meeting them. I did the requisite google/facebook/twitter stalking, and always met up in public places, told my best friend where I was going yadda yadda…If you don't know that we live in a fucking terrifying world and are still letting guys come to your home slash work to pick you up for the first time, to you I will say…yes, I bet those shoes will look great in that shallow grave.
2. Own It. Trying to cram as many online dates as possible into your schedule isn't easy. For me, it meant giving up my favorite past times-namely, watching Bethenny marathons on bravo and thinking about working out. If I wasn't on a date, I was responding to emails. Texting, planning, flirting. And don't even get me started on the guys who wanted to talk on the phone-no thanks, no time. Obviously, people in my life started to notice when I was absent from happy hours or unavailable on the weekends, and instead of hiding it, I let the world know what I was doing. Looking back, they were oddly supportive. Plus, I mean, everyone uses online dating these days, there really is no stigma.
3. Walk Away With Something Positive
Online dating is a numbers game, so I knew it wasn't going to be all puppy dogs and unicorns. Some dates were going to be lame, some boring and some downright excruciating. I made a deal with myself that I would do my best to walk away from each date with “something” positive so I wouldn't hate my life. Some days I'd go home with butterflies, eager to see him again. Other times I'd go home full, appreciative of the delicious burrito he bought me. Win win.