Online daters are no strangers to judgement. The trope of the chubby 35-year-old man playing video games in his mother’s basement stunting like the online Rico Suave is slowly fading, though. As television shows like Patti Stanger’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” become popular in American culture, the old-school trope of hairy mean elderly matchmakers is also becoming obsolete. While embarking on my first online dating experience, though, I felt myself judging suitors pretty harshly. It couldn’t possibly be that every single guy online was an ugly loser. It was me. I was looking at the folks online with serious judgement.
Even with all my walls up, there were some guys who made me feel comfortable giving them my Snapchat profile. I never felt comfortable giving out my phone number. (I kept imagining people using apps to track my location or find my home address and it freaked me out.) The guys who got to my Snapchat profile didn’t last very long, though. A couple guys screenshotted my Snapchat story. Such a creep move. I immediately assume any man who screenshots my pictures is going to jerk to it. That’s the guaranteed fastest way to get blocked. Other guys on Snap were just plain boring. I quickly lost interest.
In a sometimes scary technological age where anybody can pretend to be anyone, dating online can be intimidating. How do I know this nice age-appropriate guy isn’t actually 63 years old using his nephew’s photo on his profile? How do I know this guy isn’t married? How do I know he’s not a murder? Or a pedophile?
How do we know anyone is who they say they are, though? Dating in person can be just as risky as dating online; however, you have to have more trust when dating online. You can’t look someone in the eye when they’re speaking online. Your gut can’t tell you if they’re making you feel uncomfortable as quickly as in person. You don’t get the tell-tale butterflies in your first interaction. You don’t even know if they have good hygiene when chatting online. When I entertained the idea of in-person dates with guys from the internet, I kept having this daunting fear of Ice T doing a rendition of my murder case on Law and Order SVU.
Personally, I share the same sentiment as 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake: Heyyo. I’m tired of using technology. I want to see you right in front of me. I’m happy my first experience with online dating was through OKCupid, but I don’t think I’ll be back.