Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Online Dating Useful?

The other day I wrote a blog titled, Pointless for Me to Online Date. Maybe it isn't all pointless. It actually sometimes is useful.

I wrote the blog because as the day, I return to the states, approaches, I have been wondering how to meet people. Living abroad for 4 years has shrunk my social circle into a loner circle of 1, moi, so how do I widen that circle?

Plus one of the main reasons, I am coming home is because I miss connecting to people where my full identity doesn't have to be suppressed and hidden. Volunteering abroad I hide a lot of my identity in order to be accepted by the community. For example, if I was living in a community of traditional religious fanatics, what type of identity would I have to present in order to fit in, and what would I have to hide? I am tired of hiding and want to go home to join again the communities that accept me, all of me.

When I did a short bout of online dating back in Seattle, I met a lot of people. I met a lot of people I did not connect with. I met a lot of people with whom I felt a bit awkward with, but gave them at least one more date to try to get over my stranger anxiety. During two dates, I would try to overcome my wallflower personality of meeting a stranger for the first time. Practice makes perfect. Little by little I was learning how to make small talk and be less afraid of meeting someone new. Yet, my new ease at talking to strangers still didn't help overcome the lack of chemistry between us. I would have lovely meals with people, but nothing to push me to want to see them again and again to allow a friendship to bloom. This is what happened with the majority of people I would meet, and I slowly started feeling that online dating was a waste of time, until....

Until, I met two amazing people I actually connected with, two people who had similar lifestyle interests, two people with whom I could explore the city, cooking, art, nature and the deeper questions such as who we are and what type of lives and connections we want to have. Online dating led me to making a connection with two awesome people, so it can't be all bad.

In small cities, online dating is probably pointless. There just isn't a big enough pool of people and a big pool is what one needs when searching for a connection. Seattle on the other hand is full of interesting people. There are tons of pools full of different types of people, the outdoor lovers, the hi-tech engineers, the artists, the hippies, the Burning Man clicks, and the alternative lifestyle people.

The big question is "Am I willing to spend a lot of time searching for that connection?" Is there a way to streamline online dating such that you only go on dates with people with whom there is a high probability of connection?

Online dating might not be all that pointless. Sometimes it is good. I met two amazing people, but am I willing, to sit through many forced dates to try to find that connection again?


danieltalsky said...

Wouldn't want to assume anything, but I certainly was glad I met you.

Dr. Jen said...

You were correct to assume. Yes, Daniel you were one of those two amazing people. I am glad that we had a connection through coloring on those first dates leading to many many more fun activities.