I will be the first to admit that I am terrible at dating. I am guilty of most of the first date faux paus. I laugh at EVERYTHING. I twirl my hair and giggle like a 13-year-old girl that just met Justin Beiber. I'm also not that great about meeting a guy in the first place, I actually consider just getting to the first date to be a success. I have friends that can walk up to a stranger and just start a conversation and then BOOM they have a date for Saturday night. I, on the other hand, tend to be painfully shy and awkward.
I have the terrible habit of thinking that a statement of an obvious fact will turn into a conversation. In fact, this happened just last weekend at the Sundown Saloon. With the encouragement of my friends and some liquid courage (approximately 3 vodka crans) I finally stroll over the a guy that I have had my eye on for the evening. I position myself near him at the bar pretending like I am going to order another drink (little does he know that I only have $2.50 left in my wallet, but I would glady accept a drink from him). I do one last glance over to my friend sitting in a booth across the bar. They are watching me like I'm a main character of a terrible sitcom and give me the thumbs up motion.
I lean over and say, "Wow, it's really crowded in here."
"Uh, oh, yep."
"Pretty hot too."
I get a nod, not even a verbal confirmation. He orders a Jack and Coke and heads back over to one of the pool tables. And Lauren strikes out again.
I return to the booth defeated. The conversation quickly turns to Internet dating. 75% of my friends have done or are doing online dating, and they are all under the age of 25. I always thought online dating was for more of an older crowd, not college students surrounded by thousands of other college students. When I ask my friends that partake in the online dating thing, they argue that this is where our culture is going. Everything is becoming digital, and it is only natural that dating become digital as well.
I have to say I am curious, but not curious enough to actually try it. Instead I live vicariously through my friends. I watch the relationship progress from a digital "wink," to an exchange of messages on the dating Website, before I know it they are friends on Facebook, and then a having texting conversations that span the enitre day. When they finally meet for dinner at Pasta Jay's it is obvious that both people have stalked the other on Facebook, but they go through dinner pretending not to know anything about the other person.
So although I don't have a date Saturday night, I'm not willing to fill out a questionnaire that will connect me to my soul mate. If online dating is working for you, great, it just isn't my thing.
If I'm still single in five years, then maybe I'll reconsider. Until then I'll continue to awkwardly approach strangers at a bar.