This is part of a dating series I was running on another site…its being moved here so that I can continue it with everything in one place. Enjoy!
(Profile: Loves strawberries, loves to dance. I made this dress using shit loads of little strawberry stamps. BAM.)
Once upon a time, while feeling bored, I signed up for a dating site. OkCupid to be exact. The idea had always been a bit of a joke to me. Meeting someone online? How serious could that possibly be? And wasn’t that kinda the idea? And more to the point, could that really be a better way of getting to know someone so intimately?!
Well, I came away with many new things after signing up, not one of which was a partner of any kind. Here’s what happened…
When you sign up with (to my knowledge) any dating site you answer questions. Some of them are of the basic “what’s your favorite color” variety but most of them go much deeper. Questions of politics, sexual/relationship desires, education and so forth. These take a turn for the even more serious if possible when you have to state not only whats important to you but what’s important to you in a partner. Here is where it got super tricky for me.
See, I didn’t really know. But worse, I didn’t really care! Here’s the first big question AKA My Downfall…
Q: How important is it to you that your partner shares your political views?
A little important
As long as they have political views
What are political views?
OMG. I didn’t know. I wasn’t even truly aware how serious my own views on politics were so it felt weird to judge/disregard a possible romantic interest for theirs. Was this really so serious?!
Moving on with the list I came across countless of these types of questions. Some ran to the very personal and still I didn’t seem to know. For either myself or what I wanted in someone else. I would consistently try to mark the box saying “It doesn’t matter” but they wouldn’t let me. Apparently you had to have opinions. You were required to care. You were expected to have at least a general idea of what you were looking for and who you were.
Because really, why else would you be on a dating site?!
It occurred to me that I had none. No expectations. No serious opinions. No idea what mattered. And more importantly…not enough self-knowledge to have noticed I was lacking in this department. In previous relationships I had never even talked about those things. Especially not prior to said relationship. I met someone, we had a mutual attraction, the relationship just fell into place. It was definitely a place of some distrust, emotional outbursts, and conflict. But a place of romance too.
Obviously since I was on a dating site you realize that none of those relationships had what it took, so maybe OkCupid was on to something. Maybe it was super important to have non-negotiable values and standards when looking for a lover. Maybe I had been going about things all wrong.
It became clear to me that there is a such thing as being too open-minded and laid back. I wanted to be accepting of anything but the reality is – in the long run I wouldn’t be. I wanted to be casual but isn’t the whole goal of online dating to cut to the chase and get serious with your soul mate? I was too ambiguous about my romantic ideals.
You hear all the time that you can’t have a good relationship with someone else until you have a good one with yourself and that you can’t truly love another until you love yourself, but it wasn’t until I tried internet dating that I realized how truly little I knew of myself. And how much of a problem that could present when trying to get to know a person. How could they get to know me when it turns out I didn’t really know me?!
I cancelled my account because it was apparent I had no business actively seeking out a relationship with anyone but myself. So, I found out; What was I passionate about? What was I like? What mattered to me. What drove me crazy, made me mad and kept me smiling for days. Turns out I have pretty strong political views and they are important to me.
Thank you OkCupid. I will be forever indebted to you. Also, even though I didn’t find someone on your site- technically speaking, I have you to thank for whatever good relationships come my way.
Have you ever gone on a dating site? I bet you have stoooooories :) Tell me one!