Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's a Small Dating Pool After All

It's always funny to me when two worlds collide.  It's actually happened pretty often in my life.  Considering that I went to college over two-hundred miles away from the city where I grew up, it's always shocked me when I literally run into people I went to high school with, people who have some kind of affiliation to my high school or know someone I know from years ago.  I guess it's that whole six degrees of separation thing (not just for Kevin Bacon anymore) and since I am still in the same state, it probably happens a lot more than I've actually been aware of.

Facebook is a giant beacon for how small the world actually is.  It's sometimes shocking to discover that a old friend or a new friend has a mutual connection that you would have never guessed.  An old friend's new boyfriend knows a girl you went to college with, or a cousin who lives ten states away knows a high school friend's brother.  The web of connections is amazing and borderline scary if you think about it.  Imagine all the people we'd never know we had in common if not for the internet!  And that can definitely be a good thing or a bad thing!

As you're well aware, I've had a love/hate relationship with online dating for years, going back to my college days.  Part of the reason I think I've never had success with eHarmony is that I filled out the 4,356 question survey about myself while slightly inebriated, asking random people in the den of debachery apartment where I used to hang out and enjoy extracurricular activities to help me answer the questions from an outsider perspective.  If you're just getting started in online dating, I don't suggest this route, especially since eHarmony won't let you retake the questionnaire.  Ever.  But, I digress.  Over the years, I've come across face after face in online dating profiles, some of which resonated with me, others of which simply floated away into cyberspace oblivion.

The ones that seemed to stick with me all have pretty significant stories behind them.  I have literally tripped over faces that I went to high school or college with in profile hunts or in emails from the dating sites themselves suggesting these men as potential suitors.  I always laugh and think that such blunders are an indicator of just how fallible online dating sites are.  Although I'm sure some people may reconsider past acquaintances when they show up as matches, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that none of these gentlemen were my Mr. Right.  Another face I was matched with pops up on my Facebook News Feed almost daily, as he's currently married to one of my best friends in the world.  He didn't seem like a match for me and totally sparked her interest.  As a herself, they got in touch with each other, met for lunch and the rest is romantic history.  A few faces made an impression because of where I happened to be on the path through Singledom at the time that we met or corresponded or because of dealbreakers they possessed that I hadn't been aware were an issue for me before meeting them.  For example, I corresponded with one guy for weeks, thinking that he had tons of potential until he mentioned in his email asking me to dinner that he was an atheist and hoped that didn't bother me since I seemed fairly religious.  I went into a mad panic, immediately scouring his profile and realized that I had completely overlooked this particular characteristic that had been listed all along.  Judge me as you will, but remember my list of dealbreakers.  I'm sure he was a wonderful person and probably would have made a great boyfriend from what I learned about him, but I know he's not marriage material for me personally.  Since then, I have placed the burden on myself and made a pointed effort to check such date-worthy critical components of any profile.

The reason for this long, drawn out narrative of my online dating history is rather comical.  A friend of mine who I recently met has been struggling with relationship issues of her own of late.  Upon seeing her Facebook status this morning and her mention of a new boyfriend, I was happy for her and wanted to check out the lucky guy.  I clicked through the various levels of Facebook stalking and opened the profile of the name linked in her relationship status to find a very familiar face.  I chuckled to myself as I realized where I knew this gentleman from:  This friend had told me about a guy she'd met online just a few weeks and had actually asked for some advice based on my experiences in my blog.  I was happy to help her and realized this morning upon viewing his Facebook profile, that I had coincedentally been helping her communicate and build a relationship with the very first guy in Atlanta that I had ever exchanged emails with through any online dating site.  Small world, huh?

I mostly recognized him because his current Facebook picture is the same photo that he used years ago in his online dating profile shot.  And also because I have a weird brain.  I think sometimes I border on photographic memory (in school, when I'd study, I'd recall things for tests based on where the words were on the page I'd study.  I could see the page in my head...  freakish, I know, but it worked for me.  Straight A student, baby.), so visuals are usually my strongest recall tools.  I remember our email exchanges and being very nervous about them.  I recollect almost nothing in particular about him (so he must have been a good guy!), and we never progressed to the meeting stage, which was completely my fault.  I seem to recall that he wanted to meet, and I did what I hate:  I flaked out.  I got really nervous about it and was completely unprepared.  I wasn't online dating for the right reasons and had hoped that external male interest would generate a response from a guy who was already a daily part of my life.  It didn't work.  And hasn't ever worked.  But, I wouldn't have made a good girlfriend or probably even a good date at the time. 

So, I wish my friend well and hope that things work out for her and the new online dating prospect with whom she's currently found success.  And I'm totally picking up the message that the dating gods are sending me:  sometimes matches that I might not take the chance on could, in fact, be Mr. Right, and if I don't go after that, someone else might just benefit...  But, also that just because these men aren't right for me at the time, doesn't mean they aren't right for someone else I know.  Maybe I'm destined to be Atlanta's Matchmaker... hmmm...

1 comment:

  1. ugh the internet ate my post.
    i said match make away you never know one of them might return the favor one day.


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