Monday, August 29, 2011

More About Online Dating

I wrote about online dating a few months ago but wanted to revisit the topic. I'm still not into it but after thinking about it more and talking to a bunch of you who have tried it, want to revise some of the things I said before. Here:

1) I said this: "My assumption, which I believe to be correct, is that everyone on earth is theoretically looking for the right relationship for them, but that does not mean the right relationship for them is with me or you."

I was wrong about this, actually. I do think that mostly everyone thinks they are looking for the right relationship for them, but actually, some people are really only interested in chasing people who don't want them and would never want a nice person who would treat them properly. This is called having low self-esteem. There are loads of these types in the real world, of course, but from what some of you tell me, loooaaaads online, possibly because the idea of not having to immediately engage with real live people is appealing to the issue-laden in this world. And it takes a little longer to spot them, too, since they're hiding behind the normalcy of a smiley picture and the fact that they're interested in soccer or whatever, just like you.

2) I said this: "Shared interests, like liking the same movies or sports, don't matter at all. Chemistry and shared values matter." It's still definitely true that shared interests don't matter, but I am realizing that it is not chemistry but intimacy and shared values that matter, and that practically everyone in the whole wide world thinks chemistry is way more important than it is. Now I'm not saying you should go and have a relationship with someone if you can't stand the idea of touching them (i.e. "have no chemistry"), but the thing is, it doesn't mean shit if someone makes your hormones go completely mental if they don't want to be in the same relationship as you. FYI, if they never get in touch with you unless you have a fight about it first, tend to disappear and then reappear, or call you needy when you say you want to have a real relationship and not a booty call, they don't want to be in the same relationship as you (i.e. have shared values). If, on the other hand, they are a consistent presence in your life, are available when you need them, and express interest in having a real relationship, then you have a potential foundation to create intimacy. Maybe you won't end up having real intimacy with that person because it takes some time to see if it is there and it is not always going to be, but this is the sort of person you should be going for, not someone who makes you feel crazy passion but then when push comes to shove, disappears because they are emotionally unavailable.

If you need convincing, consider this: if you are looking for a relationship and not a booty call, you are looking to find someone with whom you will presumably spend many years if all goes well. Not that I know shit, but if there's one thing I can guess it's that nobody's hormones rage over the same person for many years. Well, not if they are actually in a relationship with that person. And how does it even feel when you have great "chemistry" with someone anyway? Does it feel good or does it feel stressful, like you have butterflies in your stomach the whole freaking day because you don't actually know if this person is really going to go the distance or just wants to mess with your head a bit and then disappear? Be honest.

And no, someone's dating profile can't tell you anything about the intimacy that may eventually exist between the two of you either. Yeah I know, what an effing drag.


  1. I've always understood 'chemistry' to mean not just physical attraction, but also how well you get on with someone in terms of banter, sense of humour, conversation flow, etc. I think this is important when you're first getting to know someone - it motivates you to learn more about them, find out if you share the same values, and maybe become more intimate over time.
    My thing about online dating - and in the same way, texting - is that it can be really misleading in the inital stages when it comes to this kind of chemistry. It's really easy to write clever things back and forth and think 'wow, we really get each other' - and then you finally meet in person and it's really awkward. You can only tell if you have chemistry with someone when you're talking face to face. This is why it's a good idea to limit pre-first-date texting or emailing - or at least, try not get too excited about it when it seems to go well. - Brynne

  2. Hello Ms Morgan. It depends on how well-versed you are to deal with dating profiles. They are, you say it yourself, profiles, hypotheses about one's personality: the image people have of themselves or want others to have of them. But, such profiles and similarities between one's and others' does not guarantee a sound relationship basically because such a relationship is based on hypotheses that have to be tested throughout time; so, while such profiles could be general clues by narrowing down choices and sparing you the large quantity of people interested in dating, they cannot promise the quality.

  3. I think that chemistry attracts 99% of people to each other. Chemistry is lust. Romance movies are lust. Even the deeper ones are just emotional lust. Love happens after you give someone so much that they are an extension of you. It's not too common, and if people waited for that to happen before getting physically involved, there'd be about 3 kids born a year.