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i quit online dating

14 Feb

Recently, I decided to stop searching for love online.

While it has become a growing trend and becoming more acceptable to say “we met online,” I rather want to have that traditional love story, the one where you meet that special somebody, in person.

When it comes to browsing online personals, it’s the same process. Scroll down the list of potentials, click the ones that intrigue you, type a thoughtful message, and click to send. Scroll, click, type, click, and repeat until it’s three in the morning.

One day, as I was reviewing my profile, a thought hit me. Sure, the details I included were accurate, but the profile looked like it was enjoying life more than I actually was. I was doing my best to present myself as appealing as steak & lobster when I was just being a lonely couch potato.

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Waiting can be uncomfortable, especially for the twentysomething like myself. A canister of hormones and longings, shaken but not stirred. Being raised in an instant gratification generation where meals can be microwaved in four minutes makes online dating all the more appealing.

Back in first year of college, Yahoo! Personals was the first I tried with its free seven day trial. I contacted a girl, and while she was unable to message back (she was not using premium), she only managed to wink at me. Nothing came out of it.

Next, I dabbled on Craigslist, looking for love, and reader, please don’t be this desperate. I found a girl who by some chance was in the same college and dorm as me. I felt uneasy and became paranoid of the fact that someone I met on the Internet was there in the same place as me. Too soon.

Then two years later, I braved onto eHarmony where I filled an eternity-long survey. I was shown a few matches, who weren’t interested in me. I never bothered to try its trial. And I still want my refund on my time spent on those questions back.

At one moment in time, I tried Plenty of Fish. It was kind of shady; the website looked like it was from the 1990’s. Too much white space, the placement of text and photos was poorly done. I don’t recall finding anyone on there during my time there.

Then my friend Albert told me about OKCupid. Of all the online dating site, I would say this would be the one to consider. It’s free, a few ads, and stylish interface. There is a match percentage determined by the questions you answer. I used it on and off. I met some cool people on there, and yes, I found someone to go out with, which didn’t last long.

Then later, he told me about Skout, online dating app for smartphones, and told me how his friend had found his girlfriend. Good for them; however, I’m sorry, but it came off sleazy, like a man wearing a trench coat whispers, “looking this love?” Presents and coin system? I didn’t recall this being an RPG game. It also bombarded me with too many pictures at once (and the pictures women took of themselves looked, well, questionable). Same went for Zoosk, which I also tried out. Pretty much the same as Skout.

I came across How About We, and I must say the concept is straight-to-the-point: find suggested dates or propose your own. No personality compatibility offered, but there are categories to mark religious and political beliefs and some room to type some self-description. The interface is sleek, which is similar to using Twitter.

And maybe there’s blogs. Who knows, it could bring two hopeless romantics together. Okay, I’m not putting my hope on this one at all. Still doesn’t feel any better to say “we met while blogging.”

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My greatest fear is that I will end up settling for less.

The fear that I will have to overlook a woman’s less desirable qualities (i.e. deal breakers) by having rose-colored lens surgically implanted in my eyes. Then if I’m still feeling discontent, I’ll have a heart transplant for a plastic one with a milk chocolate filling so that I’ll always have happy thoughts even if I get cavities in my mouth as a side effect. To only focus on being a Decent Boyfriend rather than Being Myself.

(Also, an equally frightening thought is that the woman decides to settle for less and chooses me. How she would never see the real me because she would be looking through rosy lens.)

My friend Joon recently got married to a wonderful woman last November, and I had the privilege of being his best man. While I’m happy for them, I can’t help but to feel envious of his love story because it’s the one I want to have: the couple first met while working at the dorm cafeteria (boy meets girl); Joon stopped working and they didn’t see each other for six months (boy loses girl); then at a block party event they bump into each other (boy gets girl), and went out for five years.

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Yet, my greatest hope is that I will meet that Special Lady.

Maybe my love story won’t have enough twists and turns to rival How I Met Your Mother, but I’m going to tell this legend to my kids one day as they are having cookies and milk. Probably won’t be as exciting since I’m not the type to frequent bars and clubs — having one-night stands, fighting in the alley, and getting tramp stamps. Well, there might some sushi bars and book clubs involved.

I do have a list of what I’m looking for, but I can’t disclose that sensitive information on this blog. You might have lucked out by coming across my online personal in the past, and if you did, that’s kind of coincidentally creepy.

Well, until the Special Lady and I meet, I’ll keep myself occupied, making most of this season of singleness. Well enough that when she sees me, it won’t be an expired bag of potato chips, but a classy gentleman inviting her to dinner, steak & lobster.

being unfriended on Facebook

13 Jun

While browsing a blog, I saw the recommended links below the entry and saw one titled “The Psychology of Being Unfriended on Facebook.” Now if you have read my previous posts, you might have noticed my wariness about social networking. Yes, I do have a Facebook account, but I’m self-aware of this big digital environment that I participate in as Jim Carrey’s character from The Truman Show is of his little televised world.

This article points out the emotional impact that “unfriendation” on Facebook could have. By unfriended, it means that an user deliberately removes someone from his virtual friends list. This action is done discreetly as it doesn’t notify the “unfriended user” that he had been unfriended, and it’s later that this one-less-friend user finds out when he reviews his list.

This action is more likely to hurt the unfriended user who is “spending more time on Facebook…[and has] more invested in the online friendships.”

On a personal note, I have unfriended certain people in the past. I wish I could approach them face-to-face and explain my reasons for doing so, but people don’t want those “we need to talk” conversations. There are some “friends” I still wish to unfriend, but until it’s considered normal to submit a “letter of unfriendation” or engage in an open dialogue, I will maintain them out of politeness and pity (in certain cases, I have no alternative but to unfriend outright). In turn, I encourage people on my Facebook account to unfriend me if they deem me to be “unsuitable” to their sensibility. I will be somewhat hurt at first, but will be more thankful shortly afterward.

Only a lunatic would treasure token digital friendships.

Even some bloggers express this discontent. Syra Darling writes, “human kind is kind of a jealous breed…we always want what we can’t have. And what we have already isn’t good enough.” There seems to be this obsession to get the attention on Facebook in order to feel validated, and on top of that, want more. Next, A Learner is aware of this desire to be acceptable as she wrestles with two identities: “‘what I think I should look like to society” and “What I Am.” Should we be more concerned with how we appear in photographs, or how we interact with others in person?

Only a lunatic would treasure Kodak moments more than human beings themselves.

Whether you have a blog or a Facebook account, it’s already a given that you want attention. It’s now a matter of what you seek is to be understood, or to be merely admired.