The Endless Message…
There is a facet of online dating that no matter how many dates I go on, and no matter how many men I meet, I will always find particular. This is the person who you begin messaging, and the one who – as it turns out – is only interested in messaging online. I like to think of this as “the Endless Message,” and it changes from frustrating to hilarious depending on how interested you are in the person you are messaging.
The first time I signed up for an online dating website I struck up a conversation (via message at first, then via IM and even texting) with a young 20-something gentleman who lived in my neighborhood. He seemed charming, engaging, and genuinely interesting. We exchanged messages for several days before ascending to the realm of instant messaging and text messaging. I learned about his family life, his desire to move out of the city, and his professional goals. We batted around the idea of meeting “IRL” or in person, but never did.
After a week or so of nonstop messaging I realized that we were never going to meet. As one does with online dating, I shrugged it off and continued browsing the many online profiles of men with similar interests to mine. And then it happened again, and again. After several days of in-depth, long, and detailed messages the phrase “we should grab coffee/a drink/a beer/a movie” would be met with resounding silence, and the man in question would never be heard from again. I couldn’t help but feel that my proposals to meet in person were somehow terrifying and scared potential dates off. And I couldn’t help but find this very strange.
Something about the anonymity of the internet breeds this; we spend hours searching out a potential mate only to shrug off meeting in public. For whatever reason, it seems the transition from the security of profile pictures and witty messages can be the hardest part of daring online.