So I tried dating. According to my mother you can't "knock it until you've tried it."
Well, I've tried it and I would now like to knock it on its ass and then eliminate it all together.
Dating for the sake of dating is inevitably going to lower your self esteem. Its a system which creates desperation. I think this might be especially true of online dating because when you pay the fee, there is a certain expectation that you'll find a mate within the given time. I was dismayed when Bosslady saw a guy on my match.com that she had seen on there 10 years ago when she was dating. Now, I am sorry but there is something wrong with that although if she finds any more of them I am going to wish I could buy me some match.com stock. I mean, desperation is always profitable.
Dating for the sake of dating is about finding a partner and being proactive about it. So that should be a good thing, right? Maybe. I would prefer that people live their lives fully while simply being open to finding a mate instead of constantly looking under every bush and rock like they're on an Easter egg hunt (but instead of jellybeans inside the plastic egg is a diamond ring/happily-ever-after). But the reality of dating is that you go out with people who are OK but not great and you never see them again or maybe you see them again once or twice. This process is somehow degrading to the human spirit. Or at least it was for me.
Also, even though I didn't go into the whole process intent on finding a mate, after a few dates I started to get obsessed. I wanted some validation. I wanted to meet someone who didn't think I was a loony tune after 2 hours and so I became intent upon finding a kindred spirit. My whole sense of self was suddenly riding on this magical person who "got" me and didn't make me feel like somehow less of an awesome person after I realized that I wasn't going to get past date one.
I enjoy meeting new people when they are people I will be interacting with for a while, people I can welcome into my life. But dating is very black and white. The person is either your soul mate or is not your soul mate. And when you keep meeting people who aren't your soul mate you start to wonder if you have a soul at all!
I think that dating offers a nice socially constructed system for getting to know a potential mate. And I think that dating etiquette offers useful guidelines which can make this process go smoothly. But this whole system/etiquette setup should only be used when, in the course of a wonderful, full, non-desperate life, you encounter a person you'd like to get to know better in that way. Going out looking for dates is inevitably desperate and therefore unhealthy.
So here is what I am going to do. I am going to ride out my match.com subscription. I have about a month and a half left. But I am not going to really DO anything with it. Meeting a new kindred spirit (whether a friend or a partner) is not one of those things that can be rushed or controlled. So I am just going to live my life and kinda ignore match.com. I've seen all my match's profiles a couple times now and if someone new comes on, I'll either get an email or the new person will alert me to his existence himself.
In the end, however, it would have been a better use of my time and money to pay $75 to meetup.com and organize my own meetup group for 6 months. I would meet more people with less pressure and pay less per month. Even if I didn't meet my match, I'd have more confidence and I would have made at least one friend and maybe even a community of people with common interests who actually get together and DO things.
Hmmm. Maybe I'll do that! That can be my next experiment: A Singles Group for People who Don't Hunt Eggs.