I put a semi-snarky Facebook status up yesterday:
[Geds] has decided on a 2012 New Year's resolution. He won't go on a single date over the course of 2012. That should save him three, maybe four evenings.
Statistically speaking, four evenings is pretty much dead on. By my recollection, I went on four dates in 2011 (three with the same person, which is basically a goddamn record, by the by). I went on five in 2010 (I initially said I went on three, maybe four, then I actually recalled the “maybe four” and remembered a fifth. These count as “the least memorable dates ever,” which is odd, since one very nearly involved The Dude himself, Mr. Jeff Bridges and the other included the very worst excuse to get out of a date I’ve ever heard. Hell, maybe there’s a sixth or seventh out there and I just totally forgot). I kind of have to put a composite 2008-2009 timeline together with the caveat that the first four months of 2008 don’t count due to a pre-existing condition, but between 2008 and 2009 I can think of six dates, one of which might not have actually counted.
Fifteen dates. Forty-three months. That adds up to an average of 4.19 dates/year.
Of those fifteen dates, meanwhile, thirteen happened because of internet dating sites (and one happened because of Facebook, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). The breakdown of that adds up to 3.63 dates/year due to internet dating-related shenanigans and .56 dates/year due to not-internet-dating-related shenanigans. Also, both non-internet-dating dates came in 2008. It can be said that internet dating is a statistically significant portion of my statistically insignificant dating life.
So, really, what that Facebook status was about wasn’t a decision to not date, it was a decision to delete my internet dating profiles. The use of the specific word “delete” is significant. See, the profile that I put the most work in to was my OKCupid profile. That puppy started out nearly at the dawn of my pointless odyssey and has evolved over the past three plus years. On top of that, the OKC profile served as a template for my Match profile and whenever I’d start a random profile on POF just to remind myself how fuck-stupid that place is I’d just copy paste from my OKC profile. All told, it was at least as important in terms of my overall web footprint as Facebook and Accidental Historian.
Now it’s gone. On OKC there are two things you can do if you want to get off the site. You can “disable” your account or you can “delete” your account. The primary difference between the two is one of permanence. Basically, if you disable you go inactive. All you have to do to get the profile re-started is log in and, boom, everything is there and normal and whatnot. I did that several times over the life of the account, most recently at Thanksgiving. If you delete it’s gone. It ain’t coming back. My only choice now is to start over from scratch, which is kind of a giant pain in the ass.
And yet, here I am, about 22 hours after doing exactly that (also deactivating my Match profile, which is less of a big deal due to the fact that it was going to expire on Christmas and I was absolutely not going to give those bastards another dime) and I kinda-sorta want to make a new one. This brings me to an interesting conclusion. I can no longer talk about internet dating without invoking the language of addiction. I was, for all intents and purposes, addicted to internet dating. Maybe we need some sort of Internet Daters Anonymous. Actually, now that I think about it, that seems like a really good idea. Like, a bunch of people who can’t find relationships but kind of want to end up all hanging out in the same place and possibly decide that someone else there is a good match. What could be bad?
Oh, wait, they have a site that facilitates exactly that. It’s called Meetup.com. Meetup is good. Why? Because it forces you to get the fuck out of your house and actually meet people. And you don’t even have to DATE them. Hell, they might even be people of your non-sexually-preferred gender with whom you share interests or people or people of your sexually-preferred gender who you would actually not like to date but would like to hang out with. That’s fucking crazy, right?
Anyway, where was I? Oh, right, I was jonesing for a goddamn internet dating profile. Here’s the problem: I put a shitload of work in to that thing over the past couple years. That work paid off in exactly no way, shape, or form. And yet, I have this strange urge to do it all over again.
Why? Because I’m a fucking internet dating addict, that’s why. Is that not the definition of addiction? I habitually (you might say obsessively) devoted myself to that whole internet dating rigmarole. It got me absolutely nowhere. I didn’t enjoy it the vast majority of the time I was doing it. And yet here I am, wondering what I’ll do without it.
That’s sad. I’m sad now.
I’m going to go contemplate the uselessness that is my life now. Maybe I’ll go make some pie charts that depict the overall sadness that is my existence.
Yeah, there’s nothing dumber than talking about Facebook statuses. BUT THIS ONE HAS A POINT!
By my calculations, 1.2% of my days over the previous 43 months included a date of some sort. If we assume that each date took three hours (which, actually, might be a slightly low number), then that means that over the past 43 months I spent 0.15% of my time on dates. If you’d like, I could put that in a database for you. It’ll be really, really small, though. Maybe a spreadsheet or pie chart would be more appropriate.
Eh. Fuck it.
That’s really sad, when I put it in those terms.
Also, if you think I’m even remotely joking about it being Internet Daters Anonymous, I did a thing a couple weeks ago and it partially involved several guys standing around talking about internet dating experiences. That was the second time that a Meetup-based event turned to talking about internet dating. I also have one friend that I actually talked to on an internet dating site, then ended up meeting at a Meetup thing. She’s good people, I like her, I’m glad that I met her that way rather than on a date, since there was no interest there to speak of and it would have been super awkward. We probably never would have spoken to each other again.
Possible. Probable, even. That’s kinda the point. Except for the groups that are specifically designed to help single people hook up with each other. I keep thinking of joining the speed dating group because holyshithaveyoueverdonespeeddating?It’ssuperawkwardandatthesametimehilariousanddumb.
For the record, I do kind of want to do a bizarro internet profile. Basically, I was a giant sloppy tub of lard a couple years ago. Now I am not. I kind of want to set up a profile where I use pictures from that period, then warn people that the pictures are kind of old. Then if I actually do end up going on a date I’ll show up and be all, “Sorry to misrepresent myself.” Why? Because the idea of doing that amuses the hell out of me for some reason. Also, I need a hobby. And making pie charts probably doesn’t count.
The breakdown, as best I can remember it: 3 dates from Yahoo Personals, 5 from OKC, 2 from POF, 3 from Match, and I know that only adds up to 13 when there should be 14, but fuck if I can remember the last one. Interestingly enough, I paid something like a hundred bucks for that Match profile to get three dates. Was it worth it? Fuck, no. Sorry, person who probably hates me. Although I suppose I made a couple friends out of that deal, so hey, at 50 bucks a friend…that’s actually kind of sad when I put it like that.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, so, like, three and a half years of working on the various internet profiles. Approximately fourteen dates. That’s an atrocious ROI. Add to that the time to actually look at other peoples’ profiles and the hundreds of emails I took the time to actually write and the dozens of email exchanges that literally went nowhere and you’ve got a giant clusterfuck of uselessness.