I sit patiently at a café. It’s been five minutes and I can’t help but wonder if I’ve been stood up by my first official online date. Eventually, he arrives with a barrage of apologies and plonks himself opposite me. He wonders if I would like a coffee. I am thrilled by the prospect of a free beverage and quickly do a calculation in my head that tells me that I can now afford something more substantial than pasta for dinner. He quickly informs me that the coffee is three dollars, and after staring at him blankly for what feels like several minutes, I reluctantly retrieve some cash from my purse. We drink our lattes, and he keeps my change. I get out of there in record speed and come to terms with the two-minute noodle dinner that awaits me.
It’s time for round two, I decide, and agree on another online date with a different gentleman. He puts in an astronomical amount of effort and decides that we should meet at a busy intersection at 9pm. Reluctance kicks in, however I hope that something greater is in the works. He suggests we go to the local shopping centre for a drink. Suddenly, I feel ill and need to leave.
Not one to give up on the quest for love, I am soon meeting a dashing young man at a Mexican restaurant. I love burritos! He’s nearly finished his degree in commerce, but he’s not too worried about getting a job because his father is in the industry and has a lot of contacts. I think of my own contacts in life, namely the pizza shop that delivers and the friendly guy from the liquor store. He caps off the night by sharing the fact his parents’ house has increased in value approximately twelve times since they purchased it. I go home to my rental and stare at the mouldy ceiling.
I like to think that I’m an optimist at heart, so after some time recovering I am open to meeting another Internet lover. I have quite a strong connection with the next contender, however this is yet to extend beyond the online realm. In person, I discover that he is hideously underwhelming. His favorite topic is his ex-girlfriend and what a horrid person she is. I also get to learn his every insecurity and problem, which I am inclined to believe is abnormal behaviour for a first date. I can’t help but wonder if this time would be better spent in a therapy session.
I’m surprised by how emotionally draining all of this online dating is. I can’t help but feel incredibly impressed by those that have the strength to do this in order to find their soulmate. I can’t even find a normal date. Close to giving up, late one night I decide to be spontaneous and head out on my final date. The last hurrah, I tell myself. I attend his house, where he has prepared me falafels (I love falafels!) and a punchbowl of sangria (I love alcohol!). I am impressed beyond measure and instantly fall in love. On a high from a fantastic date with a guy who is genuine and humourous (or very good at pretending), I go home, stare at my mouldy ceiling, smile to myself and remove my online dating profile. I came, I saw, I conquered. Content with my investigative experience, I meet with my best friends and a bottle of wine to watch reruns of Sex and the City.