I keep trying to get into this whole online dating game. I don’t know why. I’m not the smoothest individual in person so I think that maybe I might be able to connect with some special lady if there was some buffer between us. But I don’t really trust the Internet, so I think I keep coming off as more of a creep than a hero.
I keep trying to use this website called Plenty of Fish. It’s free which works for me because I think that the only price I should pay to be rejected by women is my self-esteem. I also say that I “keep trying to use” it because my profile only lasts for about a day before I delete it again. I have this fear that I’m somehow letting my dad down, like he’s judging me for using the website.
Which is weird, because I don’t really know how he would know about my profile. But still I keep having this image in my head of him on his iPad late at night, thinking “I can’t sleep. Let’s take a look at all the sad people,” and going to Plenty of Fish and seeing my profile. He’d have to come to the terms with the fact that I advertise myself as someone who likes dancing and Zach Braff movies. And I just know he’d think he’d failed somewhere along the way.
So I delete the account, even though there is really no way he would ever see it or judge me. But as loneliness grabs at me a little more, I inevitably break down and create a new account for another week.
But aside from thinking that my dad will judge me, my profile also suffers from a starkness that makes me look like a serial killer. See, I’m still terrified of online predators. It’s weird because I’m a 21 year-old man and I don’t really see that as a niche market for internet deviants. But still I’m always worried about putting too much personal information that might lead some wacko to my doorstep.
So I don’t usually put much of anything on my profile. A blurry photo of me from three years ago (the only photo of myself that I actually own) and a few lines about how I’m shy until you get to know me so message me. Nothing about my interests (baring my love for Mr. Braff) or where I live or even my height (which at 6’5” should be a point of pride). Then I’m constantly confused why my inbox isn’t full of lovely ladies ready to go salsa and watch “Chicken Little.” Probably because women see my profile and think, “This is a clearly a man looking to wear someone’s skin. But you know ‘Garden State’ did have a killer soundtrack.”
I’ve learned that it’s just as hard to send a message to a girl’s profile as it is to say something to a girl I like in class. At least the girls in class can actually see the real me and not my creepy stalker profile. Since the summer started I’ve made and deleted my Plenty of Fish profile twice. I don’t think I’m really cut out for this new level of dating experience. I still need to figure out how the first level works, the ol’ fashion “Wanna go see a movie?” style of dating. I mean, next to bearing my soul in these posts, how hard can “Would you like to get coffee?” really be?
Oh who am I kidding? You can probably find me on Plenty of Fish within ten minutes of this column being published. But only for a limited time.
“The bitch and moan-olgoues” is a weekly humor column that explores writer Chase Wilkinson’s adventures in being socially awkward and paranoid.Contact Chase Wilkinson.