I recently made the decision-after spending a little under two years with 3 different experiments of varying lengths-that the Dot-Com Dating Scene is not for me. [Of course, not everyone can boast the title of the Mayor of Friendville-so the regular scene must not be used to the likes of me, either. ]
For a kernel of truth [hidden carefully beneath a layer or two of irony], I’d like to call my favorite romantic comedy to the stand. In Nora Ephron’s modern classic You’ve Got Mail, George says, “As far as I’m concerned the Internet is just another way for me to be rejected by a woman.” The movie addresses other Internet romance pitfalls: anonymity, insecurity, unforeseen personal and physical flaws, and the possibility that your boyfriend may be the Rooftop Killer.
But since Nora, Tom and Meg had been through like perils before, the World Wide Web proved a piece of cake. They were able to make it what we might now call Facebook official by movie’s end-[in other words, they ended up indisputably together]: evidence includes happy tears, central park vistas, movie kissing, and the obligatory playing of a non-Garland version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.
For those of you trying to get this straight, I’ll help: I am using a movie about the success of an Internet-relationship to justify my own exit from dating sites, after having the Cybercosmos to thank for my only relationship. Clear? Thought so.
I am not leaving dating sites because I failed- or even because I think they are a bad idea. In fact, I would recommend them to those who are in staunch opposition: they are good to try when you’ve tried everything else, they eliminate the ‘why is he or she talking to me’ question entirely, and they give you the chance to learn to focus on your strengths while you create a profile.
But I’m putting in my notice: I have discovered there is something important missing from the Cyber-dating process. But don’t feel bad for me: what dating sites lack is luckily something my own life has in spades.
If there is anything I am good at doing, it is being [Just] Friends. I am a champion. I am extremely comfortable in the Friend Zone, that is apparently where the rest of Man-kind likes me, since I have made very few ventures in to the More-Than-Friendzone, if there even is such a place. [I’ve seen a lot of desert-themed adventure films, it could be a mirage].
You’ve Got Mail works because it operates on the principles of Ephron’s Law: A relationship [and romantic comedy] work best when there are equal parts friendship and chemistry. Where one of those is ignored, or given unequal weight, things will either fizzle or explode [and you don’t want to singe those eyebrows of yours].
Although my odds aren’t exactly improved as a result of this decision, I think it will help me to have removed anything that keeps me from my motto of living in the present.
Although I am loathe to relinquish the sense of control offered by Internet dating, I have a good feeling about letting it go, and seeing what a collection of lived-in-todays brings me.
This year, I have my fingers crossed for something to grow out of more organic beginnings.
Let’s hope, somewhere out there, some friend of mine finds himself in agreement.