Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spot reserved

Years ago, I worked for a company that held monthly meetings in an office a couple of hours away from where I usually worked. Each month, a coworker and I would make the early-moring trip to attend.

Neither of us were morning people, and occasionally we would run a little late. On those mornings, his plan was to drop me at the office door, and have me bring his coat in with me. I was to go into the meeting room (where I would hopefully beat the manager) and place his coat on his regular chair.

Why? "If your coat is in the room, it reserves your spot. You're present - even if you're not present."

That was his way to avoid being late. He wasn't especially good at all the parts of his job. But he was a very good bullshitter - which, as luck would have it, was a large part of how he made his living.

In the last couple of weeks, I've noticed this "reserve your spot" mentality seems to be slipping over into the online dating world. Here's how it works:

I email a guy and let him know I'm interested in talking. He responds with some reason why he can't talk for
Found it here
a while - which has ranged from a few hours to a few months. But, he says, he wants to let me know he's interested and will be in touch.

I, naturally, start holding my breath right then.

Can we all just agree that online dating sites are not like a deli? It's not like sending me an email reserves you a number, and I plan to serve you in that order.

If you're trying to prevent me from talking to other guys - that won't work. Honestly, that wouldn't happen even if we did start having a conversation. I can't form a connection with you based on three lines of "I'll get back to you" so I'm certainly not going to walk away from people who can make the time for me now.

Not to mention - for all I know, you're not actually interested. Maybe that's just your way of brushing me off. Until I know for sure - you're moved to the back of the line, sir.

Or perhaps it's really just your way of keeping your options open, while you decide how far you want to take things with your current date. Which means you're putting me on the backburner?

The truth is, I'm not a huge fan of the online communication. I want to say hi, establish interest, confirm you're not a serial killer, and move the communication offline as quickly as possible. Email, texting - that's all great for getting to know about each other. But it's no way to tell if we're a good match.

To a certain degree, meeting people online might appeal to the lazy or the impatient. Sure, it makes meeting a little easier (and possible to do in your pajamas). But actual dating still requires work. You can't just phone it in.

Dating is like a raffle - you have to be present to win.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I agree that you need to speak to a person to get to know them...

    Texting/Internet communication... cannot be the basis.