The post-dating world is full of horror stories, if you dare to look at it that way. For every heartwarming Ego Booster, intriguing Networking-Non-Date and adrenaline-inducing Gchat conversation, there’s a blood-boiling booty text, unsolicited photo of some old guy’s junk (that Anthony Weiner, such a trendsetter!) and Chatroulette e-cheating session that can leave you screaming “WTF?!”
Any romantic universe that spins (wildly!) on an axis of ambiguous interactions, mixed signals and maybe-meaningful emoticons will inevitably be rife with potential pain, embarrassment and overall ludicrousness. But throughout all the layers of the post-dating world, there is one area that consistently seems to produce the craziest and most colorful horror stories. And that would be online dating.
Now, for record, I don’t hate online dating. Whatever my written track record on the subject might suggest.
Yes, I’ve complained about the sites’ tendencies to sell themselves as be-all and end-all solutions (marriage guaranteed!) to the confusions, quandaries and missed connections of the post-dating world. It’s true that I think the online dating process focuses too heavily on traditional and outdated norms of “dating” culture, often stifling the very romantic potential that it aims to create. I will continue to argue that those of us who are scrolling through the e-fray often need to make more concerted efforts to remain open to the romantic possibilities and day-to-day connections that might arise offline. And sure, my OkCupid profile (yep, it exists – dare you to find it!) gets about as much attention from me as my laundry does (read: almost none at all).
But! I’m not a hater. I promise! Our own site is full of happily-ever-after love stories that began on JDate, Nerve and Geek2Geek, among other sites. I just got off the phone with a future WTF?! columnist who recently embarked on a healthy and exciting totally post-dating sorta-maybe-almost relationship that began on Match.com. And I’m happy to endorse any method that brings more potential connections and dah members into people’s lives, especially when so many of us Millennials go through phases where we are too busy or focused on non-post-dating stuff to really prioritize “love.” So, viva la e-wink!
Yet let’s call a spade a spade: something about the process of online dating seems to bring out the weirdest in people. Maybe it’s the combination of what happens when you let individuals create their own sales pitches…and then put a lot of pressure on them to deliver on formal dates…and also leave them with the fear that they’re going to get matched with their bosses…who knows! But whatever it is about online dating, it often leads to unbelievable horror stories like the ones that can be found in The Awl’s “A Treasury of the World’s Worst Online Dating Stories.”
Folks, this treasury has got it all. Men barking like seals during sex. Women following up first dates with desperate sets of texts that would make even Kevin’s crazy girl squirm. Harvard snobs being incredibly pretentious (hey…!! just kidding, that sounds about right). A woman who respectfully turns a guy down after one date and then later discovers that she is the star of one of his online stories, where her alter ego gets “beaten savagely with a cricket bat” and killed.
Not to mention the more somber tales of date rape, stalking and pedophilia. And the fact that, of the 2,208 people who responded to The Awl’s initial survey (sponsored by eHarmony, aka Jennifer Love Hewitt’s rumored new employer), only 18 had met their current partners or spouses online. Which again, is not a reason to avoid online dating – it’s just a reason to make sure that you’re cultivating the rest of your dah elsewhere as well!
So check out these stories, and promise me – and yourself – that you’ll never become one of these people. Okay? Cheers to post-dating sanity for all.
The Awl: A Treasury of the World’s Worst Online Dating Stories
Image via Cali4beach
Jess is the co-creator of Dating & Hookup, alongside her childhood best friend Becky Lynch, and is the author of the book - yep! - Dating & Hookup. She never tires of hearing your post-dating stories. She wants you to enjoy your love life, and is full of advice on how to do so.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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