I tried an online dating site.
Why did I do it? Well...why not? I'm going to be very honest with you; I don't really have trouble meeting men. I'm no beauty queen, but I'm not completely unfortunate looking. And I'm friendly, I like meeting new people. But when I signed up for the site (about two months ago), I felt like I was in big fat rut. I hadn't been on a date in a few months. I hadn't met someone that I had a real connection with or that genuinely interested me in a very long time. It just so happened that one night my roommates saw a commercial for Chemistry.com advertising a "free communication weekend" they were having. All four of us signed up to see what it was all about. Unfortunately, we didn't pay very good attention and failed to realize that the free weekend ended at midnight on Sunday. We signed up Sunday at 10 pm. Geniuses.
The following week, I started getting emails and updates from Chemistry.com telling me about new matches and guys who were "interested" or had "noticed" me. Because I hadn't paid my dues yet, I wasn't able to view any of these profiles, but my curiosity was peaked. For about a week I debated whether or not I wanted to spend the money to fully activate my account. Was it worth it? I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try for one month. Just one month. After all, what did I have to lose?
I paid for one month and started receiving new matches right away. It was really fun at first, seeing the matches they'd send me and who was interested in me. There are a lot of fun little "get to know you" games that you can play with potential matches to learn more about them. Very early on I was matched up with a guy named Steve. We started emailing through the site and the more we emailed the more I realized he was someone I'd really like to meet. I was really relieved when he suggested it first though! We met one Saturday afternoon at the New England Aquarium and the entire T ride there I wanted to throw up. I was so nervous! But once I got there and saw him, all the nervousness faded away and I just had fun. What was supposed to be just an afternoon at the aquarium turned into dinner and drinks and a movie and long walks around Boston. It was far and away the best first date I've ever had. We went on many more dates over the next two months, and Steve and I would joke occasionally about how we couldn't believe that Chemistry.com actually worked. But did it?
I never felt it. That thing. The butterflies in the stomach thing. The giddy, slightly terrifying, but oh so excited feeling that you should feel when you start seeing someone you're really crazy about. Don't get me wrong, Steve is an incredible person. Handsome and smart and funny. Honestly one of the nicest guys I have ever met. On paper, everything was there. But in real life something just did not add up. There was a disconnect. It was, ironically enough, a lack of chemistry. I thought that maybe it would come. The whole "growing to love someone" thing. But it didn't, and the last two weeks of our little relationship I kind of agonized over what to say and how to tell him. When I called him one night a couple weeks ago to talk about it, he admitted that he had been feeling the exact same thing. That was a huge relief to hear, believe me. We talked for a while and decided to move forward as friends. While I'm not sure a romantic relationship is in the cards for us, we get along too well to just disappear from each others' lives and I hope we do stay friends.
So...what's the moral of the story here? I'm really glad I took a chance and tried online dating. It's not something I ever thought I would do and, I admit, I was a little outside of my comfort zone, but in the end it was worth it. Completing your dating profile means answering dozens and dozens of questions that force you to evaluate not only yourself but also what you're looking for in a partner, and I think that was something that was really good for me. While I didn't end up with a love connection, I certainly ended up with a good friend. I think one of the hardest things in dating is putting yourself out there. It can be scary. But that's kind of what I was doing in signing up for Chemistry.com. Just another way to put myself out there and let the universe know I'm ready for a relationship. Interestingly enough, almost immediately after Steve and I decided to officially end our romantic relationship, I met someone. Nothing has happened, no dates or anything. I've only seen him a couple of times since then out with friends and I honestly don't know if anything will ever happen between us.
But the giddy/terrifying excitement? The butterflies? They're definitely there.
And that's what I'm holding out for.