Though I think it’s a great way to meet people, online dating often makes me want to throw my phone against the wall, then get my car and run over the phone, then take a hammer and smash the remaining fragments into dust. To put it mildly.
This frustration I feel with online dating sometimes drives me to look for shortcuts to escape the monotony of the process. A cheat code of sorts, like when you would hit “;Rosebud” on the Sims to get money without having to waste all of those hours slaving away at work so you could buy a house with a sweet pool and a heart-shaped hot tub. I’ll frequently ask friends about how they met their significant others in hopes of getting some inspiration on how to meet someone without spending hours on Tinder, Bumble, or Match. The two answers I hear the most are the following:
“We met through friends!”
“We met in college!”
This makes me wonder if I missed the memo on college relationships. How did these other people figure out the importance of a college relationship and choose wisely? I had a lengthy and fun college relationship, but it wasn’t one that turned into a forever relationship. And yet plenty of other people seemed to have met someone at 20 who turned out to be their “person.” Did they attend some seminar while I was off napping that told you how to spot your future spouse roaming around through dorms and frat parties? Did they get a piece of paper in their orientation packet that I missed? I’m wondering if I could get a do-over so that I could go back to school briefly and try again. I feel confident that if I could return to Syracuse University knowing what I know now, I would be able to save 27-year-old Lauren from a significant amount of online dating aggravation. If only…
When I’m done feeling jealous of my “we met in college” friends, I start to think about how it would be genius to eliminate the need for online dating by creating a grocery store or dog park or gym specifically for “meet cutes.” Yes, these places exist in real life, but we all know that we typically show up to these spots ready to attend to the task at hand and then leave. But when you showed up to a Meet Cute-specific Starbucks, for example, you’d look your best, put your phone away, and chat up the person behind you to see if your orders are compatible. No more swiping endlessly or going to the bar and hoping your beer goggles don’t lead you astray. Should I create a Kickstarter campaign to fund this idea? I sort of think it’s genius. In the meantime, I’ll just be over here swiping and unmatching and answering the question “Hey cutie what do u write about?” over and over until the end of time. My fellow single people, I stand in solidarity with you.