There are many benefits and drawbacks to online dating. But, in my experience, the struggle is in whether or not the person you’re talking to is someone who knows themselves well enough to accurately represent themselves.
During my adventures in online dating, I ended up attracting a number of people who seemed to feel comfortable describing themselves as the person they wished they were or were planning to be, rather than who they were right then.
I got smokers who claimed they weren’t smokers, then confessed that the were actually planning to quit….and never did.
I got people in relationships who claimed to be single, then confessed they were planning to break up in just a little bit….and never did.
The list of things they claimed that weren’t real are endless. And I’m not claiming I didn’t or don’t have self-delusions as well. But with online dating, so much information is exchanged before you actually meet that person face to face, without the ability to use your instincts to suss out the truth that you might as well be dating two different people.
Four relationships and 6 years later, and I’m done with online dating. Not because I don’t think it can work, but because I realized something essential…
I want to be a mother way more than I want to be a wife, and that spells trouble for any relationship. It’s just too much pressure.
In 2012, I finished grad school and moved back home. I wanted to be closer to my parents, closer to the group of friends I’d had all my life, and immersed in my hometown which, according to Oprah and some newspapers, is the happiest city in the country.
Moving home was meant to be the culmination of all my efforts. 5 years of undergrad, 5 years of graduate school, 10 years of wondering when I was going to be able to focus on me and what I wanted.
When I was younger and someone asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I could never pin down a career. Everything sounded interesting, everything sounded fun. It wasn’t until high school that I started to answer: “I want to have a job that gives me the money and flexibility to be the mother I want to be.”
Now, there’s some shit. How do you explain that one to a career counselor? I couldn’t really, which is how I ended making it all the way through graduate school, studying something I was really really good at, that didn’t make me happy at all.
I finished grad school and never wanted to work with another therapy client again. What a way to waste a doctorate. I was a very good therapist, and every day made me a little more miserable. Coming home was meant to be freedom.
But of course, in my typical 15-degrees-off-center kind of style, nothing turned out the way I expected…