If it weren’t for the world of online dating I probably would never have enjoyed dinner with an attractive woman these past seven years.
In a sign of the times, these days it’s much easier to find a significant other you are passionate about and mesh with, than it is to find a job with these attributes.
Years ago newspapers were your main source for job listings as well as lonely hearts clubs, if you were both looking for work and a date.
Today there aren’t many job listings in the newspapers anymore and dating listings are mostly non-existent there, too. With the death of print and these once-patronized sources for occupations and romance, the online world is where it’s at.
Personally, working nights over the last decade left me no choice but to peruse what was available online in the form of female companionship. I wasn’t available to meet for dinner or drinks like most of the day shift working crowd, unless I took a vacation day or called in sick. I don’t take vacation days unless I’m planning some time off for something, and don’t use sick time of course, unless I’m truly ill.
My first foray into the world of online dating consisted of checking out the women seeking men listings on Craigslist. I can hear you groaning, Bob! Bob! Bob! But, don’t take pity on me; this was the pre-spambot Craigslist days of seven years ago when, although spambots were beginning to emerge, there were still enough listings from real people to make it a viable dating source.
You read the ads and listings and contacted the person if they sounded interesting.
I quickly found out online dating was a volume endeavor; I had to go out and meet a lot of women before I would find someone worth seeing again. I always felt online dating was a little sad because of this. I mean, I was usually grateful for the chance to meet women I would never meet otherwise. The sad part for me was the fact we were never going to see each other again—that’s a little sad, don’t you think? A couple of specks of pixie dust hastily crossing paths.
I know you’re probably thinking it’d be much sadder if I agreed to see someone again or became a thing with them, only to have it fail miserably—can’t argue with you there. Nevertheless, I occasionally met a nice enough woman to date for a while.
“Back at the ranch” and the jobs parallel…
While working for a public relations firm at the turn of the twenty-first century (doesn’t that sound galactic!) I had a co-worker tell me one of her near-term goals was to find her next job online. Like me, she had always found them through newspaper help wanted ads or by personally networking with friends and friends of friends. I think she found her boyfriend online, too, so she was going all-in with the online methodology for jobbing and mating.
I thought it would be cool to do the same. I had found the public relations job via a newspaper listing, but my present, second shift job was discovered while doing some good old-fashioned, up front and personal, non-social media, professional networking. Back in the day, you even used to be able to meet recruiters at job fairs and have them actually produce a viable lead, or better yet, a job offer! I don’t know how fruitful job fairs are nowadays. I suspect steady, over-eight-percent-and-climbing unemployment answers that one.
But I soon moved on from Craigslist. As the attack of the spambot zombies made Craigslist a wasteland for dating, it simultaneously became a source of plentiful job listings. It was no wonder newspapers couldn’t and can’t, compete with online equivalents for almost anything formerly found in them—news items included!
I migrated to Chemistry.com, met someone I dated for a while, and then went to Match.com and found someone there, too. I was burning through potential local paramours far more quickly than I would have liked to on Match, though. At the end of my original six months subscription, I took advantage of their “if you don’t meet someone special during the first six months, we’ll give you six months free!” promotion. Free is free after all.
After taking a short break from the dating scene after my Match relationship didn’t work out, I went online again and wanted something different. I found OKCupid.com and the love of my life.
I know online dating still makes some people wrinkle up their eyebrows when they hear its mention. For me, I believe it worked in part, because I was open to meeting someone outside my immediate geographic vicinity.
Yes, a long distance relationship is not for the meek or weak. But it can work, provided as in all good relationships, you love one another, are creative, care for and are committed to, each other.
Another thing easier, or at least to me, personally, about online dating, is that until you meet somebody compatible, you are the recipient as well as the bearer, of personal rejection notices. Compare this to online job searches where you are lucky to get an automated reply or form letter rejection acknowledgement of some kind, and its sting made that much greater by its cold, robotic and impersonal nature…
“Dear Robert…thanks for the lovely coffee meetup, but I don’t think there’s any chemistry between us. I hope you find someone special.”
As disappointing as that’s been at times to read over the years, it’s still far easier than many of us today who must all too often stomach, “Dear applicant, thank you for your submission for blah de blah woof woof. We are considering other candidates that more closely fit our needs at this time. We wish you every success in your search.”