It’s not like I thought we were going to get married; I wasn’t even sure we should date. Two hours before we were supposed to meet, he sent me an email. I have ended up taking my little girl to the fall carnival today, as her mother is sick. And in the space where that conversation might have gone, a conspiracy theory grew.
My life was lovely, for the most part — quiet, low-key evenings spent with family, or a handful of amazing female friends, or a marmalade tabby loved beyond all reason.
But I was aware that some key part of existence was missing. ”) When I told Jennifer my usual complaints — that online dating made me feel hopelessly awkward, that it depressed me in some existential way — she gave me a little pat on the knee.“Well, maybe your mom can set you up with someone nice,” she said. By now, most of us have tried online dating, or at least know its narrative arc: The agony of creating a personal profile (what picture should I use? ), followed by the rush of adrenaline that arrives when emails begin to pile up in your inbox.
It was the evening that he canceled our second date when I decided to confront him on this.
“So I have to tell you something,” I said to him on the phone.
Looking back, I can see that he was way too quick to lavish me with compliments.
He would say things like, “You are so amazing,” and “If you are half as funny in person, I am going to fall in love with you.” That makes me cringe a million times now, but in the moment, it was fuel for my ego.The nature of truth has always been slippery, but technology has given us so many tools for deception, and such a powerful megaphone, that we are constantly forced to defend against it. This is the herky-jerky place in which I found myself with Todd. Ours was a thoroughly 21st relationship that unfolded through the Web, email and i Phone, a drama in which the two main characters never actually shook hands.It was one of the strangest romances I’ve ever had, not simply because I did not know him in person but because I truly came to believe he did not exist.I longed for the kind of companionship I once found in Stella Artois.“You need to start online dating,” my friend Jennifer told me. I didn’t know if it was my age, or our age in general, but the whole discussion about online dating had shifted from, “Why don’t you try this? Why couldn’t I meet my future husband in a coffee shop, or in the produce section of a grocery store? It’s such a funny mix of insecurity and power to be a woman on those sites.Some days I felt like a little lost puppy scratching on anyone’s door: I have the requisite number of anecdotes about men who were comically unsuited for me.Or rather, the site existed, but it had a banner that read “under construction” in a chintzy font that no successful marketing company would ever, in a million years, actually post.