Online dating can be like a black hole that sucks you up, spins you around, plays with your head and then spits you right out to try and figure out what just happened while recovering from your head injury.

Ok, fine, that description may be a little dramatic.

One can find a few upsides to online dating.

  1. You don’t have to hang out at the bar anymore (because the bar is now located in your phone).
  2. You can be choosy about who/when you want to meet.
  3. You can enjoy the never-ending buffet of choices in pursuit of your perfect girl/guy.
  4. Men and women are paying money to meet, so they must be Grade A (not!)

In my own experience, here’s how a boy/girl interaction typically goes down:

Guy scrolls/trolls online looking for a pretty girl to catch his eye.

Guy clicks on the profile, scans the profile, studies the photos and if the images excite him, he copies and pastes his generic, yet witty opener to girl.

Girl receives alert. If guy catches girl’s eye (out of the 20 emails she received that day), she will read his profile and scrutinize the photos to try and detect what’s ‘wrong’ with him.

Is he really that age? Is he living a secret life outside of his marriage? How old are those photos?

If there are any grammar or punctuation mistakes, she won’t bother to reply.

If the guy passes her initial profile scrutiny, she will employ her own witty, yet generic reply.

Connection made.

Witty email banter goes back and forth approximately 2-3x.

At some point the guy will ask for the phone number or the girl will provide it unsolicited.

Guy texts (as opposed to calling) first because:

  1. He’s scared.
  2. He likes to hide behind his phone.
  3. He thinks you may be too busy to pick up if he calls.
  4. He’s really not ready to go from online to offline. That’s too much commitment.

A week of texting goes on. Girl nudges guy to call. She wants to hear his voice. It will reveal a great deal about him.

The talk happens.

Girl judges boy. Boy judges girl.

Success. They are not repulsed by each other’s voices, tone, words, etc.

They plan to meet.

Meeting happens at local coffee shop or bar.

Nervous excitement on both sides.

Eyes meet for the first time.

Judgments brew internally. Do they really look like their pictures? Did they lie about their age?

Some witty, yet awkward banter. Some awkward silence.

If there is some semblance of chemistry both can exhale, but it’s no guarantee of a second date.

Both proceed to ask benign questions in an effort to keep the conversation flowing, yet to not poke too much (so as to seem like we’re in an interview).

Choose your own scary adventure:

  1. Guy reveals within the first half hour that he was arrested and spent 10 days in jail last year; and he could use my help to get his mugshot removed.
  2. Guy asks if he can call me before i go to bed ‘to help put me to sleep.’
  3. Guy tells me he lives in a bus and can easily bring his house to my house.
  4. Guy reveals that he is a prophet of G-d and is here to save humanity.

Yes, these are real scenarios that happened to me!

One hour is up. Girl cannot wait to abscond. Guy seems clueless.

Bill comes. Girl pretends to reach for her wallet.

Guy pays. If he can’t pick up the tab for a coffee or drink, he is ineligible.

Awkwardness prevails.

More benign chatter.

Perhaps a hug or kiss on the cheek goodbye.

Guy says I’d like to see you again.

Girl remains silent or nods ambiguously.

If she’s bold she will tell him that she is not interested in another date.

Guy and girl both understand the subtext. They will never speak again.

Guy and girl go home.

Rinse off.

Guy and girl get back online to find their next eligible candidate (and to block each other).

Repeat entire process with next candidate.

Girl realizes she’s had 327 bad online dates.

She cancels subscription and updates her social media relationship status to ‘already ordered 37 cats’.