Last year, my New Year's resolution was to start dating again. I realized in the fall that I wasn't going to be able to meet people in my program (99.9% female) or at my internship (95% female) and decided that it was finally time to start dating online. I had many entertaining tales from those days, but no dates that actually went anywhere. Outside of online dating I found a great guy I liked and took some time to pursue that relationship, but that didn't work out either, and I spent the end of 2007 psyching myself up to jump into the online dating world again in 2008.
Well, here we are more than half-way through the first month of 2008 and I am going on my first date of the year tonight. Am I excited? Not really. Nervous? Definitely not. I think the word that best describes my attitude towards this date (and all future dates) is "determined." Determined to start dating again (and knowing that the only way to do that is to actually go on dates). Determined to push through the "maybe Great Guy will get his shit figured out and we can date" fantasy and to get back in the game so that I can see that there are plenty of other great guys out there. Determined to do something... anything... to feel proactive instead of passive in the dating world.
So, as with all of my online dating experiences so far, I am not feeling particularly optimistic that this will go anywhere, but I think that I have to keep my expectations low in order to keep my sense of humor in tact.
This time around, I'm trusting my gut more and allowing myself to cut off communication earlier with people, rather than having a gut feeling that they're a bad match, but pursuing communication and perhaps a meeting on the off-chance that my gut is wrong. If I learned anything last year, it was that my gut is rarely wrong. So this year, I'm eliminating the matches without photos (I'm showing my photo, so you'd better be showing me yours). I'm eliminating the men who use too "lol" or emoticons in their profiles. I'm eliminating anyone who gives one-word answers to essay questions. I'm eliminating anyone who answers the question "how much alone time do you need?" with the answer "None - I like to spend all my free time with my partner."
And (call me an elitist if you want), I am eliminating the men who can't spell. This isn't about typos. This is about the email that I just got that was 8 sentences long with 4 spelling errors and 3 grammatical errors.
So look for some entertaining updates on the zillions of first dates I have waiting for me in 2008. It helps me through the bad dates to know that I will have entertaining blog entries to write when I get home.