My friend Julie in Baltimore decided to dip her toes in the OKC waters, which inspired the two of us to go at this together. Much like workout buddies, we are there to remind each other to hold our heads high and not to give up — and to share some of the insanity that runs rampant on the Internet. We also thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the Los Angeles and Baltimore dating scenes.
Because some of this material is too good not to share, we’ve decided to share it with you in the form of weekly highlights. You got them for the last ten weeks. This week is our last one. The OKCupid Project is officially over.
My OKC adventure began on December 30th, a day before New Year’s Eve. I decided to put my 2014 resolution into effect a little early and give myself a running start.
My first message: “Im. [Name]. And how are you. Your. Beautiful”
An auspicious start to be sure. But I soldiered on. I found a 99% match that I was sure would work out. Yeah, not so much. I “changed” my sexual orientation three times (Straight to Bi to Gay to Bi again). I tinkered with my profile. I focused on guys and then women. I even cheated on OKC with other dating sites. So, what have I learned from these past 75 days?
About dating? I’ve learned a number of things, most of which I shared in my joint post with Dahlia last week.
About myself? A lot. And also nothing new. My best friend likes to make fun of the fact that I have epiphanies, especially about myself, forget them for a few weeks or months and then have them again. We’ve coined the term “re-revelations” for these deep insights that I somehow misplace only to discover them anew with the same level of excitement and enthusiasm. And, boy, this journey has been all about the re-revelations.
I learned that who I was (or wasn’t) as a teenager still holds some sway over who I am today, for good or ill. I am certainly enjoying finally feeling desired and wanted for something beyond my intellectual prowess. But I also don’t need to be desired and, ultimately, I’m still okay with being the slightly awkward outsider who hates the thought of compromising her principles. 40 going on 14.
I learned that friendship still means infinitely more to me than romance. I’ve already won at the OKC game because I met a kindred spirit on the site who will be a life-long friend. And because this dating thing was the impetus for reconnecting with Dahlia, whom I now count among my closest friends and confidants. And I’m sure that there will be many more friends made before this journey is over; would be romantic interests with whom I’ll end up building platonic relationships. And that will be quite wonderful.
And I learned, or truly re-learned, that I just think too damn much. While a certain amount of self-awareness and introspection is absolutely necessary for success in dating, as it is with all things in life, too much is confining and destructive. As one of my good friends said, this is the one thing I can’t kill with my brain. And so, I’m killing this blog thread instead.
Dahlia is on board with this for different reasons, as you’ll read about soon. For me, writing is too much like dissection: to study and learn from my experiences and feelings, I need to pin them down and cut them open, leaving them to rigor in contrived positions, bloodless. And I don’t want that. I want to be open to what happens, not constrained by what I pronounced on a blog post. I want to run with the adventure, not stop and take notes. I want to simply not think about things sometimes and just let them happen, just let them be.
I enjoyed sharing my tales with you and I am so delighted that my reckless abandon, my head-first dive down the rabbit hole of dating in my fifth decade inspired some of you to give it a try as well. And I’m sure you haven’t heard the last of me. I’m certain that I’ll show up on Dahlia’s blog from time to time to reflect on my misadventures once time has passed and there’s no harm in recounting and cataloging them. Until then, thank you all for joining me on this ride, for your kind exhortations, and for your empathetic laughter. Now if you’ll excuse me, I still have a rabbit to find.
Dates: 7 (guys); 6 (girls)
Phone Calls: Dozens
True Love?: Still looking