Internet Dating Burnout Syndrome, Part Two: The Symptoms

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I hoped you liked the Q+A with Hilary. Her book, The Secret Currency of Love, has lots of interesting stories — and it's nice to realize, when reading it, just how many other women have issues when it comes to relationship money matters.

Anyway, back to what I was saying about Internet Dating Burn-Out, on Monday. The other problem I started to have with Internet dating — long before I cycled through the entire straight male population of New York City — was how terribly awkward and disappointing it could be. Even after I'd learned not to get too psyched about a guy before I met him; even when I made sure to keep the e-mails to a minimum and insisted that the only real phone conversation we could have was an initial get-to-know-you-and-make-sure-you're-not-a-psycho-or-serial-killer chat; even when I told myself not to expect much ... it was always a major downer if I showed up for a date and realized instantaneously that he was a person I would never kiss. Sometimes it was because he had about 16 centimeters less hair in person than he did in his pictures. Or six less inches. Or 60 more pounds. Once it was because he was so man-orexic that I wanted to put him in my pocket, like a little baby bird, and hand feed him crumbs. Once it was because his body looked exactly like I was expecting it to — but he'd added a spare tire directly to his NECK.

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(What's the worst surprise YOU've ever had on an Internet date?)

Anyway, you get the idea. I'd show up, and immediately all my fantasies about the new boyfriend I was going to have would be crushed under the weight of reality. (Or under the weight of his enormous neck.) To add irritation to injury, I'd have to spend the next two hours smiling and being polite to make sure I didn't make the guy feel like crap about himself.

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Because BOY, did I know what that was like — that terrible, terrible epiphany that the person across the table from you, or on the adjacent bar stool, just does not think you're hot. In fact (and this is a story I should probably go into more detail about someday), one guy basically said to me, in the course of a freakish story he was telling, "I eventually began kinda stalking that chick, in fact, but you don't have to worry about me doing that to you — because SHE was beautiful."

Oh, sure. I understand how that is. Gotcha. (Um, waiter? Could you please bring a pitcher of water with that check so I can throw it in this douche bag's face? Thanks.)

With this whole flirtation project, on the other hand, I'll know immediately whether or not there's any chemistry.

I just hope I don't get negged too many times, because I'm not sure my ego could take it.

[All right, a little bonus musical track for today: — some groovy modern French tango music I like. Great for dinner parties. The band is called Gotan Project. If you like this clip of their song "Celos," check out their album Lunatico.]

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