I should have stayed home and watched Food Network (Photo by photostock)

I don’t really understand traditional, grown-up dating. Sitting next to a stranger in a dark movie theater or allowing them to buy me dinner sounds terrifyingly awkward. In a movie theater, we will do absolutely no speaking what-so-ever, and afterwards will probably only speak about the movie we just saw and I really can’t base my entire opinion of a person on their choice of movies. (I also need to know their tastes in literature and music before I can cruelly judge them.) I once went on a date to see House of a Thousand Corpses. Worst Idea Ever.

As for dinner, well, if they aren’t vegan they will probably think I am some sort of weird picky eater and be turned off, or they will be afraid to eat a steak in front of me, or will assume I must wear tons of hemp and patchouli oil and bliss out in my apartment with copious amounts of marijuana while stitching myself a new burlap sack-dress. I don’t! Not regularly!

I liked dating in high-school, which was really just staring at each-other from across the room, talking on the phone, writing notes in class that my mother would dig out of my jeans pockets after I threw them in the hamper, and making out in dark basements. Surrounded by tons of other people also making out.

Better yet I miss dating in college, when dating was meeting at parties and inviting people over to your dorm to “watch a movie” when really that means to touch each-other. I started my relationship with my boyfriend of 3+ years by getting drunk and following him into the men’s bathroom at a pizza place while my room-mate stood outside to guard the door. I said something classy like “let’s make-out” and then we did. On the sink. While some guy puked in the stall next to us. You see, this was considered normal! It was the foundation for a loving and fantastic relationship! Now, it would be considered skanky.

I feel like the grounds for dating now, in the “real world,” create purely awkward scenarios—I could be out with the best guy or girl in the world, completely ideal for me, and I might still feel awkward. I would be so nervous I would be inclined to make inappropriate 14-year-old-boy style comments about things shaped like penises, spill food all over myself and make jokes about the other person’s mother. If we are out for drinks, I will probably get nervous, drink too much and then do all of the above.

That is why people do online dating—all the awkward stuff from behind the safety of your computer screen while you drink tea and snuggle your cat. But I think online dating is a double edged sword. It allows you to “get to know” someone, but also gives you a false sense of knowing the other person, thinking you like them and then meeting them in person to be utterly disappointed when you can’t build a witty rapport, feel absolutely no spark and see that they have gained about 30 pounds from their posted profile picture. False advertisement!

A lot of my friends meet their others at bars—but I feel like I would never want to date the kind of person who spends a lot of time in bars. The same goes for the gym! And that makes me a hypocrite and irrational, because I spend tons of time in bars and gyms, and I am pretty cool and not creepy or a self-obsessed meat head.

I am sure there are normal people out there who ask people out on non-conventional, non dinner-and-a-movie or drinks-and-drunken-fumble style dates. Like rock climbing. Or hiking (although walking off into the woods with a stranger is probably not kosher). My mom met her boyfriend/manfriend/domestic partner through yoga class, and then he took her canoeing around a lake on their first date. What a keeper.

That is my rant about my inability to survive in the adult dating circuit. In case you missed it, you can find my rant about my inability to have casual sex here.

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