Ah, online dating. It sucks. It really does. You meet through some website. Jdate, Match, Craigslist, EHarmony, Lavalife, OkCupid… the list goes on and on and on. I’ve tried many of them, paid and unpaid. I’ve met people through blogging and speed dating. I’ve read about people who met through mutual Flickr admiration. People get introduced. People forward emails. There are as many ways to meet as there are couples.
The thing about online dating is that it is so anonymous, unless you are on Great Ex Boyfriends. Then they come with back-up profiles of the women who dated them. Usually it goes: email, email, offer a date, silence. And then the person drifts into the ether or you drift off into the ether. Rarely is there an explaination.
I was getting frustrated that the date I was so looking forward to had disappeared into thin air. I’m not one to go chasing down a vaporized date, but I was getting bummed. Then today I read a post about a tragedy. And I put two and two together and realized it was someone he knew. Ah. That’s why he didn’t answer my witty email about coffee or coming to the BookSlut reading with me.
I think we, the throngs of single americans dating online, have to remember that there is a real person on the other end of the internet connection. Planning a date with fabulous me isn’t the only thing going on in his life. Just like planning a date with him isn’t the only thing going on in my life.
Sure, sometimes the disappearing act is a lack of manners. But I have to remind myself that sometimes it is something very real and meeting a stranger is no longer a priority. So instead of sending a “You Jerk! Why didn’t you email me!” or just deleting him from my inbox, I was able to send condolences.
Which I hope doesn’t seem creepy to him. The blogger who wrote about the event told me that it was clearly Gd stepping in. Perhaps you are more comfortable calling it a coincidence, but I’m okay calling it Gd. So I’ll keep the family in my heart when I say the me sheberach prayer of healing tonight.