Do You Mind If I Tell People We Met at the, Uh, Gym?

Why is there still a stigma about online dating? We do EVERYTHING else online. We’re constantly technologically connected, and we crave instant gratification. Sure, that means you’re choosing between infinitely more people than you could otherwise meet day-to-day, but the convenience of being able to peruse countless (well, practically countless) potential dates from your couch, your bed, your toilet, the metro, or wherever is unparalleled. Why shouldn’t dating — or at least the preliminary stages of dating — be as easy as online shopping?

I’m not that social of a person, and I don’t tend to do things where I could realistically expect to meet people I might be interested in dating. I go to work, I go to yoga, and I run errands around town. Toss in bi-weekly dinners with a friend or two and an occasional night of barhopping, and that’s about it.

I’m judicious with how I choose to spend my limited social energy; it’s who I am, and I like it that way. If I’m faced with a choice of meeting someone new or staying home to watch Netflix, Netflix will nearly always win. The abandoned messages waiting in my OkCupid inbox are plenty proof of that.

Even if I wasn’t preferentially asocial, I’m seeking a highly specific flavor of mate, so it doesn’t make sense for me to prowl the old-fashioned way. After all, the odds of stumbling across an attractive fellow whose kinks align perfectly with mine in my natural settings are unsurprisingly slim.

Nobody who knows me well will be surprised to hear that I ask personal questions about personal topics right off the bat when interviewing guys online. I don’t play the small talk game. I don’t care what kind of music these guys enjoy or how long they’ve lived in the area; those qualities are irrelevant to long-term compatibility. Instead, I care if the same things get us both off. If you pass that first threshold, only then can we search for additional similarities.

Disgruntled men sometimes ask me why I prioritize sexual compatibility over emotional compatibility.

The truth is… I don’t. I value traits like wit, trustworthiness, emotional depth, and a great sense of humor, but partners with those qualities are fairly commonplace in my social sphere, so I focus my energy on first evaluating sexual compatibility because that’s less available to me. (Practicalitygasm, y’all.)

Even if you are a prosocial creature who enjoys constantly meeting people, I still encourage you to rethink any fears you have about online dating — or about telling people you met your partner online. It has nothing to do with attractiveness or popularity; it’s about optimizing your time, effort, and options.


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