The Perils of Online Dating
When I moved to England, I was a bit at a loss as to how to find any other lesbians. It isn’t like I need to be surrounded by the gays all the time, but it is rather nice to have the option, if you want it. After a few months – and the realisation that there is no lesbian scene in Cambridge whatsoever – I decided to just get it over with and sign up for this thing called Gaydar Girls. It is actually as horrible as it sounds.
People say this all the time, but I didn’t actually sign up for it because I thought I would meet the person I’m going to be with forever; I did it so that I could meet any other gay girls – my type or not – and also because it had pretty much got to the stage when I was contemplating writing ‘LESBIAN’ in Sharpie on my forehead.
So, I did it. There are terrifying people on it – over 40s with naked pictures of themselves, women who list their sexual fetishes and desires, or, worse, women who rite lik dis. It’s grim. Not everyone’s horrible, of course, and so one night, after almost an entire bottle of wine, my housemate – who is one of my top 5 favourite men on the planet – said, ‘right, we’re finding you some lesbians.’ He sat next to me on the couch, and we looked through the profiles of essentially every lesbian in Cambridge. I messaged some completely random people, and some people who I actually thought I could have rather an interest in, assuming, of course, that those people – the ones who seemed cool, could spell, and didn’t post naked pictures of themselves – would never message me back.
Mostly, I was right – I didn’t get very many messages back. Or, none that I really remember. There was one girl who I remember talking to my housemate about, because she was cute and seemed smart (read: she was clothed in her picture and could write a coherent sentence) but she, of course, didn’t message me back for weeks, and then only once – until a few weeks ago, when she messaged me again, and we ended up chatting and meeting up.
I’m crap at dating, really; I mostly just turn into a more asshole-ish version of myself, make random jokes, and have horrible trouble being serious – especially if it turns out that I really like someone. The first time we went out, I knew that I was really going to like her; she knows how to talk, this girl, and she’s really smart and well educated and witty – which just does me in right away. She’s really cute. She’s travelled practically everywhere, she has a cool job, she likes being outside. She studied something ridiculously specific, and I love people who are passionate about things no one else has ever heard of. We also had an hour long conversation in a pub about grammar and punctuation and spelling; we’re both the kind of people who spellcheck text messages, and then send a follow-up text if we’ve missed a mistake. (In short, we’re both REALLY awesome and cool in every way…) Anyway, I really liked her – more, actually, than I wanted to. At some point, we got onto the subject of exes – like you do – and it turns out that she still lives with her ex (not in a creepy lesbian way). Her ex is on Gaydar, too, and this girl said to me, ‘oh, her username is [whatever it was] – have you ever messaged her?’ We’d already established that the ex was really butch, and – no offense – but that’s not really my thing. As I didn’t remember ever hearing this girl’s name, or her username, or recognise anything at all…I said no, thinking that of course I hadn’t – why would I message someone that I wouldn’t be interested in? Except, of course, that my housemate, who called it ‘networking’ told me to message people even if they weren’t cute, because the point wasn’t to find a girlfriend, it was to figure out where the hell all the lesbians were. (And I’d had a bottle of wine.)
The problem with online dating, of course, is that lesbians are lesbians. We all know each other. How could I have overlooked this?
A few days later, I logged onto this website, mostly to shut my account – I can’t stand the naked lesbians anymore, really. But there’s this feature where you can see who has been looking at your profile… And guess who had looked at mine? The ex. So, thinking that it was hilarious, I texted this girl and said ‘oh my god, guess who looked at my Gaydar profile?!’ And she texted me back with ‘yeah, I know she did … Funny, she said you guys had messaged quite a bit.’
I have absolutely no recollection of these conversations – and I’m not *always* drunk. Bless her, this girl didn’t read the messages between me and her ex, but she knew that they were there because her ex saves all of the conversations she has with girls on this website (which is a bit creepy, really). This girl obviously wasn’t happy about it – nor was I – and I can’t really blame her; I knew she was upset, even via text messages, because she stopped signing them with kisses (you gotta love English people) and eventually admitted that it really kind of freaked her out.
But, since I’m practically perfect in every way ;), it all appears to have worked out. I saw her last night, and I didn’t get to bed until 2am. Still, it took two pints of beer for me and three glasses of wine for her before either of us said anything about The Awkwardness. Eventually, she just looked at me and said, ‘I actually think it’s quite funny now, and you should totally write about it for that website – you know, the perils of online dating.’
So, here you go. When attempting to meet people online, keep in mind The Chart. All lesbians in a given area know all other lesbians, and have probably slept with them, too. You’re not safe; when someone asks ‘did you ever talk to so and so’ – hedge your bets and say ‘yes.’ It will probably save you a lot of explaining, later on.