There was a time, not so long ago, when I could look back on my relatively barren romantic life and count, one by one, the half dozen first dates I’d experienced.
That was last year, before I casually sauntered into the wide and anarchic world of online dating, overwhelming my senses with the vast number of available women in New York who were willing to meet for drinks or dinner or perhaps an afternoon walk.
It isn’t the age of the hook-up; it’s the age of the never-ending first date.
“You really know nothing about a person when you arrange a first date with someone through an online source,” said Harry Reis, a professor of relationship psychology at the University of Rochester.
I much prefer spending time with old men, who put me at ease; girls frighten me, and I have been known to vomit when the prospect of romance presents itself, fraying my nerves.
I was, however, looking for a relationship—long- or short-term, as the online dating argot goes—which, I guess, requires you to do things that make you uncomfortable.
The whole romantic process was starting to feel forced, perfunctory, dehumanizing and, yes, expensive.“It never felt natural,” said a 28-year-old copywriter (likes Don De Lillo) who lives in Brooklyn and recently deleted his Ok Cupid and Tinder accounts in favor of offline encounters.
“I felt like I was working as a machine, pumping data into a function and hoping to find the right results.” “I used to think online dating was the best thing to ever come along, but now I think it’s almost a curse,” said a 43-year-old photo editor (really good at: swimming, cartwheels, eating French fries).