by: Adam Guerino
Note: Serial Dater is a dating column chronicling a twenty-something gay male’s relationship with his addiction to dating. Throughout the series so far, the author quit dating and has recently tried to re-approach it with lessons learned from his abstinence.
As I joined the masses of those who online date, I realize that there are certain patterns that people go through. Sure, there may have been one or two lucky individuals who made a profile and found love and removed their account within the week. But they probably ended up dating each other. And then one was killed because the other is a serial killer (which is totally different than a serial dater, mind you,) and now they can’t check their dating profile because the only dating they’ll be looking forward to is speed dating in the shower at the state penitentiary. If I seem cynical it’s because it seems as though the pickings from internet dating are no more fruitful than others. I’ve separated these stages of internet dating into different interpretations for the name of the internet site I use to date, OK Cupid.
First. “OK, Cupid!” Elation. Like if you were speaking to cupid and you just finalized the paperwork for true love. Excitement. Readiness to embark on this new journey of dating. “This time will be different,” you chant happy and oblivious as you scroll through your first list of potential suitors, lined up for you like New China Buffet.
Second, “OK, Cupid…” Wary trepidation. Like maybe it was false advertising that this would be better? You’ve messaged plenty of people, blocked even more and even gone on a few dates but you’re growing skeptical. And you dumped your ex for a reason and don’t think you should date them again despite the dating site’s suggestion. “Wasn’t this the promised land? Haven’t I tried everything you asked?” you scream to the dating gods and wonder as you stumble through your dwindling choices for love.
Third, “OK. Cupid.” Agitated. Like maybe it wasn’t false advertising but a pyramid scheme and were all those people who told you they liked online dating paid off? You’ve been on the site for months. You’ve met many guys who seem great at first but haven’t seen this Mr. Right you keep hearing about anywhere. Does he even exist or is he like Madame Mongoose your pet pterodactyl that nobody at school could see but you. “OK, you can come out now!” you shout, looking around for Ashton Kutcher.
Last, “…OK, Cupid.” Sad realization. Maybe this isn’t the promised land but only because there is no promised land. And that’s OK. You’ve met some great guys and even though it hasn’t clicked, you’re meeting different guys than you have before. Maybe the answer isn’t meeting people in real life or online dating but doing whatever you can to put yourself out there. Like chaos theory. “Don’t give up yet!” you say, hoping that your future lover reconsiders logging out of the dating sites or going out to bars or stopping to talk to that handsome friendly stranger. And, hoping he’s listening, you decide to take your own advice.
Adam Guerino is a writer in Chicago who works nationally as a stand-up comedian and event producer. He is the creator of OutLoud Chicago which brings queer entertainment to the mainstream. He will be reading an unpublished piece at Word Is Out, a spoken word night presented by Inourwordsblog.com and OutLoud Chicago May 15th at Town Hall Pub 3340 N Halsted, 8pm. Admission is $5 and includes a companion lit zine. For more from Adam Guerino,www.adamguerino.com is a great place to start.