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Panicked, I IM’d my friend who was having all the luck. With online dating, I was always battling a sense of doubt, in both the profiles I browsed and in myself.
Before I even got a response, I realized why it’d been working out so well: She’s a cute publicist living in California, not a writer/student living in Michigan—the odds were in her favor. Anyone can manicure their profile to present the exact image they want, but no amount of matched compatibility questions can equal the excitement of someone catching your eye at the grocery store or on campus the first time. My years spent online dating taught me how to deal with rejection, but not how to react to attraction.
I've waited for the water to warm up so I could fully dive in, but it hasn't. Whether it was Yahoo Personals, Myspace, OKCupid, Match, or even Facebook, I always had the same shitty luck: women with low self-esteem or commitment issues. In a way, online dating hindered my offline dating skills; I was always five minutes late at realizing a girl was flirting with me. Waiting in line at a busy Subway one fall I started talking with a cute elementary education major.
Once I got in my truck, I realized what had just happened.
I work full-time first shift, go to school part-time at nights, and I write in the moments between.
It was busy and we’d chatted at least ten minutes before getting to the sandwich bar.
She was ahead of me in line and cashed out while I was still deciding on veggies.