amy

(GIF: Tumblr)

When I moved into NYC in mid-August of 2014, I decided that the time was ripe to start dating. Since I’m relatively socially awkward and have a hard time holding a conversation with a complete stranger in a bar without being totally hammered, and, for the most part, I work with only women, I figured that downloading a dating app would be my best option. It was fun at first. I went on a relatively pleasant couple of dates, one of which developed into a several-month-long, well, thing is probably the best word for it, and then things took a turn. And now, with June on the horizon, I find the idea of dating almost completely repulsive, and I think OKCupid is to blame.

(Related: It’s Just A Number: How Dating A (Way) Younger Guy Helped Me Get My Groove Back)

Let me give you a breakdown of my dating history before I go any further: I have none. Literally, none. I didn’t have a boyfriend in high school or college, my first kiss was with a friend of mine when I was 17 years old (we’re still friends, and he has since gone on to have several different girlfriends), and the most significant relationship of my life was that aforementioned six-month thing. So, you know, that’s me. I was on Tinder during my senior year of college, because that’s when it was getting big, but nothing came of it, mostly because, if we’re being honest here, Tinder is the worst.

But that’s just Tinder for you, really. I assumed that OKCupid would be an entirely different animal. Just imagine it: People who wanted relationships! People with jobs and ambition and real lives! People who didn’t try to open a conversation by asking me if I’m a submissive! It started out well enough—you know, normal conversations with seemingly normal guys. Those soon involved into things like the following*

photo 1

I mean, really? REALLY? The least you could do is complete your question with the proper punctuation.

photo 2

First of all, he used the wrong your/you’re. Second of all, no.

(Related: Accidental Virgin: I Broke All The Dating Rules And Ended Up In A Relationship)

And that’s pretty much been my experience with OKCupid since my last successful and normal online dating interaction took place way back in September 2014. I mean, can you really blame me for wanting to take a break from OKCupid, and even dating in general, for a little while? It’s easy to get discouraged when the only response I’m getting from guys is this kind of lewd, sex-driven content. Like, do I give off some kind of submissive vibe that I’m not aware of? Last time I checked, I don’t mind being a bit of a control freak, and also last time I checked, it’s not exactly normal to walk up to some stranger on the street and say, “Hey, what are your feelings on having all of the sex with me?”

In some ways, it was easier for me to deal with rejection and the notion that plenty of guys my age are just looking for something physical before I had a sense of what a relationship could be like. Essentially, my attitude for the longest time was along the lines of:

adam

(GIF: Giphy)

And, to a degree, it still is. I don’t get offended when guys don’t want to date me, because I know it’s more of a “them” issue than a “me” issue. I also know that not everyone is everyone else’s cup of tea. But when even my last resort measures to try to start dating again fail, it’s a little bit hard to keep walking down the same road. And really, how do people meet people anymore? Work (again, I work with mostly women), school (that ship has sailed), bars (yeah, like that’s actually going to happen), and dating apps. I don’t want to be the kind of girl who shuts down at twenty-two and stops dating because the first few months of putting myself out there didn’t work, but at the same time, the very idea of going on yet another first date sounds downright terrible.

So, what was the point of my writing this? Maybe to get my feelings out on paper and think through what I’m doing with my dating life? Maybe to see if anyone has any ideas of new apps/methods to try? Get some insight from other people who’ve gone through this kind of dating dry spell and have come out on the other side? I don’t really know, but it’s here, and I did it, and if anyone has any advice, I would welcome it wholeheartedly.

*Usernames and faces have been artfully redacted by yours truly.