Meet Jim Courtois. This guest blogger comes to us all the way from St. Louis. As Suzie Robb’s good friend and pseudo-therapist, Jim knows a thing or two about dealing with women. His first guest post dives into the online vs organic dating, and why the latter wins every time.
When my parents were in their early 20′s, they were already married with two kids. Try to pull that off today and many of your peers will wonder why you threw your life away so early. In today’s dating scene, the ideas of marriage, kids, and that “forever” person are being put off by college, grad school, med school, law school, and any kind of school that will loan out money.
Of all the changes in dating, the most radical is online dating. There is a thriving industry out there with the likes of EHarmoney, Match, JDate, Ashley Madison, OkCupid, Plenty Of Fish, Seeking Arrangement and lots of tiny regional websites trying to follow suit. Millions of dollars are changing hands. Thousands of lonely people are seeking “the one” by filling out search forms and reading profiles. But they don’t realize that they’re just plain doing it wrong.
In traditional dating, you meet someone, you are intrigued, and find yourself with a crush. The initial crush spikes that urge to know more. The get-to-know-you process unfolds and soon this person develops meaning in your life. That meaning grows and soon you can’t imagine what life was like without them. This creates a lasting relationship built on a foundation of time, passion and dedication. But online dating takes this idea, flips it upside down, and throws in major obstacles.
In the world of online dating, you don’t meet people first. The luxury of seeing them with your own eyes and hearing them talk to their friends is nonexistent. The process is much more deliberate. It starts with a vague urge to meet someone. So, you sign up for the site of your choice, upload your best photos, talk yourself up on your profile, and off you go rifling through search results trying to retrofit strangers to your idea of the perfect significant other. You start breaking people down into categories based on traits and you forget that each profile in this massive database represents an actual living human being.
Think about the concept of going out on a date with a total stranger. You know almost nothing of this person yet there you are trying to decide if the two of you can start a lasting romantic relationship. It’s like an extended version of the awkward small talk you make when hitting on someone in a bar. You both deal with this while ignoring the fact that the other can easily have a half dozen other dates lined up. This creates pressure to decide within a few dates whether or not to be together. What do people do when they feel mounting pressure? They lash out. So you decide that the other person isn’t right. They’re too needy, or they’re too standoffish, or whatever excuse you come up with. But the truth is you don’t even know that person. It’s just too easy to go back to the drawing board, try another search, and go on another date.
In short, online dating has it backwards. You meet someone first, and then you develop feelings for them. You can’t decide what you want to feel, and then meet someone to direct those feelings towards. You can’t write a job description for your loved one, read resumes in the form of profiles, and conduct interviews in the form of dates. You can’t pressure a stranger into making a deliberate decision to have feelings for you. Love is organic. It’s not something you can shop for online. It’s important to realize that online dating is just a business. It doesn’t make money when you find love. It makes money when you search for it. Remember this the next time you’re sitting across from AngelBaby86 and you both have no idea what to talk about.
- Jim Courtois