Four Things I’ve Learned in Four Months of Online Dating

I ended a long-ish term relationship back in January and realized that I’ve never done the casual dating thing. I’ve been in a series of (almost) back-to-back relationships in my young adult life, and I didn’t date when I was a teenager because I lived in a small town and went to an all-girls school and was generally weird and awkward and shy.

I’m still weird and awkward and shy, but now I have the internet to help me out a bit. So here are a few things I’ve learned on my strange, frustrating, entertaining online dating adventure. And make no mistake, I’m writing these truths down as much to remind myself of them as I am to share them with you…

You can give people the benefit of the doubt, but don’t be stupid. Oh man, do I ever struggle with this one. I’m a sensitive and honest person and I trust and believe people too easily. So if a person tells me that he’s been so busy lately and that’s why he didn’t reply to my texts, or that he broke his wrist and his phone broke and he lost my number and he’s been trying so hard to reach me (all tea all shade – I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried), I want to believe it. But people aren’t always as open and honest as I’d like them to be.

I like that I’m sensitive and caring and mushy and stuff, and I don’t want to let the world harden my heart. But I’ve realized that I’ve got to be smart and that means being a little skeptical.

If someone wants to get to know you, they’ll make an effort to do so. I need this on a t-shirt. If the effort going into plans seems asymmetrical, he’s probably not that invested in getting to know you. Same goes for unanswered texts or texts answered with like, one word. Move on, Amanda…

“People are on their best behaviour on the first date.” Quote courtesy of my mom because she used to tell me this all the time. You can’t know someone based on one date. Or even two. Maybe not even three. So when can you assume you’ve gotten to know someone for realsies? I don’t know, you guys. The wedding day? Your fiftieth wedding anniversary? When they’re on their deathbed and you’re holding their hand? I’ll get back to you when I figure that one out.

Never wash your hair for a boy. I deliberately tested this one one last time last week and my conclusions still hold. Although it’s incredibly tempting to alter your hair-washing schedule to make your best hair day coincide with your big date, don’t do it. It’s like a law of the universe that if you do, they will cancel, and you will be left with an amazing wash-n-go with nowhere to go. True story.

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