Key Takeaways: I’m putting online speed dating into park
Name: Although I “met” four different men during my virtual speed dating experience, I am combining them into two people: Jim [Carey] and Jeff [Daniels] because this date was Dumb and Dumber
Length of date: 8 minutes – not a typo
How the date was obtained: The League
Where: My bedroom, not in a saucy way. The rest of my house is populated with my family members and they were not invited on this virtual date.
With the threat of the Coronavirus snowballing, it has stopped feeling okay to try to arrange in-person dates. Also, I don’t think any sane person would want to go on a first date right now. In fact, if a person did want to go on a date, I might consider them crazy and tell them to social distance themselves from me… forever.
So, I tried online speed dating. You heard right. The League hosts online speed dating every Wednesday and Sunday at 9 PM. For the session, I was given two and a half minutes to essentially FaceTime with random men and when that time was up, I got to decide if I wanted to connect with them, or not – swipe left or swipe right, if you will.
At 8:50 PM, I slapped on some makeup, brushed my hair and grabbed a notebook to jot down some thoughts about each virtual date. Do I take notes during in-person dates? No, I’m not that fastidious. I record all my conversations, duhhh! I’m kidding. But, when I’m only given two and a half minutes with a man, I want to remember what he said. As the time got closer to 9 PM, I felt myself getting more nervous and therefore more sweaty. Those things go hand in (sweaty) hand for me.
At 9 PM, I was presented with my first match. A guy came up on my phone screen and said, “Hey! What’s up?” At this time, I found out that my Airpods were not hooked up. This was embarrassing because my parents and sisters were on the other side of the door and I didn’t want them listening to my conversation, because they definitely weren’t already. I said “Hey! Could you give me a second?” I did my best to connect my Airpods to my phone in a timely manner. But it was too late. My date had already “swiped left.” Apparently, he didn’t have time for my technical difficulties.
After I finally got my Airpods linked, I connected with my next match. He was wearing a blue hoodie with the hood up. Don’t get me wrong, there's a time and a place for a hood-up look, like at night and in an alleyway. Also, while he was on our “date,” it looked as though he was gaming on his computer. My suspicion was confirmed when I heard rapid gun-fire in the background. He then told me he worked for a cannabis delivering service. Was he doing some quality control on the product? The small baggie by his computer suggested so. Everything about this date got a “no from me, dawg.”
I waited for my next match and the app said, “While you’re waiting, check for food in your teeth :)” Oh my gosh! Did the little robots that live in my phone see that I had food in my teeth (it’s a real thing). No wonder the gamer boy didn’t pay attention to me!! I smiled really big to check for the night’s Caesar salad residue and I saw nothing. And at that moment, I connected with my date. So, the first thing he saw was a concerned-looking woman grinning at her phone. Cute.
The first thing I noticed about this date was his lack of clothing. He had no shirt and a large chain necklace. I panicked. What if he had a lack of other articles of clothing? What would I do? How loud would I scream? I tried my best to stay calm and give the shirtless man a chance. Maybe his room was hot and he didn’t have AC, after all, it’s early March. Maybe… I can’t think of another reason. I asked the shirtless man what he did for a living and he said he was the “founder and CEO of a space exploration company.” Elon Musk, is that you? No, it wasn’t.
I ended that two-minute date feeling a little sick to my stomach. I was anxious that the shirtless man was going to become a pant-less man. I could feel my heart pounding, but had no time to recover. My next match was up.
The screen was dark and I said, “Hello?” Someone had to be there, I thought. Was some sort of man (shirtless or not) going to pop out at me? All of my paranoid signs pointed to “yes.” Then right as I was going to hang up, a curly, red-haired man looked at me confused and then flipped me off. I ended the conversation immediately.
After that virtual interaction, I exited out of the app and sat in my room; reflecting on the past 8 minutes. What had I done to deserve a date who was more interested in a video game than talking to me, someone who either had no AC or didn’t feel the need to wear a shirt, and a man flipping me the bird! I hurled myself out of my comfort zone and landed in what felt like a dirty ditch. This “date” was the most challenging, disappointing and humiliating experience of Date a Week LA. I came into this online speed dating experience not necessarily to find a soul mate, but to maybe connect with people my age who are also interested in meeting new people. What I found was a platform for grown men to relive their ChatRoulette or Omegle pasts.
This whole experience made me think...
While I spend the foreseeable future with only my parents, sisters and adorable dog, how will I continue Date A Week LA? Online speed dating is NOT really an option anymore. What should I do? Is there a way to go on a date while keeping a 6-foot barrier? Should I reach out and get to know some of my former dates better via FaceTime? Does a FaceTime date even count as a date? I need your advice, so let me know what you think. I am still excited about this journey and my desire to find a person I care about is stronger now than it ever has been. It’s difficult to be alone during this time. I want someone to hear me when I share my fears, hopes and my many, many complaints about how I can’t get a java-chip Frappuccino right now.
<-- There is an absence of stars for obvious reasons
The future for us… none. no. never again.
Next Week: I don’t know… you tell me!