Friday, November 11, 2011

Cardigans, Cats, and Miss Jane Austen

My favorite line about love, EVER, is from Pride And Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennet describes her delight with Mr Darcy* as follows:

"I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh."

That's what I think of when I think about the process of online dating, which I'm giving up shortly. Not because it's ineffective (although I do think it is a little bit, and also I find it daunting and  a little overwhelming but not in a fun "the sunset was so beautiful I was overwhelmed" but in an "I have 128 potential matches and I can't keep up and none of them really seem to be well suited to me and I don't want to answer another email and ARGGGH" kind of a way), but because ...

... it doesn't make me laugh.

(Okay, it does occasionally elicit nervous, uncomfortable laughter, but that's not the kind I'm looking for.)

The problem that I'm having -- and let's face it, it's not a REAL problem, it's a "first world, I can't believe I'm even taking the time to kvetch about this, but it's my blog so whatever" problem -- is that people take it SOOOOO seriously that it makes me a smidgen uncomfortable. Apparently, I was/am/whatever supposed to salt my profile and communications with a hint of desperation and perfume it with the notion that this is my last resort.

It's not my last resort.

I don't feel desperate.

And I refuse to act as though I do.

Which is why, I think, I'm not laughing. And if I'm not laughing, why bother?

To be fair, it's not been a total bust. I've made a new friend and enjoy exchanging emails with him. I went on an actual date. (He vanished when I got sick later that week -- apparently, respiratory distress, like poetry,  is quite effective at driving away love* and that (she said, with a hearty sigh) was that.)

To go further on in the "as long as I'm being fair" theme, I should also say this: It's not them. It's me. I know it's me because I know that I'm really quite happy with my life as it is. I don't need or want anyone to complete me, I laugh at my own jokes, I like my own cooking, I'm not sad to spend a Saturday night on the couch, in a ratty old sweater, rereading Pride and Prejudice for the 111th time, with my cat curled up in my lap. Perhaps I should be, but I'm not. 

So. Unless something amazing happens in the next week or two, I'm going to give up the online dating. And the thought of doing that makes me both smile AND laugh.

Elizabeth Bennet would be proud

*Oooooh, that Mr Darcy!

** ANOTHER Pride and Prejudice reference? Really??!!


  1. I have to say I share your fustration with online dating! I myself have been there more times then I choose to admit and little to no avail, no success! BIG SURPRISE! I on the other hand would recieve way less then 128 possibles leaving me to wonder,"Am I even compatable with anyone?" What to do, What to do?? Should I even worry about it? Well I didn't! I have since left the online dating scene never to return....and never will! I will stick to the old fashion way, meeeting people in public. As far as I am concerned I can't do any worse.....(A)

  2. It's definitely a different kind of animal, that's for sure! I think anything is worth trying, if only because you can get some good stories out of it, but since I'm not so much enjoying it, I'm really ready to move on.