After a while, I got tired of explaining, over and over again, how journalists come up with story ideas—by going on online dates, of course!
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There was a time, not so long ago, when I could look back on my relatively barren romantic life and count, one by one, the half dozen first dates I’d experienced.
That was last year, before I casually sauntered into the wide and anarchic world of online dating, overwhelming my senses with the vast number of available women in New York who were willing to meet for drinks or dinner or perhaps an afternoon walk.
It wasn’t until recently, when I stepped back to reflect on my time in the digital dating arena—a whirlwind of pretty faces and predictable interests and prosaic conversations—that I realized my lifetime date count had, like a strain of mutant amoebae, multiplied by more than sevenfold.
But only one date—and I went on close to 50 via online services—made it past the first encounter.
That one petered out almost as quickly as the rest.
I certainly didn’t set out to meet as many women as possible, an exhausting goal.I much prefer spending time with old men, who put me at ease; girls frighten me, and I have been known to vomit when the prospect of romance presents itself, fraying my nerves.I was, however, looking for a relationship—long- or short-term, as the online dating argot goes—which, I guess, requires you to do things that make you uncomfortable.I am, as the Jerome Kern tune goes, old-fashioned, even though I’m 26, and I like old-fashioned girls.If I could bend the world into another reality, I would mold it after Woody Allen’s great musical comedy But I can’t, so last summer I joined Ok Cupid, the online dating site.I’d made an account one sad evening a few years ago, but the process of scrolling through mildly pornographic photos of women I didn’t know felt voyeuristic. This time around, however, I was tired of being alone, and the possibility of meeting a lady offline seemed unlikely, even in New York, where women outnumber men—but also especially in New York, where everyone seems so guarded and preoccupied.