Friday, June 10, 2016

Day 10: Online Dating

Not that many people know about this but when I was younger I used to go online chat rooms and meet people. Now it was not like Tindr or Skype where you get to see the person you were talking to but it was on this social media where you were able to be any character that you wanted and you would meet people there. One of my friends at the time had suggested to make myself an account so we can play together and also meet new people who shared similar interests as me. I was at that stage where I was experimenting. Not that I am proud of but I would talk to this one guy without ever acknowledging to someone until there was one day that my parents were looking through my i-Pod and found a picture of him. Half jokingly and half serious they were, I was totally embarrassed not only that they had made fun of me for having a potential boyfriend but because I knew they were not going to understand. They were not going to understand that maybe we were dating or maybe we weren't but I had enjoyed talking to him for the fact that he treated me with such respect without even having to see my face. At that moment of my life I had really low self-esteem because of my small figure and having such a young looking face, growing up not that many people took me seriously. I was not given a proper chance that I have longed to receive so I resorted to the internet. At least on the internet I was perceived as someone with confidence and I suppose I was also a catch. There was even a time where I spent so much time on the computer that I got it confiscated from me until the habit was forced out of me.

In a more recent moment, about a year ago, I had received an anonymous message from this person from this social media site that allows you to ask or say anything anonymously. Well I slightly remember him asking about some of my hobbies and what were my opinion on certain topics. I had thought this guy was pretty interesting so I wanted to know who he was. Over the months we were hitting it off really well, we started to use instant messaging and almost every other day we would message each other about our days and whatnot. The few descriptive information that I had gotten from him was that he lived in England, was a teacher assistant to grade school children, a single child with a single mother, and that he was six months younger than I am. Instead of hiding this I had told my mom directly that I was talking to someone I had met from the internet and I already knew she was going to put the red flag up and advise me to never speak to him again. But here I am thinking like I was acting like the bigger person I continued to speak with him. Not that I wanted to seek a relationship with him because that was not my intention at first especially with the distance I was not going to put myself through that. Well then comes in this long message during the night where he professed my feelings to me (I have no idea why guys continue to profess his feelings to me in long messages while I am sleeping...) and I was left awkwardly looking at the screen of my phone. I had told my mom again what he had told me and the simple advice she had given me was to ask if we could video chat so I can confirm that the picture on his profile was him. Like all of you have guessed it, it wasn't. And to be fair I did not like him for the fake picture he had, is not the attractive physical features that lure me in it's the words and the actions. So after that incident of him lying to me, I deleted the app and I have promised myself that I will no longer be making friends over the internet. If I have to continuously go through bad experiences to learn that most online dating/relationships are not for me then now that is a shame on me for not learning from my mistakes.

What I wanted for you all to get from my experience is that you may think you know the person you are speaking to online, backwards and forwards, but I do not think you will ever know a person until the day you actually meet them in person. There is so much you miss when you are busy online fishing. You miss the first impression, that awkward 'should I go for the hug or that handshake', the actual connection or disconnection with the person, basically the little things that make up a true date. I would have to agree with my mom that a relationship made online is not real. You start falling in love with the idea of that person rather than the actual person. Realizing this now I know why it was hard for me to let these guys go because I was afraid that I was not going to find someone or someone who made me feel like the best slice of cake there is. But you are just going to have to trust in yourself that you will and that it will work out. This also explains why when my friends are playing around on Tindr, I decide not to participate. I know I may be one of the pickiest people you have met when it comes to making friendships with others but that is because I have been there. Not just online but in real life too. When you think you have met the perfect person and you are proven wrong in the most unpredictable ways. I have not been great in the dating department but at least I can say that I know what I want and I am not settling down for just anyone because I know I deserve better. If you are going or went through a similar situation, remind yourself that you deserve better too because you do. And always remember to be careful when you are online never share your personal whereabouts or information even if you feel that you can trust them completely...

How has your experience in dating been lately?

xx Chavelita

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