It all started with AOL. I remember that was my first real introduction to reaching out to other people via the internet. AOL chatrooms? SON! Those things were so much fun. You had to get used to the pace and become a “regular” before anyone would really talk to you. A/S/L? You know the routine. Run your stats and jump in the mix. Then there was Blackplanet. Oh goodness. Honestly, I never really got on BP too hard. I think I could tell early on that it was mostly for people trolling for ass. College Club. THAT was my shit! The chatrooms went slower than the ones over at BP and I liked the interface better. Those were all precursors to today’s online dating which is much more aggressive and streamlined (MySpace, Facebook, Match.com, Chemistry.com, etc).
I’ve had a few “relationships” with people I met or knew of primarily from online communication. While I think that online dating isn’t bad and really has opened up a new world of dating for many people, in retrospect it hasn’t worked out for me all too well. Let’s run down a few instances:
1. The first guy I met online, we’ll call him Frank. I met Frank on AOL my sophomore year in college. He went to a nearby school and we went out on a date. He was pretty cool and after that we talked all the time. Eventually, things transcended to a more-than-just-friends level, but didn’t go much further than that. Frank sorta became the person you call on in between relationships. We enjoyed each others’ company and above all else were good friends. It just never worked out that we ended up in a relationship. Eventually, though, Frank let me know that he DID want to be my man and that he wasn’t into being the in the meantime, in between guy. So we scaled things back significantly. I’d still say Frank and I are friends. We just don’t talk much now that I live in another state. Overall, I’d give that online relationship a B-.
2. I met another guy on AOL 2 years later during my senior year of college. We’ll call him Tony. Tony was a local guy and we spent a while corresponding online before agreeing to meet up. We went to a baseball game for our first date and kept doing fun things together thereafter. We dated for about 4 months before deciding to be exclusive. That was also right around the time I graduated and moved back to NY. Tony moved to NY too. 6 months later, shit fell completely apart. I won’t go into the details because that’s the subject of at least 3 other blog entries. We’ll just say it took about a year for him to show his true self – an asshole extraordinare. I made serious life decisions, (some not so good) based on my dealings with Tony. It ended badly, although that didn’t stop him from trying to reconcile once. I give that online relationship a F, fa sho.
Those were the only two online things that resulted in any “relationship” to speak of. I’ve met a couple of other guys whom I knew primarily from the internet but I don’t even think I can label those as relationships. I’m not sure I can even say we dated. I am sure that they didn’t end well. One ended with us not speaking anymore except on extremely limited occasions. Grade: C The other… well I can’t even tell you what happened there because I don’t really know the answer to that myself. Grade: Incomplete.
Recently, my boy IAT tried his hand at some traditional online dating sites like Match.com. Apparently he didn’t have much luck. I admit to having perused those sites in the past and not being tempted to fill out a profile and go through the hoops. Still, I do know people who have been lucky with that.
Overall, I don’t think it matters where you meet the person. EVERYONE is online nowadays, that means “good” men/women and crazy niggas/hoes. I wouldn’t judge you if you looked for and found someone online. That’s the world we live in today, right?
So what’s up? How do you grade your online dating experiences? How about just meeting and smashing? Been there done that? Is there a stigma attached to meeting folks on the ‘net in 2008?