Online dating is damn depressing, yet damn insightful. When looking at people’s profiles, I see them post things like, “I’m only trying this out” or “No one knows I’m doing this” or “I’m new to this whole dating thing” or “I’m just looking for the third person to my threesome”. (I've seriously seen that last one... and my faith in humanity lowered a bit more.)
Okay, so in addition to the people who have to preface all of their stuff with “Oh, I would NEVER normally do online dating”, there are the people who are looking for casual sex, multiple partners of either sex, or who try to deny monogamy on some stupid philosophical level. This all points to one thing in my mind: simultaneous fear of and desperate need for intimacy. The people not wanting monogamy are probably so afraid of the vulnerability that comes with monogamous intimacy, that they spread the love around in hopes that the burn won’t be so bad. Or maybe they’re just horny bastards, but honestly, I believe that even horny bastards wanted true love at some point and just got turned around by fear or trauma or something else entirely.
That brings me to my next pondering: every last person on this planet craves intimacy. We crave it so badly we look anywhere for it. ANYWHERE. As humans, we need closeness. We need to love and to belong. Somewhere inside us is someone who wants the responsibility of loving someone else so completely that we forget everything else. I believe we are all, on some level, looking for that connection, that one person who finally - FINALLY - gets us.
I mean, the sad truth is that no one will ever know us completely, as we know ourselves. That’s impossible. And in our fast-paced, electronic society it’s becoming harder and harder to find the intimacy that even comes close. We’re having to go through our freaking computers for goodness sake! After high school or college or the age of 21, it becomes increasingly difficult to meet people. Sure, you can go out to clubs or concerts or random people’s parties, but how often will you meet anyone different enough to risk your heart on?
And so… people go online. Like me. I don’t think there is a damn thing wrong with using the internet AS A TOOL. It’s when people use it as a replacement for the real thing; those people who just chat with other people and use that as a means to feed their need for cheap intimacy. But try as they might, computers will never get close to producing the one-of-a-kind, heart breaking, bittersweet, breath taking love that we are capable of sharing (if we find the courage). Computers can help you find someone, but they stop there. Computers can't love you or hug you or do anything other than lead you to someone you might not have found otherwise. We have to build that connection with a living, breathing human being. And we have to have endurance and faith and hope. Always hope.
Somewhere inside all of us is the inexhaustible desire to feel a little less alone (even the sleaze-bags feel that, only it’s buried beneath all that machismo bullshit). And seeing these electronic faces searching relentlessly for love, gives me hope that maybe I won’t be alone forever, that I won't always be tonightless.
Because at the end of the day, that is one of my greatest fears.
"Am I gonna be tonightless again? All the loneliness has got to end." - Eighteen Visions