Rest in peace, OkCupid account. 12/29/2012–1/18/2013
After considering closing my account, I decided I would at least stick out the month and see what happened. Then, for some reason, I decided that couldn’t come soon enough. Sitting at dinner with my friends, I quietly pulled out my smartphone and began the process.
Was I sure that I wanted to permanently delete it and not temporarily disable it? My thumb hovered over the choices. No, I wanted to completely rid myself of it. It just needed to be done.
It was nice for a bit, pretending that I was some kind of guest writer on Thought Catalog and penning my own experiences from OkCupid (though, I ended up chronicling fewer than perhaps I could have). It was also an incredibly ego booster. I would get emails (to the crappy Hotmail account I made solely for this occasion) letting me know a stranger had rated me four or five stars, and I couldn’t help but grin, feeling like a restaurant that the Michelin Guide had graciously smiled upon. And then there were the messages. Sure, a good amount of them were odd or just plain creepy, but I also got my fair share of compliments. Whether they were sincere or simply ploys to get my attention, they still brightened my day just a bit.
“You must get this from every guy,” one user said, “but you’re very pretty.”
I got two guys’ numbers, and while one of them ended up being something of a dick, I’m still talking to the second one, and he seems sweet. If nothing more, we might just develop a good friendship, and I’m okay with that. There were some other nice guys I was talking to, but I never felt impelled to trade numbers, and they never made the move either. Ah well.
There were still a few messages I hadn’t replied to when I deleted my account. I wonder what those guys will think when they check for a response and see that ominous little gray heart and a notification announcing my deletion. Maybe some won’t notice. Maybe others will confused. Maybe, though this I doubt, there’ll even be someone out there washed over with disappointment, wondering why the girl they seemed to have connected so well with suddenly disappeared, and realizing sadly that they have no other way of ever finding her again. (A girl can hope she has this effect, anyway.) I wonder if I owed a preemptive explanation, a warning, an opportunity to establish alternate means of communication before signing off for good. It’s too late to do any of that now, and either way, I don’t feel much regret.
One side of me argues with the other. What if my soulmate was on there? What if I missed out on something? No, no. These arguments don’t convince me. Only one other person in real life knew about my account; I kept it a secret from everyone else. What was I going to do if I decided to see one of the users I was messaging? What would I do if I entered a relationship with one? I knew I would be too ashamed to admit I’d put myself on a dating website and that this was the result. I had grown tired of checking my messages surreptitiously, making sure there was no one over my shoulder as I checked profiles and read new messages. Maybe dating websites work fabulously for other people. Good for them. I began to realize, however, that this just wasn’t working for me.
The constant checking, my responses, they all became mindless. “I see you like [first thing on their profile]. Tell me more!” “What are you up to today?” “What did you say you studied again?” I started to feel this change in tone bleed over into my real life communications. I would pull up the site on my phone between classes absentmindedly, finding myself then looking at the screen wondering, “What was I going to check, anyway?” and closing it out. I received a text message from a close friend I hadn’t seen over winter break, and I realized my answers sounded just as formal and generic as the ones I was spouting back to my OkCupid matches. I didn’t like it. I decided it was time to cut the ties.
So, goodbye my lovelies. I’ll miss comparing our common interests and cooing over our little individual quirks. I’ll miss trying to revive conversations you clearly wanted to continue but had no idea how to handle. I’ll miss believing that one of you fellows, yes, one of you, is secretly my future husband simply biding his time before snapping his fingers and making me fall head over heels in love. I’ll miss the fleeting, surging boosts to my ego. I’ll miss the experience. I’ll miss OkCupid.
Except, not really. In fact, maybe not at all.