Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where the hell are people meeting?

Paraphrasing from Seinfeld:

Elaine: I hear the new place to meet men/women is at the book store.

Jerry: Last month was the bookstore before then it was the coffee shop. No one is meeting.

Elaine: Then how are all these people getting together?

Jerry: Alcohol.

I have conducted a 3 year study, which consist of face stalking people's online social network profiles. I have concluded couples mainly meet at school or work. I am one year removed from school and I work everyday with one long married women. Where does this leave my dating status? I am going to evaluate commonly accepted places to meet people conducive with my lifestyle and other mid-twentysomes and come up with some sort of a conclusion of the best place to meet someone at 27. Please provide feedback.

A. Option 1: The Bar
Lets start with Jerry's suggestion, Alcohol.
I always hear people say " I never want to meet someone at the bar." My argument is that the same people that go to bars are the same people that are at grocery stores and coffee shops, just not dressed up and/or intoxicated. The bar just doesn't work anymore b/c I've recently discovered at 27 that I can't drink anymore without getting a massive hangover. On a night of consuming 3 + drinks, I become worthless the next day. A hungover isn't worth a night of sifting though bar flusies to find those few people who are worth chatting with. Lets be honest here, who thinks its fun to sit at a bar for hours and not have a couple drinks? At this stage of my life, I don't care to lay in bed all day or fight a headache. Plus I cant get up at 6 Am the next day!! While this is an option for a few hours on the weekend before I hit the 3 drink limit, it doesn't seem plausible anymore.

B. Option 2: The Coffee Shop
The coffee shop is a better option than the bar but takes more time and can borderline on creepy behavior. I hung out at Lucky's in Tremont practically every other day in law school and I really didn't meet a lot of people. In the coffee shop setting, I never really found a way to make conversation without annoying people. It appears that most people are consumed by their work at coffee shops. Creepiness is a huuuuugh factor when deciding to start conversation. Maybe this is something that I personally need to get over? I just don't feel right creeping up to someone and using a cheese ball line such as "Is that a sociology textbook? Do you go to Cleveland State?" I definitely don't have the personality of the overly eccentric guy with the the thick framed glasses that seems to know everyone that walks in the door. Furthermore, going to coffee shops without anything to do can get boring really fast if you don't have something to legitimately work on other than updating your facebook status. Conclusions- Could work for some people but not likely me.

C. Option 3: The Tennis Court / Gym
1. The Gym:
This is likely where I spent the most time other than at work and watching Seinfeld reruns. Ipods have ruined any opportunity to socialize at the gym. I generally notice the girl blaring Black Eyed Peas is usually too consumed with Boom Boom Boom and working on her ass to want to make conversation. Starting a conversation with someone wearing headphones just doesn't work and EVERYONE wears headphones.
2. The Tennis Court:
There always seems to be good looking people on the tennis courts. How do I progress from can you grab my ball to what are you doing Friday night? Seems possible if I can get past her seeing my first serve and the mass amount sweat I've produced. However, this takes game and unless I all of a sudden develop it, it looks like its Game, Set, Match!

D. Option 4: Online
Facebook Exclusive. I have tried online dating. I recently heard that Charlotte is one of the top cities for online dating. (cite needed). I'm not sure about Cleveland but given how cold it is up there, I am sure this option has become more attractive. I have met people that I have a lot in common with online. It an easy icebreaker. I feel the social stigma that used to be associated with online dating is well past. At least this is what I am telling myself.
So...... here are my two hang ups online dating.

1. The Initial contact-
This must always be made by the guy unless you are extremely good looking. In short paragraph a guy must convince a women that he is distinguishable from the pack of guys she already received emails from. I have never felt comfortable writing someone an email/personal to try to win their attention. (some have the swing till you hit something mentality, I don't) Plus, I don't know like being in the same category as Frank, the 55 convicted felon from St. Paul, looking for any women in North America who will sleep with him. Furthermore, I don't like having to email a ton of girls that I am not interested in, just because I want to make contact with somebody. This process makes online dating a full time job and teeters on the brink of desperation.

2. The Meet- I've found that chemistry with someone you've only conversed with online and/or by the telephone does not always equate to chemistry in person. Plus, finding the moment to make a person feel at ease with meeting someone they've never seen is difficult.. However, this is much easier to do online that in person.

Regardless of its shortcomings, I believe this is the forum that the majority of people are meeting these days. (I have an entire new note in the developmental stage on the three ring circus that is online dating)

F. Option 5. Honorable Mention- Concerts, Social Networking Events, The Grocery Store, Chance Car Accidents, "A friend of a friend.", The DMV..
Some of these options may have better odds but are less common avenues to socialization. Therefore, they will not be evaluated.

Winner (for now)- Online Dating

 Written: August 19, 2009 

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