Organic v. Algorithmic

In all just seems so good the way we had it
Back before everything became, [algorithmic]

-Miranda Lambert (with a little help)

With a string of failed relationships bobbing in my wake, it’s needless to say that my dating life in Chicago has been less than glorious. When I look back on the last year-and-a-half, there are many bits and bobs to dissect: I realize that how I act in a relationship may need to change, and since my ability to give forth effort and love has at times been unrequited, I may need to reel this part in. But that’s not what I’m here today to analyze; instead, I’d like to focus on the method by which I’m meeting said disasters…I mean, men. In the past year-and-a-bit, I’ve dated guys that I met at a bar, through a contrived singles’ league, and from multiple online dating sites – a mix/match of both organic and algorithmic ways to meet others.

Now that I’m back on the prowl, I’m wondering which of these methods is best. Or maybe the answer is that either can work, depending upon the approach taken. In the past, I’ve met guys only on free dating sites – the key word here is free. I’ve tried really, really hard to not pay to meet a guy. But maybe these free dating sites are free for a reason…both cheap guys and cheap girls can get a cheap thrill. They aren’t for people looking to get serious. People who pay for dating sites are serious about finding love, amiright?

So once I choose a paid site (because apparently that’s where the “I’m ready to settle down” kinda guys are hanging out), my profile will need to be rather direct. Does this mean I should outright state that I want to get married and have kids? That way, there’s no confusion when in two months, I ask, “Where do you see this going?”

The second option for going about this dating thing is organically. To me, that means going about my regular life without my “searching eyes.” I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, the left hand is the 2nd place my eyes wander on an attractive guy (the first place is his smile). So in this organic way, I need to just go about my business doing the things I like to do: yoga, salsa, maybe learn Spanish in a group setting, book clubs, volunteering, etc. Just be me and not worry about finding someone. “The right person will come along when he’s meant to…” says every married person ever.

The other part of organic dating is meeting guys through friends. I have NEVER met a guy through a friend. Now, that’s either saying something about me or saying something about my friends, and I hope that doesn’t mean my friends don’t think I’m worthy of dating their guy friends. So here’s my call to action – friends, don’t you know any single, funny, worldly, outgoing men who like to travel? C’mon now, hook a girl up! (I shall now step off my soapbox.)

In this rather crucial decision on where to go next in my dating career, I hope that my choice to be a grown up and pay for a dating site or to have fun doing the things I enjoy will pay off. Or they won’t and I’ll be that old spinster at speed dating. I kid, I kid.

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