Stupid Cupid: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Millennial Generation has been on the receiving end of criticism and scrutiny of our parents’ generation for quite some time now. This phenomenon of selfies? Ridiculous. How hard is it to get a job after you graduate? Get off the Facebook and do something with your lives! At YOUR age, I was already married.

Well mom and dad, Generation X has got that last one covered — in its own way.

It’s safe to say the landscape of dating has changed almost entirely thanks to the geniuses (or madmen) behind the plethora of dating websites and applications available at our  fingertips.

More or less, finding a suitable partner has evolved from the tedious process of courtship to swiping left or right based on one’s first impression of a picture of oiled-up abs. Whether this is a good or bad thing is entirely up to your opinion, but there’s no denying the shift from what our parents used to know as “dating” to what’s normalized today.

So far I’ve heard stories from completely opposite sides of the spectrum. I know a couple who met on OkCupid and now live together in New York, four years strong. I also know of a girl who was pursued strongly by someone she was very attracted to only to have him disappear without a trace a week into their courtship.

My personal favorite anecdote so far was actually recounted to me last night by a close friend, who told me she made plans with a guy she met on Tinder to watch a movie. Throughout the duration of film, he kept on trying to get to know her better by continually asking her questions about her life, trying to tickle her and finally giving up midway after her repeated insistences that they watch the movie quietly by declaring, “You’re cute, but you’re really boring,” and storming out of the theater to her complete astonishment.

Options are great, but there is a negative side to all of this, minus the emotional hang-ups and weird waning definitions of commitment — with so many different websites and so many users online, it can get tiring trying again and again to find the person of your dreams. OkCupid and Tinder are great, but what if I already know what I want to find? Perhaps someone who understands the struggle of having a gluten allergy? Or someone who is a literal clown?

Yes, you read that right. A clown. Or a vampire, perhaps? The rise of electronic courtship has also made way for incredibly niche and specific websites and applications that seem almost insane. If you’re into baby-play, there’s a website for that. Want to find a fellow Goth? You’re in luck! And yes, to answer your burning questions, there definitely is a site meant for clowns and clown-lovers and anyone looking for a vampire. Trust me, I have them bookmarked.

I think you all know where this is going. I am a brave person, and in the next few weeks, I invite you on my journey in exploring this subculture. I’m doing you all a huge service — I’m signing up for these websites so you don’t have to!

My main goal is to have fun, of course, but to also try and glimpse into the reasoning behind the development of such sites, and the people who actually sign up with the intention to find such a specialized person, be it someone with a gluten allergy or a farmer.

Now, I can defend my choice to be the guinea pig in this ridiculous and potentially dangerous experiment to be a look into the human condition or some other profound bullshit, but I know what most of you must be thinking — this girl has run out of options and is weirdly desperate for some tail. I won’t refute this thought or confirm it, but I’ll just say we’re going to let the chips fall as they may. Maybe I WILL find the sea captain of my dreams in the next few weeks. Life is pretty crazy.

Maybe at my wedding (sometime in the near future), I will have this little experiment to thank. Or maybe my obituary written two weeks from now will read, “Loving daughter, loving sister, doomed herself by signing up for a dating websites for people who love mullets.” The possibilities are endless and I hope you’ll have as much fun as I will testing them out.