Having just recently vacated a nearly 10-year relationship, I know a little something about holding my tongue. In fact, as a middle years schoolteacher, my profession and livelihood depends entirely upon my unwavering ability to censor my moment-to-moment thoughts and reactions. It seems being open, honest and forthright with our feelings and beliefs is not a luxury we can afford if we choose to live in contemporary society. Sadly, America has become a nation of the repressed, held tethered and torn by inner voices at terrible odds. Fearful of the consequences, far too often we refrain from speaking our minds, revealing our hearts, and embracing our true feelings and passions. Freedom of expression has become a luxury very few can afford to enjoy. Online chat is one of the very few venues many of us have at being truly open and honest about who we really are inside.
My online relationship endeavors began about 2 year ago, when my girlfriend and I decided to take a bit of a hiatus. Having browsed dozens and dozens of eligible profiles on a well-known dating site, I finally built up the courage for my first online transaction: Visa transaction that is. Not wanting to waste a nickel spent, I made especially sure to pick my words and phrases carefully. Everything I wrote was carefully scrutinized, as was my profile pictures and essay. So much time was spent on considering how my words and intentions might be perceived, that it nearly took all the fun right out of it. Nevertheless, I suffered and endured, and finally, after some time, began receiving the long awaited winks and messages from attractive and eligible candidates. The journey had begun, or so I had thought at the time.
After weeks and weeks of messaging these “eligible” candidates, I finally started to realize how much nonsense there was in online dating. It seemed all these young women wanted to do was message. When finally, after many more subtle attempts, I broached the topic and suggested an actual real life encounter, the messaging seemed to halt. It was then that I realized that a lot of these women were not really interested in meeting face to face, or if they were, they were too scared to do so. I then began to realize all the time, effort, and money that I had invested and wasted in trying to simply meet these women. Get real. Why all the nonsense? Why can’t people simply be open and honest with their fears or intentions? It was then that I decided to be more upfront with the women I messaged. Sadly, being straightforward and abrupt served me even less than beating around the bush. Why are we so afraid of being honest? Why are we so shocked and freaked out when somebody actually has the courage and the guts to tell it like it is? Come on, why are we so afraid of being real?
Humans are animals, pure and simple. Among other things, humans have the innate desire for intimacy, companionship and sex. So why are we playing all these games? Why are we denying ourselves what we truly want, and spending months on silly word games and wasting one another’s time? It’s time to get real. Online chat and dating can be an extremely fun and rewarding way of meeting new and interesting people, especially when you’re a busy professional like myself. It can also be a great way of finally finding an appropriate outlet to share our inner thoughts and feelings without the fear of all the consequences that surround us in our professional and familial lives. How many of the emotional problems facing America today are the result of our inability to be open, honest and real? We don’t all have people in our lives with whom we can share our deepest feelings and desires with. For some of us, the Internet is our last bastion of truth, a place where we can truly be ourselves. Please America, enough with the games. Let’s keep it real.