Online Dating is Like Being in Vegas

Vanessa Torre

Except without Cher impersonators.

Photo via Unsplash

I’m not a fan of Las Vegas. It always sounds like a great idea and my friends can talk me into it and even get me mildly excited about it. But, in reality, it’s totally weird. Strange things are permissible that should not be. You encounter people that make you want to bathe in hand sanitizer. You sometimes find yourself somewhere and can’t find an exit to save your life. Online dating is exactly like this.

It’s a crap shoot

Literally. Now, craps is the one game in Vegas I can tolerate because there is a certain level of commiserating that happens. Just like dating. You have a bunch of people huddled around, laser-focused on some dice, hoping to God they don’t crap out. The only thing that makes craps and dating tolerable is that at least we’re all losers together. When someone wins, though, we get super excited for them and pray their luck rubs off.

And, like in craps, in an act of pure hope, sometimes people kiss things they probably should never put their lips on.

Your date is not what who they seem. Do not get excited.

More than once, I have started talking to a man online and allowed myself to get kind of excited. He seems sweet. He has actually read a book in the last 10 years. He can crack a pretty good joke. This excitement has lead me to about e dozen first dates in the span of the last three years.

These dates have dashed my excitement away when I realize I was totally wrong in my assessment of the gentleman. They have just horribly misrepresented themselves and I am an awful judge of character.

I feel deceived, not unlike the poor guy who is talking to a lovely lady who seems just darling until his friends pull him aside and have to tell him that she’s a hooker. What you see is not always what you get.

Occasionally, there is a free drink

One of the most expensive drinks I have bought was the $125 vodka soda that came “free” with me losing that same amount of money at a blackjack table. I am just as bad at blackjack as I am at dating. I can lose everything fast but occasionally someone gives you a free drink.

This is about the only consolation I have found for when a date goes truly south. Like the time I sat across a guy in the wrinkled t-shirt who apologized to me a few times because he felt a mild druggish hangover from the mushrooms he did the night before. Or the guy who almost started crying about 10 minutes into our date.

When on a date, I will always offer to pay for half the bill. I think it’s only appropriate. If he pays, I offer to pay the tip. Admittedly, when a date goes south and he picks up the tab there is relief in assuring myself, “At least I didn’t buy this drink.”

It’s mind-numbingly boring

Dating apps will turn you into a zombie. You have seen zombies in casinos in Vegas who have been sitting on a stool in front of a slot machine, with a cigarette hanging out of their mouths, since Tuesday. And it’s now Thursday.

Swiping on profiles is like pulling a slot machine arm. Yes, I know there are no slot machine arms anymore. Indulge me. I’m a woman on the verge.

I have killed hours doing this. I now completely zone out. I get into a rhythm of swiping left so steadily I could be a metronome. And then occasionally, of course, I swipe left out of habit and realize the man was actually kind of normal looking.

Just when you thought you won…

Slots = Put money in. Press button. Lose. Press button. Lose. This happens about 302 times until your brain shuts itself down and you go into the aforementioned zombie mode.

Occasionally, you win and get really excited until you take a closer look and realize you won $1.25.

I feel the same sense of loss when I swipe through profile after profile. And then, magically, a man appears that seems to have all his teeth and has not been living under a rock since 1993. I feel like those winning slot machines are going off. Then I read his profile and find he is completely lacking depth and the ability to use a comma properly. $1.25. All that time for $1.25.

Here’s where I have proof I have totally lost my mind: I keep online dating and I am going to Vegas next year. I am a glutton for punishment. I just can’t let go of the idealistic hope that I am just one roll away from the big win. It’s got to happen at some point, right? Right?!?!

*NOTE: Please do not hate on me in the comments for my left swiping tendencies. If you do, my next post will be nothing but a picture gallery of grown, forty-something men with profile pictures that consist of Snapchat filters. It’s a thing, people.

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Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ

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