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July 31, 2013

Online Dating, Mr. Right Now and TKTKTKTKTKTK*

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20Somethings understand that dating is a whole different beast for our generation than it was for our parents. With the rise of texting, the Internet, the cost of movie tickets (not to mention, the cost of a small popcorn at the movies) and pretty much everything else that leaves us penniless, it seems next to impossible for the stars to perfectly align in this day and age. Time is fleeting --- and beyond valuable --- and we move quickly. We move so quickly in fact, that online dating is the only outlet for our TKTKTKTKTKTK.*

We talk about dating at the office. A lot. So when THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. found its way into our grubby little hands, it felt like perfection --- the kind of feeling we've been longing and lusting for. We read, we reviewed and, at the end, it felt like we were on the verge of a breakup --- a feeling we get when we're about to finish any really good book, of course: glad it happened, sad to see it go. In an effort to keep the relationship just a little longer, I am pleased to introduce our month-long blog dating series, all inspired by Mr. Right Now --- NATE P.!

I can safely speak for all us girls in the office when I say that we all love to be wined and dined, enjoy longs walks on the beach...or a casual walk on the stifling sidewalks of NYC during a heat wave, breathing in the raw stench of baking Friday night trash. We love day dates, night dates, first dates, second dates...and Mejdool dates. The efforts we've been putting in to acquire these dates --- besides the occasional grocery store pick up --- is mostly through the Internet (I must note here that we obviously feel like it’s possible to meet someone on the train, at the bar, in the park, but online dating definitely offers a sense of distance and convenience for our "busy" lifestyles). From the interweb staple OkCupid, to the mobile app Tinder...to Match.com, even (yes, I've paid for the possibilities and opportunities to find love), we've run the gamut. Today, a staffer spilled the beans on a new online/mobile love finder --- AtFirstSight.com, which lets you see short video clips of potential love interests. Naturally, we signed up immediately.

So although we've been "Anthony Weiner-ing" our way to love (has he discovered SnapChat, yet? Please, no screenshots!), I wouldn't call us desperate --- more like determined. Through multiple clicks and swift finger flicks, we --- sometimes with caution and sometimes with reckless abandon --- make our choices of who could be our future big spoon (or small spoon, depending on what you’re into).

When I first started working here about a year ago, I took notice almost immediately of a potential cuddle buddy (girl’s gotta keep her head in the game, you know?). He wears black-rimmed Gregory Peck glasses, sometimes pink shirts and I've taken one baby step beyond conventional social boundaries to discover that he may or may not work on the 15th floor. I've noticed him mostly in the elevator...where conversation is bound to be awkward...and sometimes on the sidewalk in front of the building. One day, I misguidedly dragged myself to work in the middle of a nasty case of food poisoning, and as I was waiting for the elevator on my way out with a coworker I warned her loudly and with abandon that "I might spew everywhere." Of course the elevator opened at that moment, and of course my building crush was in it. Let’s just say I’m lucky I made it down without incident, because puke doesn’t look good on anybody, but especially not on your building crush.

Fast forward two months to five days ago. Guess who I find while playfully scrolling through some matches on my OKC account? None other than Mr. Building Crush in the online flesh! We were a 92% love match, 87% friend match and 1% enemy (is anyone else totally intrigues by OKC’s enemy stat?). Texting with my girl coworkers, we all mutually agreed I should send a message, which at the time seemed like a good idea. After all, what did I really have to lose (besides my building dignity)? The message read, "I think we work in the same building. I notice you in the elevators. I like your pink shirts." To me, that message seemed fun and flirty, conveyed my interest and gave a nice, fashionable compliment. I felt like I pretty much nailed it. Five days later, and I still have not received a response. Finally, earlier this morning...I gave up hope. If he's too shy to write back, then it isn't going to work. And maybe he's just not that interested. I'm okay with that, too. Every shot not taken is a shot missed. Back into the Internet he crawls, and so do I. Online dating brings “nothing ventured, nothing gained” to a whole new level.

But what’s one non-response when there’s a universe of possibilities out there? With online dating, we can be whoever we want, and we can pretty much find whoever we want. You’d think we’d be overwhelmed --- sometimes too many options can turn into a sort of hopeless abyss --- but, the way I see it, every option is an opportunity --- for a Nate P., an uncooperative building crush or maybe even The One? --- and it’s important to not take that for granted. Our 20s is the time for exploring, amirite? So whatever you’re in to --- big spoon, little spoon, salad fork, butter knife --- I say just get right in there. Maybe the best thing about the Internet is you can pretend it never even happened…

*TKTKTKTKTKTK is an editorial indication that the writer doesn't have the words yet for a particular thought. And come on, we're 20Somethings, and moving quickly, and don't quite TKTKTKTKTKTK.