On Finding That Spark and The Stigma Around Online Dating [Dear DBN]

Ah, love. You sly ole dog. Everyone wants you, but no one wants to look for you. It’s time to motivate the masses to get back on the hunt.  This week, how to find the spark and how to justify your means.
I haven’t been attracted to anyone in a really, really long time. I’ve met people, but there’s just never been a connection that I want to explore, and it’s starting to get me down. Do you have any advice on what I can do to find a spark with someone?
Stare longingly into the stars at night, listening to old Sinatra tunes while you sigh softly saying to no one in particular, “I know he’s out there!  I just know it!”?
But seriously, wrong question.  It’s not what can you do to find that spark, it’s what can you do in the interim.  If there was a way to find that spark immediately, someone would have written a book about it, made a movie about it, exploited it, turned it into a scientific equation and destroyed humanity.
What you need to do is find that spark with yourself.  You need to be so enamored with your own existence that loneliness is like an artistic lining giving you just enough character to stay level.  Until you find yourself abducted by aliens or leading a team of spies into a warzone, the most exciting adventure life provides you with is the pursuit of great love.  You need to write the best story of all time.  It’s not a search party, it’s not a waiting game, it’s a hunt with villains, spooks, and ghouls, and all you’re equipped with is bravery and the deep-seated knowledge that you deserve it and that somewhere out there, that person is braving the elements for you, too.
So stare at the stars longingly with whatever soundtrack breaks your heart and catalog it as the world’s saddest night, and write your story.  Once you find that lasting spark, you spend the rest of your days tending to the fire, protecting it, never straying far, keeping a careful eye and a pile of wood.  For now, you are seeking the elements to build that fire.  So seek them!  Seek happiness in solitude.  Warmth when alone.  Because when you find that spark, it will be your own foritutde that keeps it burning.  You are a character with a goal, obstacles, and an ending.  Stop pouting; start writing.
That, or get out more.  You’re not gonna get struck by lightning sitting in your basement.
What’s a cool, casual way to start online dating? I recognize the stigma to it but don’t want to project that since, hey, we’re all on it together.
Neil Gaiman gave some wonderful advice concerning (not) this topic and that is, “…be wise, because the world needs more wisdom. And if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would.”  Basically, pretend to be cool and casual.  Do not acknowledge on your profile that having a profile is in any way weird.  Do not acknowledge the stigma.  Everyone knows it’s there.  It’s not a pink elephant; it’s a very gray, participating elephant that everyone is just trying to deal with until they can figure out how to get it out of the room.
Plus, it’s only really stigmatized by people who are… well, kind of jerks.  If you proclaim to the world that your heart is full and your body is ready and the internet is the way to go, what’s with the person that says online dating is lame?  I mean, WHAT is that person’s issue?  Take your traditionalism and stick it behind a picket fence – I’m a frontiers(wo)man!  I will conquer the internet one stigmatized site after another!
Be an online dater crusader – the only way stigmas are lifted is by fighting them. If you don’t act like it’s weird, it’ll be difficult for people around you to act like it’s weird.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject, if you join OkCupid and you come across the question, “What’s the most private thing you’re willing to admit?”, avoid saying “uhhh that I’m on here.”  Because that question is stupid.  Don’t answer it.
CollegeCandy is excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with one of our favorite Tumblrs, DateByNumbers, to bring you some of her very best advice. Each week she’ll tackle your questions. Life, love, sex, the real world…nothing will be off limits. To submit a question of your own, visit her “Ask” page and keep an eye on CollegeCandy every Thursday afternoon!

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