Fast food drive thru dating; it’s an epiphany I had recently after an experience at a local burger joint.
I realized the comparisons between going through a fast food drive thru and so-called Internet dating sites are eerily similar. Both usually leave me feeling frustrated, unsatisfied, disillusioned and certainly disappointed.
Like Internet dating, I don’t use fast food joints on a regular basis. In fact, like the dating sites, I rarely use them and, like the dating sites, for some particularly unknown reason, each time I do use them, I expect better results than the last time. To say I’m rarely correct in that assumption would be an understatement. (Remember the old joke, “Hey doc, it’s hurt when I do this.” The doc replies, “Well, quit doing that.”? Maybe I should listen.)
I was in a hurry to get to an appointment I was due at in less than an hour. The very last stop out on the edge of town was a well-known, national chain fast food joint. There would be no other opportunity to grab something to eat until I got to the general area of my appointment fifty miles away.
I ordered a sandwich, nothing else. I had water and snacks in the cooler in the back seat as always. It was a simple order and a simple sandwich, a double cheeseburger. Perhaps I made a huge error in judgement when I asked them to add extra onion. On the visually enticing menu board it sort of looked like this.
Looks pretty good, especially if you’re hungry, yes?
Sadly, the sandwich I got in the bag was not what I ordered. It wasn’t even the correct sandwich. As I pulled it out of the bag while hurtling down the road at 60 mph, I realized this was not going to be a good experience. Unwrapping the burger revealed a hard, crusty sandwich that looked like it had been sitting in the bin for at least four hours. It also appeared as though someone had repeatedly rolled over it in the drive thru. (Does that help to freshen things up?)
It occurred to me, a few days later, that participating in Internet dating sites was eerily similar to my experience with the fast food drive thru.
You pull up and most of the photos look pretty, just like on the menu board. After all, who is going to post photos of themselves at their worst? Wait, what am I saying? People do that all the time on Facebook. Like the fast food joints that post vivid, colorful, vibrant photos of the sandwiches, fries, meals and drinks freshly made, people post photos of themselves from years ago when they were much younger and thinner, freshly made, if you will. They don’t want you to see what they look like now just as the burger joint won’t tell you you’re getting an old sandwich.
Usually, if you go through a fast food drive thru, you’re in a hurry to get somewhere else. I realize now that women on the Internet dating sites are in a hurry too. Many of them treat the dating sites as an afterthought, much like the need for a quick meal on the way to somewhere else. I don’t know where or when it became a matter of convenience to find a quality relationship, but it is today in a society of ‘I want it now’. This goes a long way toward explaining why the new number one complaint of men on dating sites is that women won’t respond to messages. It’s true. Research reveals what the dating sites don’t want you to know. Better than ninety percent of the women on dating sites do not respond to messages received from men. (Ever pull up to a drive thru and no one is there?)
Like the fast food drive thru, it is not uncommon to get something much different on the dating sites than what you wanted when pulled up. Maybe you are looking for someone who considers activity as something more profound than walking through Costco. So why do you only get messages from people who are eighty pounds overweight? Perhaps you want someone with whom you can have stimulating, intelligent conversations and instead you get messages like, “wassup??? LOL!!!” or “UR so Phunny, LMAO!!!”.
Trying to find someone to actually date from a dating site is a lot like eating food from the fast food drive thru. You don’t know if what you chose is going to give you a stomach ache in a little while, taste old and stale, rarely what you’d call delicious. Sometimes you want to go back and get a refund or choose another sandwich in the hopes this time it will be better. Good luck.
Sometimes you get something resembling what you ordered but most times you get something that was pulled from the bin after sitting there for a long time. It’s hard and cold and not very satisfying. It doesn’t even look like what you ordered. What’s up with all the pretty photos? My sandwich didn’t look like that. And what happened to the cheese and extra onion I ordered? Instead, someone put too much mustard and a pile of horseradish on it. It’s not at all like they described it. Sound familiar?
On top of that, I’m holding a coupon that said the sandwich comes with fries and a Coke. Instead, someone slipped in a side of old, greasy onion rings and a diet Pepsi. This is not at all what I ordered. How can they post photos and descriptions of such attractive looking product and then I get this? Where’s the truth in advertising? Again, sound familiar? The same people who use the Internet dating sites in the hopes of actually finding someone, in other words, with actual intent, are asking the same questions they ask about the fast food drive thru. They often end up with a ‘bad sandwich’ like this.
I was hungry when I went through the drive thru the other day. I was lonely when I went through the Internet dating site drive thru. Yet again, despite hope, I got the same results when I went to both of them.
I don’t like eating unhealthy, non-organic, genetically modified things like pink slime, cow tissue from unknown sources and milk shakes made from some sort of white liquid vinyl.
I don’t like the idea of dating women who are already lying before I so much as meet them. I don’t like the idea that many of them, through their outright rudeness, are already demonstrating the true nature of their character. You can spend twenty minutes spewing about what a great person you are, however, if you are rude already, then everything you just said is inaccurate.
It all appears to be about the advertising. You are highly unlikely to get a meal accurately resembling the photos on the menu board and you are just as unlikely to get what you’re looking at on a fast food drive thru dating site.
It’s all come to this, my well-founded theory about Internet dating sites. On all of these sites, much like the mouth-watering, Photo-shopped pictures on the drive thru board, it’s all about the eye candy. You’re either the candy or the wrapper and we all know where those end up.
And like fast food drive thru, dating sites are not much different from each other. Sure, some cost more than others, some offer coupons and specials, some will give away free stuff. In the end you still don’t know what you’re driving away with and you don’t know what you’re going to pull out of the bag. And yet you hope.
Ethan Holmes is the author of six books.
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