But suddenly I feel lost on the girls’ brunch staple: Instead of consulting Urban Dictionary, I asked Facebook and Twitter. I considered standing on a street corner and asking NYC strangers but a blizzard made me scrap that idea. I certainly think of DATING and SEEING as different in my mind. The conclusion of my (extremely) limited study (“study”) was a shockingly even divide between the two camps. Or maybe I’ll just slip on some elbow length gloves every time I sit down to blog, and tell you I’m not old-fashioned. Which one do you think is less casual: “Dating” or “Seeing”?
It’s reached the point where I’ll mention him to my friends, the dude’s got potential. Like the difference between the B and D train: one easily gets you to the American Museum of Natural History, the other zooms you up to 125th leaving you wondering what the hell you did wrong and OMG am I in Harlem!? Annnnnd….a lot of other people think the exact opposite… “Seeing” can be applied to your friend with benefits, your ex, and tonight’s Bumble date. Maybe I need to change my wording when I write about dating, since I frequently do…
“I was young and stupid when I made the trip,” wrote another.
Maybe it was the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon—that effect where, when you first learn about something, you see it everywhere—but suddenly I learned that lots of people I knew had this same story.
I read stories of couples who chatted online for months before flying from California to Georgia, Michigan to Washington, Ohio to Peru, Cyprus to Lebanon to see each other for the first time.
Inspired by this, Ok Cupid decided to poll users with the question, “What is the longest you’ve traveled to meet up with someone from a dating app?
Figuring this was not a great first-date look, I made no weekend plans.
Lonely and alone on a Saturday night, I started scrolling through Ok Cupid and, out of boredom and curiosity, expanded my search options to include users anywhere in the world.
Yes, I told him I was writing this post and asked his thoughts. Or tell me potato, patahto- let’s call the whole thing off!A couple of weeks later, for work, I started combing through a data set of Ok Cupid “success stories”—blurbs that couples wrote in to let us know they’d found a soul mate or spouse through the site.Reading through them, I noticed something odd: Many of Ok Cupid’s successful users first met when they were living across the country—or the world—from each other.Turns out we have polar opposite views on these two confounding words. The explanation for this dating/seeing confusion, as I see it, seems to lie in the biggest scapegoat of modern romance: Hookup Culture. He thinks we’re seeing each other, I think we’re dating: Communication Fail. We’re both on the same page, just uh, looking at different words? So I gave this stupid syntax wayyyyy more thought than it ever deserved. Freed from the pressure of a pending outcome—no question of a second drink, moving to a second bar, or going back to anyone’s place—I became immersed in these conversations that lasted, sometimes, for hours.