There have been a few times in the past couple of months since I’ve been online dating in which I’ve been shocked at what a small world online dating is. I mean, okay, it’s not small at all. Over 40 million people in the US, or one in five people between 25 and 34 have tried online dating at least once. That’s a pretty big pool of people, but when you don’t want to date someone more than a 50 mile radius from you, who shares similar interests and moral standings, that 40 million shrinks considerably.
I wrote about a few of the times that this small dating pool has surprised me (here and here) but there have been a few other surprises as well. This strange coincidence reaches aaalllllllllllll the way back to the first guy who stood me up (read about him here).
He was a really nice guy and I enjoyed chatting with him. Of course, since he was one of the first guys I was talking to, I didn’t really know what I was doing and all the ins and outs of online dating. But still, he seemed to be really nice. I got giddy receiving texts from him. He told me I was cute, so clearly I was a little smitten.
Okay, I was completely smitten, let’s be honest. It had been a loooooooong time since a cute boy paid me any attention, and this guy was cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute! He had nerdy glasses and had a picture of him holding a puppy and another holding a kitten! Squeee! Can you get any cuter than that???? I clearly didn’t think so. I was totally invested in this guy. We talked about everything!
Okay…. so we never actually talked, but we texted about everything. At the time I thought he was great. Looking back now, it’s strange that he wouldn’t tell me where he worked, but I figured it would just give us more to talk about on our date. (Which never did happen.)
Anyway, while I was talking to this guy, I told him that I was originally from Tennessee, to which he replied that he’d driven through Tennessee a couple times, but hadn’t spent that much time there. I told him that I was from Smalltown, which he’d probably never heard of before. He surprised me by saying “Actually, Smalltown is ALL I know of Tennessee! I used to date a girl from there. She went to Smalltown High School and I’ve even been to an SHS football game back when I was in college.”
What??? I went to Smalltown High School! I went to EVERY SINGLE SHS football game my senior year of high school. How is this possible? Smalltown has a whopping population of 28,000 people. I MUST KNOW THIS GIRL!
I asked for her name, and then proceeded to perform copious amounts of “internet research.” (Some people might call this stalking, but if we both happen to be in the same SHS alumni facebook group, then she’s totally giving me permission to check out her profile. Right? And if you don’t want people looking at your work history, then you shouldn’t have a linkedin account. I’m just saying….)
Well, it turns out I didn’t know her, but she did graduate SHS a year before I did. Immediately I ran to my closet and found my SHS 2003 yearbook. Flipping through the pages I finally found her picture. Beautiful, athletic, and skinny. I found out she played volleyball with my best friend, but since I was always a late bloomer and totally uncool (alright, I was a dweeb in high school!) I didn’t know any older kids, cool or not. Naturally I shot off texts to my high school friends who might have known her and found out she was a really nice person.
Well… Beautiful, athletic and nice. Huh. I could tell right then that a relationship wasn’t going to work out with this guy. I’m not this particular type of beautiful. I’m certainly not athletic. And I have waaaaaaaaaay too much sass to be considered “nice” (except sometimes I’m good at faking it).
But either way, what are the chances that over 500 miles away from Smalltown, TN I would end up talking to a guy who had dated a girl I went to high school with? I guess online dating really is a small world after all.