My good friend Nat posted an interesting blog about internet dating. In general I’m a fan of meeting people online, however I think it’s making my F2F interactions more difficult.

Today on my way to work, a gentleman complimented me on how pretty I am and asked if I was taken. I smiled and said “yes” (even though I am so single I honestly think it seeps through my pores) and quickly looked away. He continued chatting with me politely and I continued smiling politely but my stomach was all in knots and after a few minutes he walked away.

I felt like such a dork. On the one hand, I can’t give my phone number to every Tom-Dick-and-Jamal that flashes me a smile and says I am pretty. In fact part of the reason why I am so reluctant to talking to men on the street is that—and I’m not tooting my own horn—it happens so frequently and so obnoxiously. Cat calls, stares, whispers and other adolescent attempts to get my attention do nothing but make walk away faster.

However, I can, at the very least be personable and friendly to people who are nice to me. Yet I also realize that part of my awkwardness stems from the fact that I meet all of the men I date online. Online dating really changes how I converse (or not converse) with men I see on a daily basis. Online, I can take my time and get to know the person via email and phone conversations. Men that I lose interest in or who I am not attracted to are washed away with the click of the delete button. Further, when we finally do meet, he has given me enough information about himself that talking in person is a piece of cake.

Yet when I meet someone on the street, there is no pre-established connection, no previews whatsoever. Everything is just on the fly—go with the flow.

In other words, there is no control. The internet gives me so much control over who I talk to and most importantly, whom I allow to talk to me.

Maybe I should ease up on using the internet and open myself to the unpredictable nature of F2F meeting.