After recently clearing off my long gestating DVR playlist, I made the important decision to get back on the proverbial dating horse. I figure if I try really hard, lower my standards and move quickly, I can secure something serious just before November sweeps.

Ideally I’d like to confirm a change in Facebook relationship status before the holiday party season. But when you are on such a tight deadline, how should you date in Calgary (I mean actually date, not just hook-up during Stampede)? Because let’s face it, whether it’s deciding to run for mayor or going home with a stranger, we usually don’t make our best decisions during the first two weeks of July.

In a city where it doesn’t seem to be inappropriate to ask how much your salary is on the first date, we all struggle finding someone sincere. And that’s why I’m delving feet first into online dating. Not because I think everyone is wholesome and honest on the Internet, but because unless you want to, you never really have to meet your online suitors – thus avoiding weirdos, creeps and Oscar Fech supporters.

In Calgary, if you are lucky enough to meet someone who can hold a conversation and doesn’t appear to have Ric McIver’s temper, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should start booking your honeymoon. The first date could be fantastic, you have a terrific conversation, you go dutch on the bill, and decide to exchange numbers, only to find out that they live in Somerset or Whitehorn.

For a downtown guy, that is like dating someone in a different province. Which is exactly why I’ve implemented a four C-train stop rule; any further than Chinook station and it just isn’t going to work. For some people smoking or cheating are the deal-breakers; for me it’s your postal code.

The other awkward thing about a first date is the actual date itself. No matter how many pre-drinks I have, I still find myself pretending the line at Globefish is worth the wait. Worse yet is struggling to stay awake at a foreign language documentary at the Plaza or a walk around Eau Claire (like I’ve never seen it before). Of course, all this is better than being stuck in a car for the dreaded “hike in the mountains” date. Online dating allows you to avoid all of this, all while sitting comfortably in your pyjamas.

Just like me, what’s not to love?

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