Online Dating or Online Nightmare?
Online Dating or Online Nightmare?
One girls opinion on too many choices…
Online dating. Scary thought or relationship prospect? I like to think that I have a great sense of humour, but for some reason even the slightest thought of online dating, is turning me to the dark side.
Call me old school, but I grew up in times before internet or even mobile phones. Ok I am not that old, we did have land line phones at home. Still, these were times when you made any plans with your friends, either arranged in person at school or over the phone, you had to be there.
They were not the times when 5 minutes before meeting someone, you can just drop them a text saying you are running late or even worse, not going to make it at all! Let me tell you, many friendships in my life ended because of lack of time keeping. And I have not even got to the main topic of dating yet.
As a seriously committed single soul – be it by choice or circumstance (I am not even sure which one applies to me anymore), I have dabbed on different online dating applications. No need to name them on here – be it swiping platforms or considered more serious platforms where you have to pay monthly subscription (and it is not cheap !) to meet people.
That is something that made me frustrated over the years, how many businesses now benefit from people’s feelings and earning money from others misery. There are simply too many websites and applications – my first question is, how do you even know which one to sign up to? What if THE ONE is on another platform – do you choose a free of charge application, paid for professional website, swim in ocean of fish, try the folks in uniforms, or maybe even search for a millionaire?
I can tell you most of my friends and colleagues tell me, they would not have a clue where to start if suddenly their relationship god forbidden ended. Many tell me they prefer to stay in the relationship, even when they are not completely happy, because the idea of searching for a new partner is just too scary. I am not surprised by those statements. I lived that solo life for past 10 years.
My personal experiences of online dating were not the best. I will not take the glory from those who did end up meeting their other half, growing a successful relationship and ending up in the “they lived happily ever after”. Although, my experiences were far from exciting, good, promising. I tried many online dating companies. I paid my subscription fees as yet another website was attracting me with great looking guys on their front marketing section, with smiling and happy couples who ended up falling in love. Of course, you could not contact any of the promising prince charming’s without paying your dues. Strange things happened each time. What should have start as endless opportunities of meeting interesting, fun, nice looking and interesting men, was usually turning into seeing all same faces as before, barely a few in my age bracket or few with similar interest.
Every time I would be open minded, and as long as I could see the smallest similarity or potential in making it through the first date, I was keen on meeting the person. I am not great at online interactions. I don’t like to “waste“ my time on endless emails. I like to meet people face to face, see the person, feel the person, look for the connection. We as people are becoming more and more lazy. I found that men (ok not just men, women as well but obviously I can only really write from my own perspective, so please do FORGIVE me all male readers) are happy to chat online, on mobile phones, send emoticons and pictures but are not that keen on interacting in reality.
I put it down to following possible scenarios. People are afraid of rejection. People got disappointed too many times and can’t be bothered to try again. People only look for a bit of entertainment in spare time. People are actually in relationship and this is their way of finding excitement outside of relationship. People are not who they say/portray they are. I could go on like this, but it would just be an endless list of negative observations. Since I don’t like to hide behind my screen, I would usually insist on meeting another person as soon as possible. The worst that could happen, would be we didn’t click, didn’t have common interest, didn’t like each other but the best-case scenario I could meet very interesting person, someone nice, funny and more. Why would I want to delay that opportunity?
That unfortunately, is not always how it worked. Not for me. Funnily enough going back to my note on time keeping, my most recent online dating experience was relating to this. And this was the final straw, I just could not and would not give this way of meeting people another chance. This was over a year ago, and we both lived in different cities. This s where to story begins. Let’s call him the “The Realtor Guy”. First time we were due to meet for a coffee in his city, since I decided to go there for a day trip. This could not have been easier for him, meeting at his doorstep. We made a plan to meet at 4pm at the place of his choice. Me being me, got there 15 mins early to make sure I am not late. At about 4.10pm I received a message that he is extremely sorry but he is running late. Ok already I am getting tense, as punctuality is very important to me, and what if I didn’t have a mobile phone? How long would he expect me to wait? 20 mins later still no sign of The Realtor Guy. I messaged him, saying I have finished my tea and am leaving. YES – I had enough, who does he think he is? I paid my tea bill and left. He called me straight away begging to wait, that he is definitely coming and he can meet me near my car so on so on. I said it’s up to him, but I will not be waiting in the cafe any longer. I got to my car and gave him 5 mins. He did show up – all together 55 minutes late! Is this really a way to make a first impression?
I might have been stupid to have waited, but I gave him the chance. He turned out to be a very nice, interesting, funny person. We had a lot in common, we were from similar backgrounds, we had similar plans. All in all, we had a nice evening, even after an initial hiccup. I don’t hold grudges and just gave him that opportunity to make up for first bad impression.
What has happened you might ask? Sounds like a pretty normal date. Well I tell you what happened. Since we did get on so well, we did decide to make further plans and meet again. And so, we did. Two more times. Two times too many. On both future occasions he was late again. On both occasions we had reservations in restaurants. And on both occasions, I was sat in a restaurant for up to an hour alone waiting. Some might say I was stupid, but I thought maybe I expected too much. Only now I realised this person did not respect my time nor me. I just could not look at him in a friendly manner no longer. That connection burnt out sooner than it started. And he was not even apologetic nor bothered.
I suppose this what “never ending” options of online dating platforms give you nowadays. You have the power – if someone does not like my way, rather than compromise or adapt, we move on to the next one.
I have many stories like this. I understand that sometimes we have to kiss many frogs to meet prince charming. I tell you what I have learned over the years. That I rather kiss the one frog for the rest of my life, as long as we have something in common and respect each other.
It is just to easy nowadays to move from one person to another, on the basis of ease of access to thousands of potential dates, hook ups and flirts. Many people don’t make effort now to present themselves in good light, impress their date, keep contact and look after each other. It’s so easy to say “if he/she is not interested I will just message the next one”. Then the next one, and the next, and so on….
I feel sorry for current youngsters’ generations, a lot of them don’t know any different. But there is hope. People are going back to ideas of building on friendships rather than just jumping at the first opportunity of short-term excitement. I personally will not be going back to online dating again. I tried it, I tested it and I did not find it working for me. What it gave me though, is stronger feeling of pride in who I am and what I want. Acceptance that solo life is as exciting as life in a duet. I will choose whatever works for me, and not what pressure of media are portraying to be the way.
Learn to accept yourself and everything else will fall in its place!