Internet dating: I don’t think it’s for me

I have probably said it before, but I don’t think internet dating is for me. I think I’m too average looking and I think I am too difficult for people to get to know. My closest friends tell me that it took time for them to really feel like they knew me and that the longer they knew me the more likeable I became. Ex-boyfriends have told me this as well. No one can read me. I’m indifferent, detached, and not a person that stands out in a crowd. I don’t think I make a great first impression, besides in business. I’m smart and personable when it comes to business and older men are often charmed by me. Perhaps it’s my confidence and I’m lacking that same confidence in personal relationships.

In school (I changed schools a lot through the years) and in the various businesses I have worked in, it’s always taken me a year to get in with the “in crowd”. That’s never been my goal but always in a year I’m suddenly popular (school) or suddenly well-liked and invited to social events (work). It always happens this way. Always, as far back as I can remember and we are talking grade school here.

It’s definitely not a deal where I’m so good looking that I’m unapproachable. I know that I am not ugly but I’m not a particularly pretty girl. I don’t have a great body, either. I don’t have big boobs or long slender legs. I’m just there, one of many. I do know that I’m smart, I can be funny, and I’m a good conversationalist. People like to talk to me. I’m easy to get along with. But I don’t think I make much of an impression otherwise.

I guess I thought that the fact that I don’t have kids or crazy exes would make me a commodity. I don’t smoke or have 15 cats and my baggage is very minimal. I have a good job and am not a gold-digger. I’m certainly not a flake. While I’m not hot or beautiful, I don’t have anything wrong with me or anything that stands out. I’m healthy and well-rounded. I think I’m a good catch — I thought I was, anyway.

The thing I hate about internet dating is that one-hour window where you’re supposed to get to know someone well enough to determine if you want to date them. It takes time for someone to like me. It’s rarely an immediate thing. And I’m not hot enough for someone to keep seeing me even though they aren’t sure they like me. Basically, if they don’t feel fireworks within five minutes they are moving onto the next girl.I get it. I don’t come across as someone special in personality or looks so it’s best to just keep looking until you find someone who knocks your socks off. There are seemingly a million “mes” online, especially when you don’t take the opportunity to get to know us. It is de-humanizing, really, and with my personality it doesn’t seem to work too well.

It’s not clear what the answer is. Stop online dating? Just deal with the rejection and hope  for the best? Try to develop some aspects of my personality so that I am not so difficult to get to know and like? I’m not sure what to do and it’s all very confusing to me because I can’t see myself from the outside. I know how I feel but I can’t gauge it from someone else’s standpoint.

With my issues and my complete and utter lack of happiness when I’m in a relationship, I often wonder if I’m one of those people who is meant to be alone. I have no problems finding sex and passionate love affairs. Maybe when the stakes aren’t so high, I let down my guard and become the person that my friends know and love? Maybe when someone is “forced” to spend time with me (co-workers, lovers, schoolmates) they discover my personality but if they had their “choice” they would not spend the time with me?

How else does one meet potential mates these days?


10 thoughts on “Internet dating: I don’t think it’s for me

  1. I’ve also found internet dating to be difficult. My issues were mainly around the fact that 80% of the men on the site I was on were flakey. It’s as if they weren’t on there to meet someone. I actually had a few of them come out and say that they were only looking to hook up which I found odd. Why go on a dating site for that? My friends have also had similar experiences so we’ve all decided to try and meet people by going to different events around the city. We go to charity events, meetups, singles events, etc. It’s SO much more fun than internet dating!

  2. The majority of us are “one of the many” when it comes to looks. Expecting to be wowed by be each others’ looks right away is one of the problems with online dating in my opinion. Because few of us measure up to the glossy, airbrushed celebs and models in magazines, movies, and on TV. I’m in excellent physical shape, and probably am somewhat above average in the looks dept, but not far enough on that end of the bell curve to matter. With several years of online dating experience, I’d say I had ok success with getting women to write me back or make first contact, but i certainly wasn’t like I was getting flooded with attention.

    I think your larger point about the speed of it all is really important. We all need to slow down because that’s really the only way to truly get to know someone. I rarely get physically intimate on first dates anymore, and a fair number of women seem to take that as a sign of disinterest. Kind of frustrating. If you move too fast, you’re treated like a sex fiend. You move slower, you’re “not interested.”

    Anyway, from what you write, it sounds like you could drop your guard a bit when meeting others. However, working on yourself is really only one part of the solution. Whatever you choose to do with online dating, it probably shouldn’t be the only or main way of meeting guys for you. That’s something I decided after my last break up. I just couldn’t stomach the idea of spending hours and hours looking at profiles, answering e-mails, and going on dates. If I do it again, I’m going to keep it in moderation, because you never know. But I won’t pin all my hopes on it again. That’s for sure.

  3. I think in a sense we are all “one of many” — everyone is not “hot” or “beautiful” to everyone. We all like what we like. While there is a general look that everyone may think is “hot” — I think that old “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” line is true. The problem with internet dating is that beauty is skewed. You can’t tell anything by the way someone looks in their posted pictures and what little quips they put on their profile — and you are so right in that an hour is not enough time to make some determination on whether or not the person you’re sitting across from has “potential” for you to continue dating.

    I think as a woman we have a harder time because we are not as outwardly about appearances as men seem to be. We are more likely to give a guy another chance if, during that first date, he managed to chew his food with his mouth closed, could keep up his portion of the conversation and seemed genuinely nice and half way interesting. Men, I tend to think, are looking for the immediate outward attraction and are not as inclined to do the second date when there are ten pages of “hotter” women he could cast a net around and possibly get a response. It’s enough to make you bitter. You handle it pretty well, in my opinion. I did not. And I’m not unattractive, and am pretty outgoing.

    I think you are on a good track. For what its worth I think you should focus your energy on your job search, possible move, doing things you like to do and getting back to that very happy and content place you were in when you first decided you were ready to be in a relationship. Just don’t look for it. Give yourself a break with that. It’s a job and I don’t think you really have time for it right now.

    I’d love to say that I think it’s easy to meet people in our day to day, but I haven’t found that to be the case, at least not in my case, because I’m busy — and I get the impression that you are as well. Just go back to being content with you and rest on the looking. After you figure out your new job and when/if you move, your new surroundings maybe you can start the process again, if something hasn’t happened in the relationship department organically.

    Wishing you good luck, always.

    • PDX – I think there are different challenges. The appearance issue is a challenge for women, but for men, it’s the “instant chemistry” thing. Too often, women want a guy to spark butterflies in the belly and fireworks sexually from the get go, or it’s good bye. And that plays right in the hands of the destructive “alpha dudes,”and pick up artist types. In my opinion, the only people who have an easy time with online dating are the ones who are either not really looking for an LTR anyway, or who are entirely extroverted and who thrive on the speed of it all. The rest of us muddle through, because it’s not built with us in mind.

      • That’s funny because I think men are equally guilty of looking for “instant chemistry.” I read it in the profiles and hear it all the time. Me? “Instant chemistry” is what gets you in trouble and makes you blind to the important stuff. It’s rose-colored glasses. It’s TROUBLE!

  4. #1 -I think you should find 2 features that you like about yourself and ROCK the HELL out of them. Got great lips? WEAR RED lipstick-glossy! This is not for your online daters, this is for YOU to get excited about Yourself!

    #2- Almost everyone online is average looking and NOT super hot! Few people are.

    #3- I agree with datewithcleo. An abbreviated version of this online might prove to be useful. My favorite profiles are of guys who take the time to write as much about themselves as possible. It could be called, “What you need to know about me.” Then when they contact you, they can ask you specifics about you.
    Nicki Jay!

  5. Pingback: Overwhelmed while underwhelmed | 36 and Single

  6. Great blog! It is hard to meet people today. Some weeks, I go on a couple dates a week. And rarely do I meet someone that I want to see again. A lot of the guys are good looking. But I end up seeing through their bullshit on the first date and don’t go out with them again. I guess my point is, it’s hard to meet good people anymore, whether you do a lot of dating or a little dating. And like you, I pulled a guy from AFF to get my itch scratched too. So you’re not alone on that one sister:)

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