Why I gave up on online dating…

It wasn’t the crickets most of my messages elicited. It wasn’t the fact that 90% of the women’s profiles all said the same thing (Looking for a funny, smart, self confidant guy who makes me laugh!). It wasn’t the rampant self-effacing nature of online dating, even.

It was what online dating was turning me into.

Don’t even get me started on how online dating is SO not for the weak at heart. I’d find women that seemed amazingly compatible, read their profile a few times to get the most out of it, pen a note to them that stayed away from the creepy crap, then silence. Not even the little button at the bottom of e-mails that match.com sent that says “Send a gentle no thanks reply.” But I digress.

It took me months to perfect my profile. Months to see the opener letters that failed, diagnose their failures, ponder it, and rewrite it. For the first 2 months, I don’t think a single woman replied to anything I did.

Then I cut my profile down to a sliver of its former size. I stopped putting personal stuff in the first e-mails. I did what they said not to – I created an 80% chain opener e-mail. It was something to the effect of:

“[Mention something in common in her profile, and a random bit of it from later to prove I read it, which I actually did]. It looks like we may have some things in common – your profile piqued my attention. If mine does yours, well – you know how that works.”

Emotion-less. Boring to me in many ways.

And I’ll be darned if I didn’t nearly immediately get a significantly higher rate of reply. I got a ton more dates, and met a few really neat women.

This tells me one of a few things. Either most of the women on match.com were shallow, or I was only pursuing shallow women, or I’m terrible at online dating.

Either way, I had sacrificed what I believed in to get dates. I’d made my profile superficial. I’d made my opener what I felt like was the opener a not-quite-a-jerk would use. And it worked. But it made me feel crappy, and none of the women I dated ever made it past 2 months, and most not even past a few weeks.

So now I’m single, as I have been for about 4 months. And you know what? It’s better than sacrificing what I believe in to get a date.

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