Online Dating..The Not So Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I recently became single again (phew!) and decided to explore the online dating world. This was not my first rodeo as I have jumped on these services a couple other times. I admit to have even paid for a Match.com subscription a few years back. I don’t last long on dating sites because they get old pretty quick. I occasionally will try a site out to see if anything has changed, or to find a genuine old fashion lady that seeks a guy like me. I have a busy life, have an introverted nature about me that makes me a homebody, and on top of it all, I live in a pretty rural area, so my options of finding a significant other in the real world are limited. On the flip side, I am pretty content on being single. I have built a great life and did it all by myself. Of course now that I am in my 30’s, I have been getting this bug about having a family. I prefer not to do it the “new school” way whereby I knock someone up, pay child support and see my children every other weekend. I want an old fashion family, something that is dying away in the country.

You would think in today’s technological age that dating would be so much easier. We can jump on a site or launch an app and browse for a suitable mate. You can find out a lot about someone just by reading a profile (if it is well thought out). But there are so many faults with dating sites, or should I say the people on the sites themselves. Our society and the way people live their lives has made dating in general a difficult thing to master. I list just some of the issues with trying to find love in the online dating world.

People are trashy and even flaunt it

I may get some flak for this one, but I have found many people on dating sites have a lot of self-inflicted issues and come off as “trashy”. This of course does not mean everyone as I personally don’t consider myself to fit in this category. This is very relevant on free services such as POF and Tinder. I cannot tell you how many times I have viewed a profile of a thirty something (even some 20’s) that has kids from multiple men, never married, jobless, car less, drama filled life, and just overall trashy looking. I have never browsed the choices of men on these sites, but I am sure they are worse than the women. I have no issues with someone who has a child with someone that didn’t work out. I have always been willing to accept a child in a relationship. But many of these people simply pop children out from hookups (probably from the same dating site) and then complain how all men are the same. Then you have the ones that just look the part of trash. They take half naked pics, filled with tattoos and piercings, which ironically they seem to think makes them attractive. I am not judging all people that have tattoos and having them doesn’t make someone automatically trashy. But a tattoo on the breasts, piercings all over the face, and a half naked pose in front of a dirty mirror is pretty trashy. I have seen it many times on these sites. These people simply attract the same level of trash from the opposite sex and the pendulum keeps swinging for them.

People are too independent

On the flip side, those that are well off and established tend to be very independent. I fall victim to this issue. Who doesn’t want someone that has a career, established, intelligent, hardworking, and dedicated? It all sounds good, the only issue is a person with those features also tends to be independent. We tend to own our own homes and take care of ourselves. Generally we seek someone else like us and that is where failure begins before it even starts. Two people can hit it off well and even start dating. But if things get serious, who is moving with who? By that I mean, who is going to sell their house and everything they have to move with someone? I have met women online who have their own house, a sound career, and are independent. They want the same things I do – family, love, children, etc. But because they have worked hard for what they have, they do not want to give up what they built. Their only other option is to move someone in, and chances are anyone they meet that doesn’t have their own house and is established will be undesirable to them. Many years ago people started dating younger and built their lives together. Today, people date later in life and have each built their lives separately. I believe this to be the number one factor in why modern relationships just never take off. I have met people who I think would make a great wife and mother, but I never got anywhere with due to us having different goals in mind.

People are too picky

The first thing you see when you launch a dating app is the swipe feature. We have all heard about Tinder and their “swipe right for yes or left for no” feature. All dating apps have went to this approach and it is such a sad way of meeting someone. By judging just one picture of someone, you are making the decision right then and there if they are worthy of your time. I realize we all tend to judge someone the first time we meet them. I don’t care who you are, we all take looks into account. But someone’s personality is equally, if not more, important. A young lady who dresses provocatively, yet has the personality of a rock and the intelligence of a 3 year old will get far more “right swipes” than an intelligent individual who looks mediocre in her picture. This is the sad state of dating in the modern age. There are some dating services which try to avoid this kind of issue, but they tend to be very match focused and cost (way too much) money.

People are boring

I don’t think people really put much effort into online dating. Again, this is more relevant on the free services. They sign up, make a lame profile, and put their “hottest” picture up so that they can see how many swipes they receive. When two people become a “connection” you would think that they could hit it off and see where it goes. But generally, messages go ignored, especially by the “hot” girl that gets a ton of matches and subsequently a lot of messages. Many people simply say “Hey” and expect someone to respond to them. The conversational skills are very limited on dating sites it seems. No one puts the effort into writing a nice message, and if they do it usually goes ignored anyway. Paid sites try to “fix” this issue by focusing more on matching people better before they can connect. This of course limits the number of people you can message, and of course there is a premium for that kind of service.

People are jerks

Lastly, there is the situation that tends to arise even if two people connect and begin messaging each other. Talking over a messenger service tends to create a mixed bag of signals and the interpretation of what things are said to mean something the person did not intend. It begins right away, usually when people begin to tell the other person about themselves. If someone mentions their accomplishments or things they own, the other individual may take it as them bragging. If I were to say to someone “I am intelligent and have a good paying job, own my own home, and have  a nice car” or say “I am pretty good at basketball and playing guitar”, both may be interpreted as me bragging, when I am simply making conversation and telling the person about myself. This has created a world of jerks, conceded, and stuck up people. Most of the time the person may not be any of the above, but can come off as something they are not over virtual messaging. Indeed there are many of those kind of people on dating sites that are the same in person, but it is generally hard to tell from simple conversation. An aforementioned person from the boring category above is definitely a stuck up jerk for not responding to your messages. But someone who doesn’t respond because you say “hey” or because your profile makes you look like an idiot they do not desire, they are not jerks by any means. They simply want to engage a conversation with someone that shares similar traits and actually wants to talk to them. Of course all of this is difficult to interpret over messaging, which is why dating sites never work.

Conclusion

I could go on writing about other downsides of dating sites, but I would need to contact a book publisher first. I have since quit the online dating scene and have no desire to go back to it. I am pretty content on being single and will try other means of filling the void in my life. I understand others have tried more focused sites that they paid for and had luck. I am sure they work, but being in a rural areas limits my options on those kind of sites. If I lived in the Silicon Valley, then perhaps a site more tuned toward professionals would work best. I am also aware that many have had some luck on the free sites, but I find that to be a lot less common than those of us who have no luck. My advice to others who are in my boat, get off the dating sites and try to meet someone in person. That is my goal, no matter how challenging that may be.

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