Why I’ll Never Use An Online Dating Service
And it’s not because I don’t understand technology — it’s because I do.
A little over two years ago, my husband moved out of our house and into an apartment. For the first year after he left, I had no interest in dating anyone. Wise advice abounds all over the Internet and in self-help books about how one should take a break from relationships after a significant one ends. I followed the suggested timeline and spent the first year figuring out who I am beyond the titles of mom/sister/daughter/friend, what I want from life, where I want to go, what kinds of things I want to do and see, and where to go from here.
At the one year mark, though, I began feeling the inner stirrings of interest in the opposite sex. I can pinpoint the exact moment when I knew I was ready. I was getting gas for my car and when I looked up, there was this perfectly lovely stranger fueling his car, and I thought, “Well, he looks nice. I wonder if he’s married,” and then took a quick gander at his ring finger.
From that brief moment at the gas pump, I began entertaining the idea of dipping a toe into the shallow end of the dating pool — nothing too drastic, just coffee, and then WHAM! COVID19 hit. What started as a careful release from my self-imposed cocoon became a reluctant crawl back into isolation with the rest of the world.
Today I feel like it’s past time to get out and meet someone new. I’ve had my first vaccine and am scheduled for the second one in a few days. Pretty soon I hope to be less reluctant to share air space with a stranger but the biggest issue appears to be how I will meet someone.
One thing for sure is I won’t be utilizing any dating apps.
Why I Hate Dating Apps
Each day, millions of singles are bombarded by offers from dating websites like Our Time, Match, Tinder, etc. Full disclosure: I once signed up for Match for a day or two when they had a free weekend for ‘just looking,’ and I quickly shut that bad boy down. I barely had a profile pic up and I received over a dozen inquiries in less than an hour. The men who responded had only my photo to respond to because I hadn’t written much of anything.
I felt like a guppy in a sea of sharks. They smelled blood and circled quickly for the kill. Yikes. No thanks.
If the men are sending a text to me, doesn’t it make sense that they’re sending out inquiries to potentially dozens of other women? Love is a numbers game, after all.
The biggest problem I have with dating apps (besides the numbers game referenced above) is that I can only go by what the potential date writes about himself and what pictures he shares. I have read some of the most amazing bios but that only made me wonder if this guy is so amazing, why is he still available? I guess many could ask the same question of me (haha, I just accidentally called myself an amazing catch). But I know why I’m single after two years of being separated: I’m scared to go out into the world after being married for over 25 years. I hated dating when I was young and I feel like I’ll hate it even more all these years later. The rules have drastically changed and I need an updated manual stat!
I don’t know if this exists or not, but maybe some of these dating apps could allow you to get recommendations from the guy’s friends. You have to get references for schools and jobs, so why not for a lifetime partner?
A friend of mine has been on every single dating app despite having many horrendous experiences. An afternoon lunch date comes immediately to mind. Brenda and her man friend were done with the meal and talking in the parking lot prior to heading their separate ways. Brenda thought he might ask her for a second date because the first one had gone so well; however, what he said gutted her for months (and took her off dating sites for a while). The guy looked at her and shared, “When you lose about 20–30 pounds, give me a call. I had fun.” This was uttered by a guy with a size 34 waist below his enormous beer belly. And this was said to a person who had lost, and maintained for years, a 100+ pound weight loss. Beer Belly Boy had no qualms sharing his hesitation about a second date, and no problem hurting her feelings. Who does that? Men from dating apps apparently!
My weight has fluctuated over the years and the times when it’s gone beyond where I’m comfortable, I’ve been a bit sensitive to comments about it. I cannot imagine feeling only iffy about my appearance, putting myself out there, and having some stranger proclaim that I’m not desirable until I’ve lost some weight. It’s the stuff of nightmares.
Despite being in her 60’s, another dating site visitor and friend, says that she got so many dick pics from so many men that she couldn’t keep count. Imagine getting a dick pic from a grandpa! Yuck, ew…I asked her if she had requested the private pics from the potential datees and she said no.
From Brenda I heard the same thing and she showed me proof (something I can never unsee — oh!). At this point in my life, I KNOW what a penis looks like and truthfully don’t need to see a stranger’s dick unless and until I want to see it in person during a sexual act. Why do men feel the need to send dick pics? Is it because there’s really nothing else they can share? Give me a pic of a flower, a tree, or a man named Dick but don’t ever send me a photo of your phallus.
My daughter recently visited from a neighboring state. I overheard her giving advice to her friend who was sobbing. My daughter’s friend had gotten all gussied up for an upcoming date she had been looking forward to for well over a month or two. She and the guy had been talking to each other daily via text, FaceTime, Messenger, etc., and Britt felt they had a real connection.
She got her nails done, curled her hair, bought a new dress and new shoes, and of course shaved everything. She made dinner and had sought expert advice about what kind of good wine to buy. In other words, she spent time, effort, and megabucks on a date she expected to be incredible. Ten minutes before he was supposed to show up, he texted her and canceled, and then blocked her on all social media and the dating app. WTF?
This wasn’t the first time Britt’s been canceled on at the last second. She’s young, she’s cute, she’s outgoing, she’s fun, and yet these guys felt it was ok to not only inconvenience Britt but also make her feel as badly about herself as possible.
If a young and beautiful Britt can’t get some guy to show up, how will someone like me get someone to show up before my flagging self-esteem takes an even bigger hit.
How I Hope to Meet The One
I’d love to meet a man the old-fashioned way: we lock eyes from across the crowded outdoor party where he knows a fair number of the guests. He starts making his way toward me and stops to greet various friends along his path. He schmoozes a few others, and he might even give an authentic quick hug to a person he hasn’t seen in a while, but he has a goal in mind: meeting me.
Sure, it sounds like a Harlequin romance novel, but at least I know what I want. I want to see my potential future date in a natural environment to witness how he treats others and how people react to him. If my date were a chicken, I’d want him to be free-range. No bios full of stretched truths, no doctored photos, and no ability to gloss over a multitude of sins — just the man as he is in the flesh heading my way.
Finding love on a dating site is possible, of course, but it’s not for me. I retain the right to change my mind, however, because between COVID, my current age, and the results of the last election, my prospects have dwindled precipitously close to zero.
All the names of the dating app friends have been changed to protect their identity and prevent even more humiliation.