The Virtual Scene: What I have learnt about online dating

I want to find “the one” the right man to have a long term relationship with which will hopefully lead to marriage one day. To do this, I have to put myself out there on the dating scene. Unfortunately people don’t meet at dances, socials, debutante balls or lock eyes at each other from across the room anymore, these days one of the most popular ways to meet someone is online.

I’ve been online dating on and off for the last four years and over the years I have learnt a hell of a lot. I have learnt that despite its medium, online dating is pretty much the same as dating in the real world—I have to put myself out there to be noticed, I have to fend off some guys who won’t take no for answer, some guys expect me to like them even though they can’t be bothered telling me anything about themselves, and some guys who are closer to my father’s age if not my father’s age will approach me, thinking for some insane reason that I would want to date them. I also learnt that there are no guarantees, you are bound to have some failures and sometimes you can be lucky and have some success.

With online dating you have to set up a profile which will often involve putting up a picture of yourself, writing a short blurb about yourself which should include what kind of person you are looking for and filling out a checklist about who you are and what your ideal partner criteria is. This checklist often includes height, body type, smoker status, whether you drink, whether you want children, pets, etc. Every member has to do this, I personally cannot stand it when I am approached by guys that don’t bother to fill out their profile properly because how am I suppose to like someone who doesn’t tell me anything about themselves? I turn them down.

Some guys unfortunately won’t accept that you have turned them down, it is not too dissimilar to when creepy guys keep approaching you or are persistent at pubs and clubs. The good thing about the online dating world is that if you find yourself in this situation, you can block them so that they can’t view your profile or contact you again. I had to do this on two occasions when two guys kept approaching me and even sent me an email on this dating site after I turned them down twice. There is a fine line between persistence and harassment.

It never ceases to amaze me that men who are either twice my age, closer to my father’s age than my own, the same age as my father or even older than my father will approach me, thinking that I will go out with them. It also never ceases to amaze me that these men who only want to date younger women have a maximum age on the woman that they want to date and it is usually younger than their own age. One example I recently came across was a 39 year old man who’s ideal partner criteria was women from the ages of 18 to 36 years old.  I don’t understand how older men don’t think that it is creepy. Some women like to date older men and that’s fine for them, but me personally I like to date men my own age. For some reason older men find me appealing, in the real world I’ve had 40 to 70 year olds hit on me.

I have had four failures in my online dating experience—I talked to four guys without meeting them. Ray turned out to be a little creepy and inappropriate with some of the things he would say, Stephen was just rude and unresponsive, Tom I could never put my finger on but something wasn’t right about him and Jeremy seemed uninterested. It was a bit of a bummer that it didn’t work out, but it was for the best, it wasn’t meant to be.

My one only success so far was with Patrick, we talked online for two months before meeting in person and we ended up dating for six months. We met in person on our university campus and our relationship blossomed from there, unfortunately it didn’t work out, but I don’t regret it. My relationship with him was my first long-term relationship.

Whether I meet “the one” through online dating remains to be seen, that being said I highly recommend it. My advice is to pick a username that doesn’t reveal your identity and not to reveal your last name until you are close to meeting in person or until you meet in person, with Patrick we found out each other’s last names when we met in person. I also recommend trusting your gut instincts both when you approach someone and when someone approaches you. If someone approaches you and you’re not interested in them remember to use email etiquette and let them know. If someone is taking no for answer or is contacting you aggressively, block or report them to the site administrators and finally remember to relax and have fun.


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