Dating Sites

One of the girls I follow on IG has been posting about needing to meet someone. (She lives far away, so I’m out of the question.) She’s probably been single for a whole week or something and is having a crisis about it. However, she posted about a dating site/app I hadn’t previously known, intended for a narrow class of people, a class that includes me, and it got me thinking, or rather daydreaming.

The daydream is as follows: I overcome my hatred of dating sites, and I actually find someone who I am interested in and who is interested in me. (It’s this girl in my fantasy, even though I know it cannot happen.) I subject myself to the tortures of dating, I’m on my game, she’s not a disaster, and we hit it off. This continues, and I strategize about how I will communicate with her toward being a couple. Then I consider all of my deeply entrenched bachelor ways that will change, and how I will happily accept those losses in trade for not being alone anymore.

And then I remember all my other attempts to use dating sites. They don’t work for me (obviously).

First I have to make a profile. I have to write something about myself, and maybe a little about what I want out of a relationship. Honesty and openness doesn’t work here, not because there’s anything wrong with me, but because honesty and openness is so extremely unusual that it sets off alarm bells. I have to answer a bunch of categorical questions, and I feel judged by them, because so many don’t really apply. My age? My height? My education (even though I am more intelligent, learned, and skilled than most “educated” people). My income (which is impressive, but seems unlikely given my education).

Then do I sit back and let the candidates come to me? Oh, no. Because even on a dating site, women feel constrained against to not make the first move. The exceptions, of course, are the scammers and the desperate women.

The scammers are plenty. Frequently, after I’ve paid money to join, and then paid more money to be upsold the basic functions of a dating site, I find that there are no real women, just fake profiles. They are easy to spot, though. They are 18-24 years old, gorgeous, have a profile that says nothing about themselves, and suggest right away that they are interested in men my age, for no-strings sex. It’s frequently obvious that they haven’t read my profile.

(The scammers want my email address, to direct my browser to some hack site, or simply money.)

I don’t want to speak ill of the desperate women, but they are what they are, and I’m not interested in them either.

Then assuming there are any real women on the site, if I find some that aren’t hideous, there’s a long list of disqualifiers. You can argue that this is a significant reason I’m still alone, and you’re not wrong, but I just can’t imagine being happy with someone who has these issues.

So then what? I have to contact them, because they won’t contact me. Form letters are no good. One word messages are no good. I end up writing individually crafted messages based on what I’ve read in their profiles (being obsessive about this is also no good). Again, openness and honesty is still no good. It’s a significant amount of effort, and it’s all wasted, because …

Maybe 10% of the people I contact will respond. 7% of them will be scammers I hadn’t managed to weed out previously. The other 3% will apologize and inform me that they don’t date people like me.

After a week or two of obsessing over the site, I will have squeezed every drop of possibility out of it, with nothing to show for it. My little spark of hope will be fully trampled, and I will be sufficiently depressed to stay away from dating sites for another year or two.

FB has been advertising their dating app to me. They do this by showing photos of me, captioned with my age. That probably works better for people whose age isn’t a liability.