I always took the time to craft an interesting written online dating profile. However, that whole process made me spend far too much time thinking about myself and my appearance. I also had a hunch that time was wasted, and today I was confirmed in that suspicion. It turns out that people only really look at the photo.
“OKCupid ran profiles with pictures and no profile text for half of its test subjects, and vice versa for the rest. The results showed that people responded solely to the pictures. For potential daters, Mr Rudder said that “your actual words are worth… almost nothing” BBC News.
That is disappointing, but I try to be a realist. I’m not likely to be a winner in the beauty pageant that is online dating, so I’m not even going to try. Even if it were not a beauty contest, online dating was not working well for me. Don’t get me wrong; I met several nice men, and I enjoyed three relationships that lasted about three months. (Threes are significant in the dating world. Three hours, three dates, and three months are all key milestones at which decisions are made.) However, the expense of time and effort was not worth the small amount of reward in the form of enjoyable companionship.
A few months ago, for the nth time, I gave up online dating. Now I’m enjoying not checking the dating website once or twice a day to see if anyone has noticed my profile. I’m enjoying not reading dozens of profiles hoping to read something that sparks my interest. Mostly, though, I’m enjoying not wondering what potential dates might think of me.
In these last few months I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the dates I’ve had and the reasons why none of these meet-ups, friendships, or relationships turned into a long-term partnership. Basically, it’s not them. It’s me. At first, I was excited to be dating and happy to be asked out by anyone. I was eager to form a new relationship and willing to overlook all sorts of shortcomings. The more time I spent dating, though, the more likely I was to find reasons to find someone unsuitable as a partner. As time went by, I started to become more alert to troubling behaviours.
Admittedly, I was asking these same men to put up with my own imperfections, but in my mind they are minor, and I am worth it. Probably they all felt the same way about themselves. What strikes me now, though, is that over time the reasons to reject a person increased, and the justifications for giving up my lovely solo lifestyle became fewer and fewer.
I think I wanted to fall in love the way you do when you are young and indestructible. But, I’m old and destructible, so I’ve become more cautious. And fussy. Yes, I’m fussy. I straighten pictures and I keep old receipts. I organized my CDs alphabetically and I once even arranged the clothes in my closet by colour. So, it’s not surprising online dating wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t date fussy, old, destructible, cautious people either. We have nothing in common.
I tried online dating several years ago, and had similar results.
It’s pretty clear that the dating sites stay in the business the more dissatisfied daters are. Yes, that’s right. The more dissatisfied daters are, the more likely they’ll go back online and look for the next prince/princess, and the less likely they’ll choose to stick it out through the first rough patch.
At least you’re upfront about your unique choices. Oh, did you really alphabetize your CDs and color-sort your closet, or just make that up for your wonderful blog?
Well, I hope it’s all going as you like.
They keep trying to reel me back in! I get emails telling me that someone is interested in me, even though I haven’t had an active profile in a long time. It’s tempting to take a look, but less so as time goes on.
Yes, I really did alphabetize my CDs and color-sort my closet. I’ve since disposed of my CDs and the closet is no longer color-sorted, so I am not irredeemably nit-picky.
Anne — you are so right! If I look honestly at myself and my “lovely solo lifestyle” (the phrase I use in my private language is “penetrate my perfect solitude”) I realize that no person of quality or discernment would be attracted by the first impression given. Yet I’ve become so settled in my ways that I dislike the same thing in others my age. However, you write so well and are obviously a Reader, which sets you apart from most folks, so I wish you lived next door, so we could be friends and have conversations.
Thank you for the positive feedback, John. Yes, it would be lovely if we could chat over the garden fence. In the absence of that possibility, I’m happy to read your thoughts here.
Thanks for your kind words.