When I was younger, I was advanced academically and, therefore, much younger than my classmates. My social development suffered. By the time that I was 19, I dated occasionally but not frequently. As I developed in my 20’s, I began to develop more confidence and I dated more than previously, but I was still not the whirling dervish of the dating world. I eventually met my first ex-wife and settled into a decades' long commitment to a miserable marriage.
In 2007, I was once again a single man and ready to date. I had developed much more self-confidence and felt that I could be more successful with finding a good partner for a long term relationship. Unfortunately, I knew only a few women who were reasonably near my age and who were single and none of them were particularly appealing to me.
I signed up with match.com, Plenty Of Fish, and 4Marks (a now defunct Catholic dating site; no, I am not Catholic, but relate well to Catholics.) I soon had made contact with a few women and began to experience online dating.
I experienced all of the down sides of online dating. I was contacted by scammers with beautiful pictures and they promised love, devotion, and passionate sex if I could help them to emigrate to the U$.
Many of the profiles were fake or inactive users who, unbeknownst to me, would never respond to the thoughtfully worded messages that I sent. I messaged women who seemed to want a pen pal but they never wanted to meet in person. I had first dates with women who were 10 years older than the age stated in their profile. Some of them were using pictures taken 50 pounds ago.
Sometimes, I tried reaching out to a female who seemed like a very good match for me and I was summarily rebuffed: “Thanks for your interest but I don’t think we would be a match. Good luck!” I was not discouraged. I responded back to one user who seemed like a nice lady and I said, “I understand you don’t want to meet and I accept that is your decision, but, could you do me a favor. Could you tell me what impression my profile made on you?”
Fortunately for me, she responded. She said that my profile sounded sarcastic and angry and she pointed out a few examples. She also pointed out that all of my pictures were rather formal and none looked like I was having fun.
I was shocked but I swallowed my pride, thanked her for her response, and considered what she said. Things that I had inserted in my profile for humor actually sounded angry and sarcastic and I had been totally unaware that I was being perceived that way. I realized that women, of course, see things differently and I should not have been surprised that her perception of my profile was different from my perception.
Instead of getting angry at her, or women in general, I made some changes to my profile. Within a few weeks, I started having a bit more success with getting first dates and ladies who I most hoped would respond began to respond. I continued revising my profile, trying to be humorous while avoiding sarcasm or anything that might seem to be angry, and I has some pictures taken of me in casual settings.
I also adopted a strategy based on simple statistics. The more messages I sent (personalized messages, not canned “Hey, hit me up! messages,) the more likely I would be to get a response. And I realized that I only needed one or two responses to have a first date almost every weekend.
While all of this led to greater success with online dating, you must understand that “success” simply means having more first meetings. It does not mean that the first date would lead to a relationship. What happens after that first in-person “hello” is not shaped in any way by the fact that you met online. Your comfort and confidence with dating took over at that point and, for an online meeting. the end of the first date was just like the end of any other first date. “Janet, I really enjoyed myself tonight and I hope I’ll see you again soon.” And, if the mood seemed right and I perceived the right body language from her, I would lean forward and give her a very simple good night kiss (not a tonsil exam!)
Online dating is simply a means of meeting people you otherwise would not have met. Where can I go and meet 20 women in one evening, ask them questions about their family history, education, occupation, habits, etc. and then ask one for a date?
In 2007-2008, I had first meetings with at least 15 women and most of them were "one and done's." However, I dated a few of them for several months each and then met the next future Mrs. OlderAndWiser. Our marriage only lasted 4 years but its failure was not related to the fact that we met online.
In 2015, I again had first meetings with about 10 women before I met a lady who I dated for two years. I broke up with her because, even though she was willing to be monogamous with me the rest of my life, she did not love me. I used online dating for a third time and again had 13 first dates before meeting my current partner. We are living together and committed to a lifelong monogamous relationship.
If you haven’t had success with online dating, it is easy to say that online dating sucks! It is easy to say that “all women are gold diggers” or “men only want sex.” If you want, you can go join the MGTOW crowd and get accustomed to making your own coffee every morning for the rest of your life. But if you can get around your ego throwing a temper tantrum, if you can say to yourself, “let’s fix this problem instead of throwing a hissyfit,” then you can probably find success with online dating.
My first dates were probably different from your first dates; dinner at a very nice restaurant and perhaps a drink in an adjoining lounge after dinner. Yes, I am older and I am old school. I don’t know what online dating is like for younger users but I do know that statistics show than many young married couples met online, so it obviously works for some people.
If you want an excuse to be mad at the other half of the species, that is your choice to make. But if you want to be dating, want to find a long term partner, and you are tired of hanging out with your same sex friends on Friday and Saturday nights, you should try online dating
Choose your online site carefully. Read reviews. Ask friends. Some sites are notorious hook up sites, others have more scammers, some have more serious minded people. Don’t rely on Tinder to find your future spouse; it might happen but it would be more likely on other sites.
Write a profile and have an opposite sex friend review it and give you some feedback. Understand that a profile is all about making a good first impression and use every tool that you can to accomplish that result. Have some pictures taken by someone who knows how to use a camera. Look your best for your photos. Be honest in your profile. Don’t say you love to go to the beach if you only do that once every 3 years.
It has worked for me and it can work for you but you must be willing to work at it, and if you make the effort, work smart! The partner you meet online may be the one who changes your life forever.