Why I liked online dating and why you should, too

Isn't this picture actually rather creepy?
Isn't this picture actually rather creepy?

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$.

Why would this girl want to date a 55 year old guy? Come on!
Why would this girl want to date a 55 year old guy? Come on!

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.

Okay, I never had THIS experience!
Okay, I never had THIS experience!

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.

This is not me and my pictures were not THIS bad!
This is not me and my pictures were not THIS bad!

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!)

Not quite this innocent!
Not quite this innocent!

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.

We are not married, not engaged, but both committed to making our relationship work!
We are not married, not engaged, but both committed to making our relationship work!

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.

A good opportunity for conversation
A good opportunity for conversation

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.


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Most Helpful Girls

  • I enjoyed reading that :) although, women don’t have a lot of good choice these days... I feel... online dating has been tainted by a lot of riff raff, but I guess like any goal, you have to be willing to sift through all the trash to find the treasure...

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    • Exactly. You only need to find one good match!

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    • "women don’t have a lot of good choice these days."
      Excuse me, what?
      There are two options here.
      1) Men equally have little choice.
      2) You are sexist, and think women are on average inherently better than men on average.

      If it's the first, it's not worth mentioning.
      If it is the second - you are a misandrist. How do you plan to find a man if you hate them?

    • I don’t hate them and I’m not anything you claim me to be or want to put me into a box. You probably think I’m a feminist, which I’m not I get along better with men more than women. It’s how you read what I wrote and took offense to it. Well you aren’t me and not a lot of real people do online dating, so there isn’t too much choice. Secondly, the price comes into it, is it worth paying for? If you think the site is going to be full of duds, would you give them any of your dollars? Thirdly, I thought about a real dating introduction service but thought better of it when I found out a friend tried it and didn’t recommend it. Fourthly, when I see someone I know and want to avoid on the site, I don’t post a photo and hence do not go much further on the site.

      Even from OP’s post, there were a lot of women that weren’t right. It’s sometimes not a matter of us choosing, but our preconceived ideas of people strike them out. Also it’s getting the confidence and being in the zone to go on a first date. It’s like friend-zoning most guys/girls.

      But you’re not a female, so I’m not sure that you understand. If we refine that further, no 2 women are the same either. There is a lot of different types of people.

      Just saying it from my POV. You can have your opinion too, but you shouldn’t pick out one sentence and rip it apart. Look at the bigger picture and please be a humanist.

  • Our humor reflects our deepest emotions, you sounded sarcastic and angry because you were sarcastic and angry. Albeit on a subconscious level. This is pure psychology, so please don’t let your “old school” way of thinking be an obstacle between you and a better you. That woman hit the nail on the head, yet you still protected your ego by giving excuses and simply changing your profile instead of that aspect of yourself.
    As for your take, the only positivity of online dating is a larger pond to “fish” from. As for the downsides, aside from the mentioned above, i would like to add that online dating makes cowards of us. It’s like we’re creating this preliminary safe zone, where we flirt with others without actually making a move on them, since by being on the site means you are open to all messages from everyone. If you get used to that safe zone, and you find your best match in real life, who didn’t show any signs of attraction, trust me you’ll be very intimidated.

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    • Wrong. I was there and you weren't so I know what happened, and you don't.

      I actually reflected on why my profile sounded sarcastic. I didn't just move on and make excuses about being misconstrued. The fact that I am older does not mean that I am shallow.

      Online does not make a coward of everyone. The opportunity for cowardice is there. If you contact people and never move forward to the point of a face-to-face meeting, that is cowardice. I met a few people like that online and they drove me crazy. When I did online dating, my goal was always to have a date within a week on first contact. That is one reason why I was so successful; I was assertive in wanting to move forward. I am not intimidated by women and it appears that you have assumed a few things that are totally unfounded.

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    • No offense taken.

    • " It’s like we’re creating this preliminary safe zone, where we flirt with others without actually making a move on them, since by being on the site means you are open to all messages from everyone. If you get used to that safe zone, and you find your best match in real life, who didn’t show any signs of attraction, trust me you’ll be very intimidated."

      Good point. And who's fault is this? Men, or women? Women are usually the ones who call every single man "creepy" just for flirting with them, and this has resorted to a flock of men going to the internet to find women who won't say this. And for women, they are also forced to go on the internet, because men don't approach them, since women already labeled them as such.

Most Helpful Guys

  • I’ve never used online dating. I’ve looked through them a couple of times out of curiosity and it’s like digging in a garbage dumpster in my opinion. You might see one seemingly normal girl on the surface per 1000 girls on something like PoF. Some of the other sites like Match seem to have more serious profiles for women, but I’m leery of even trying them because of women’s behavior online. If you observe how women even on this site behave and it’s not even a dating site it’s so foreign from in person human interactions. They have some crazy collective delusions about men when they are talking to them online. We’re all creeps, axe murderers, rapists, catfish, thirsty, perverts, ugly, fat, losers, liars, cheaters, players, etc. Anything we say is a lie… Just facing the wall of unwarranted negativity is too much to fathom. If you toss scammers, catfish, gold diggers, prostitutes, emotional married cheaters, bots, etc. on top of that it just sounds like torture.

    I can walk through a check out line buying a six pack of beer or an article of clothing for work or pick up a pizza or go buy a sandwich or talk to girls on grocery store aisle or at a book store and get a real positive and flirty interaction most of the time without even trying. I think the biggest problem with meeting people on the street is compatibility. Unless you’re dating people from work it’s hard to meet people like you. It’s a lot easier in college to date people closer to your interests than after college. Picking up young women in every day life for causal stuff is fine, but meeting women that you can be serious about is a lot harder. I might run into nurses at the doctors office or a hospital or something like that but it’s not something I do often. It seems like online dating in theory could help with that, but in reality when you look through the pile of trash it doesn’t seem probable. Maybe taking a class a semester as non degree seeking or taking other hobby classes is a better answer, but that really up to the roll of the dice.

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    • Meeting available women becomes more difficult as you get older.

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    • that's true, I think getting involved with hobby classes and such to better yourself actually helps. It helps you improve yourself and maybe be more interesting, but also can come across women with similar interests and get dates perhaps. It's one of those things where I think you can't give up or feel defeated if don't meet women right off when getting involved with hobbies or women who aren't single or interested. It's just a matter of trying to keep busy and keep at it.

    • @brennanhuff Ex boyfriend blocked me yesterday and he NEVER blocked me bfore and what's strange is yesterday before he blocked me I was on a singles site where I also met him a while back and a guy messaged me but it awfully seemed like my ex with same age and height. He asked to ask then sent his phone to text I said I couldn’t already move on to texting, 30 minutes after I wrote that 9:30 am my ex blocked me on viber at 10 am and I know because his online status was no longer visible. When I tried calling the number the guy gave with s blocked number it was one of those made up free numbers from an app. Does it sound like it was him? My ex would also use apps like textfree to get a number form and text me. Why did he block me? Apparently I hurt him and I tried going back and he complained how I hurt him so he expected me to keep trying? I asked earlier December to meet and he couldn't because he had to take his dad the alterations... Does this mean despite this he still had feelings and hopes to get back together?

  • As an online dating coach you know that I know online dating obviously works. Does it work for everyone... of course not. You have given some really great advice here with a great story to boot! Nobody has to do it your way but you can at least say... like Frank.. I did it my way! (younger folk won't get that but I know you do!) And it worked. Nothing is given to you... you do have to work for it. Great read my friend.

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What Girls Said 13

  • I really enjoyed your myTake, thank you for actually providing something worth reading with no dick size or what does this mean questions, a welcome relief.
    You had some valid points I get why you liked online dating, I haven't had a reason to consider online dating, frankly I don't think I ever would.
    You put in an awful lot of time and work to get those first dates, not having that problem yet anyway might be my reasoning.
    Thanks again it was good reading!

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  • good take, its different for me because I have children.

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  • Interesting take. I'm glad you were able to find suitable partners this way, since it's very uncommon nowadays. A close person met her husband 15 years ago, so I'm not that biased against online dating. I just think it's hard because it's so easy to give an ideal image when you only know someone behind a screen. I still wouldn't use apps like Tinder because they're mostly used by people who are looking for hookups.

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  • This was a really great take to read, wish you both all the best

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  • Beautifully stated. But I hate online dating I'm the pen pal woman. I guess I dont like putting in energy getting dressed to meet a man who dont offer to take me out on a date and when they do they stand me up. Like why even suggest it. There can be decent guys on there but I'm easily turned off if they cheap. One man fussed about a 32.00 dildo 9 inches big. And kept bringing up his dick. But u can't even get me a dildo something I really want. Needless to say I stopped talking to him. That's such a turn off. I dont like being told no.

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  • Mmmm... nahhh... no thanks, I’m good ☺️👍🏾

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  • Good story 💕

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  • Yeah, no.
    This didn’t change my mind at all.

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  • Why you liked online dating and why I should, too

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  • Nice one... Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  • Was a good read yes

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  • Hell no lol 😂 no one would show up

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  • I mean I did find the person I love online but I ruined it ig :/
    I mean for a guy what does it mean when he talks to you only sometimes and when i ask if I ruined it he ignores? Does it mean no or let me think?

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What Guys Said 25

  • Excellent Take, and I thought your advice on not sounding in any way angry was particularly useful as that is a huge turn-off.

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  • Excellent arguments, I really enjoyed reading this myTake.

    I admit I have my prejudices regarding online dating and I'd have my qualms in trying it, but your writing shed light on some things and is making me rethink some of my stances.

    Naturally now I wouldn't try because I'm happy with my partner 🙂.

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  • I've gotten advice from women and made the profile better. I've had matches, I've gotten messages on bumble and such. But stats show only 25% of women meet up. That doesn't mean anything though as that's just a meet up, not 2nd or 3rd date. I've also generally been told to be cute, or handsome or goodlooking by decent number or attractive women too. Online dating is tougher than irl, because more women are bombarded be messages from guys, many are bored or use to for the ego stroke and many still don't want to meet a guy in person. Don't forget that's risky for women to meet a guy from online, so many won't want to even if they might like the guy. Even if you ask to meet for coffee in the city in afternoon or day time, it's tough to get all that work. You may see more women on the app to message to. But meeting women? You're more likely to get dates irl than online dating. If that was the case, I wouldn't have struggled to get a date, when I've seem to get a match from a woman each week.

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    • That's the thing that worked for you only getting with few women because you wanted a wife. If you want to meet some women, get dates and some experience before trying to settle down. Online dating would be a very slow process for that.

  • Stay away from online dating. It's no good and can ruin your life. The best thing to do is ask friends and acquaintances if they know someone who might fit your type. Good luck.

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    • Actually, I have had very good results with online dating. If I was not currently in a relationship, I would return to POF.

  • I think it is much different at your age then it is for the younger generations. People closer to your age are generally 100% looking for other people to legitimately spend their time with and form lasting relationships as your 'young wild and reckless days' are over, where as for millennial's it is something completely different.

    It seems that a majority of female profiles are of woman;
    - Are trying to get more Instagram followers and get validation because they post alluring pictures and get every single male on the website to like them, with little interest in actually meeting someone (many have boyfriends).
    - Are single mothers who truthfully can not give you the same amount of their love and energy that they do to their child (I speak from personal experience on this, from a mother I meet in person. I can not blame the mothers, but I also can not date any because of this).
    - Are actually just looking for hot men to bang (Guys are 100% guilty of this as well) and will not match with you unless you look like a model.
    - Are young and inexperienced and do not know what they are looking for and are unwilling to actually meet with anyone they meet online.

    It may also seems that a majority of males who use online dating in my age group are only looking for easy quick sex. (They are far better off going to a strip club but that's not what I'm here to discuss).

    There was a reddit experiment where a guy made a fake profile of a model and of an 'average' guy and the model got like 400 messages in a week (only 2 of them had called out the fakeness of the model), and the 'average' guy got like 4 messages in 3 months. (Step 1: Be hot, Step 2: Don't be not hot).

    Overall for the millennial age group I do not think that online dating is very effective. I've had a hand few of dates last year from online dating but none of them lead to anything. I (and believe almost any other young man) can do much better just talking to and meeting young women out and about doing daily activities and routines.

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    • @iliamilik I have no clue and this doesn't relate to my post. Try making a new post in the relationship section.

  • I've had female acquaintances look at my profile, and their recommendations usually were more reflective of their tastes than mine, since their suggested changes just ignored both what I like and what I'm looking for. Granted these were often just people I'd been on Yahoo groups for a while. One of them, possibly the same one who rewrote my profile in a way that was entirely not me, lavished praise on a profile where this guy kept going on about his "absolutely perfect teeth."

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    • Yes, the person reviewing your profile doesn't need to rewrite it for you, but just give you some feedback on the impression they had after reading your profile.

  • Sounds like you figured out how to capture attention. It's surely not by creating a 'good' profile - it has to be edgy to capture their attention and emotions.

    Did you see my 'take on this subject?

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    • Yes, I read it. In your Take, the poster sounds quite psycho, and I think I may have been married to her a few decades ago!

      There are people on dating sites who are crazy, unabashed gold diggers, and women who apparently don't have any mirrors in their house. At one time, I saved a few as proof that ugly has no limits!

    • LOL... made me laugh.

      The depths women will go to for some validation and attention is mind boggling. Sooo desperate, and shallow.

    • Vanity, woman be thy name!

  • Women treat online dating like shopping for a hand bag.. not an enjoyable experience for the "hand bag".

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    • That was not my experience. I met a few as you described, but I met many more who were sincere women looking for a partner.

    • man that is exceptionally good fortune on your part.

      The ones I've met who are not like that were totally crazy or fucked up. With only 1 exception to all this and I met a lot of women form the internet over the years I spent internet dating.

  • Good that it worked for you!
    No offense, but i prefer to meet someone irl. Online dating is just too much of a sausagefest with 100 guys trying to get the attention of 1 woman.

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    • Perhaps that is what online dating is like when you are 23 years old. Ir has not been like that for me.

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    • I dont know, it may be different for different demographics, but whatever app or site i tried out it was always like this. Too many men and much too few women. Kinda defeats the purpose for me because online dating is supposed to make it easier, or at least more convenient.

      When i approach a woman directly amd talk at least there is a conversation and a chance to build rapport.
      Online, because of the sheer amount of men, our value declines amd they have the option to just ignore or swipe.
      Tinder is a bit different, but too many people are in it for hookups rather than dating, and depending on your area there may be prostitutes and such on, so i dont really use it.

    • Tinder really isn't any easier unless you really lower your standards. Even if looking for hook ups, women match here and there but to actually meet for anything, it's no better than bumble or other sites.

  • Glad it's worked out for you - I know several people who have done well with it. Unfortunately I am not one of them. I've sent many dozens of messages, and gotten few dates (none recently). All of them were one-date deals; there generally was mutual disinterest.

    It would be nice if there was a site whose primary concern wasn't maximizing profit.

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  • Online dating is great.. if you're okay with being judged solely based on your looks and wealth :)

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  • You make some great points, and I've tried almost everything you've done for profile tips. Whenever I send a message, I write a lot by default, and I make sure to read every profile before I send a message. I'm also nosy, and I've been complimented by people for actually reading messages.

    Unfortunately, I've had no luck with dating at all, whether it be real life, or online. I've tried Plentyoffish. com, Okcupid. com, and even dating applications such as Tinder, Bumble, and Zoosk. I've even tried Facebook, and other social networking websites. No matter what, I've had no luck. I've messaged countless women on POF, and Okcupid, and I've received a select few messages from these women which would quickly end in conversation.

    On Tinder, and Bumble, I rarely get matches, and when I've gotten matches, they haven't gotten anywhere.

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  • I am not a MGTOW but I don't find online relationships serious. I met my ex-girlfriend online and we were long-distance. It was hard for us because I am a student and she was a drop out. So there was no income of both of us. And travelling isn't cheap anyways. You need to see that person frequently. We couldn't even see each other in real life. It only lasted 3 weeks to be together for us.

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    • Those are problems associated with being in a LDR. I don't recommend starting a relationship as an LDR for anyone. When I did online dating, my geographical limit was about 75 miles. The idea of online dating is not to have an online relationship but to immediately meet face-to-face and have a real relationship.

    • In Turkey, it's hard to have an online relationships, in my opinion. I don't think there are many girls who would want to have an online relationships in Turkey.

  • i met my wife on tinder so you know , she was even afraid to come to a date when we first got a match but she did

    but it turned out we are copies of each other male and female
    online dating is sper fun because at least u can talk for like 1,2,3 days and "check" if the person is really interrested or not before asking out

    if u do not have intellectual connection its gotta fail miserably for sure i know it because looks can only go so far like 2,3 months and sex i had this 2 times already and it was a mistake

    well not i got a wife u learn a lot from bad relationships , and after all you will met the right person but u gotta help the luck!!!

    its not gonna come itself by mirracle , create dating profile on tinder or whatever , talk to the guys , girls , if u got a match it means you already both like each other looks - thats good start

    then you gotta see the intellectual level and then the problems starts :D , you will see its worth it :D

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  • Brilliant take! Very well written. Thanks for laying on some wisdom!

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  • Eh. It'd be hard to find somebody I'm compatable with online or offline.

    I'm glad it worked for you though.

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  • Eh. I'll stick with meeting in person. Props to you though 👍

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  • Honestly been through all of this shit. And still hate the other gender of our species.

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  • Excellently written! Bravo!

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  • Nope, still hate it.

    Good take though.

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  • Good myTake 👍

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  • There is definitely a right and wrong way to it.

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  • Now I like online dating

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  • I find a lot of women will read into things (not necessarily true) and make assumptions no matter what you say or do to your profile. That's been my experience anyway. I think they look for any and all reasons to NOT want to contact you, and go with it, no matter how small (example pictures not having fun... so what if they are "formal" looking? That MUST mean I'm not fun right? Of course it does). If you had luck, awesome, I've found it nothing but a complete waste of time. And certainly not worth ALL the effort and work, for that hopes that maybe someone will like it (meaning, if it's not "perfect", they won't give you the time of day - yet women's profiles can be just as bad as ours, often worse, but that's ok because they are women).

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  • Online dating sucks.
    Maybe it’s because you have good looks or money but if you don’t have either be prepared for a very dry inbox.

    It especially difficult for men of different ethnicities.
    Men of color do not do as well as white men.
    Have you not red the studies on dating and race!

    Lastly online dating has made many women very picky.
    Why because they have hundreds of Aholes filing a girls inbox with dm’s.

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    • Attitude translates into failure.

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    • Hey old man I get D online while in person I am a beast.

      It all translate into how women are more picky online. I wonder what kinda women you’re getting.

      Are you their sugar daddy?

    • Far from a sugar daddy!

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