How Do Failures in Online Dating Affect Male Self-Esteem?

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While it is often the subject of jokes, male self-esteem is just as vulnerable to negativity as women. Low self-esteem is a big problem, and it is exacerbated by failures that happen on dating sites.

Factors and Situations on Dating Sites That Negatively Impact Male Self-Esteem

There are several different factors on dating sites that can negatively impact male self-esteem. Of course, the first thing that men might see is that nobody is interested in their profile. They aren’t seeing any visitors and they aren’t getting any messages in their inbox. Part of that problem stems from the fact that many guys have been raised to believe that women should flock to them. The reality is that the dating game needs to be played from both sides. You have to put yourself out there in order for people to get to know you, and then see where your relationships go. Another reason that men suffer doubts while on dating sites is if they get ghosted. Unfortunately, that is part of life in the modern day. There are so many people that rather than tell someone they aren’t interested; women and men just stop talking altogether. This can be painful for sure.

The Psychological Aspect of Failure on Male Self-Esteem

Men in many parts of the world are conditioned since birth to have a desire to succeed. If they aren’t successful at whatever they try, then they are unworthy failures in the eyes of their peers. That is a damaging mentality, but when they try and fail at romance, it can be devastating. Not only are they being told that they aren’t worthy by a mate, but they’re also failing at what could be the most important part of life.

Composing Male Self-Esteem

So, with so many pitfalls, how do you insulate your self-esteem against these issues? First and foremost, you have to realize that your self-worth is not tied to the perceptions that others have of you. That means you don’t have to worry if not everyone likes you. Another thing to realize is that modern dating is a lot different from what you may be used to. After all, the impersonal nature of online and ability to eschew anyone you want allows people to be needlessly flippant if not downright cruel. So, make sure you are looking at the right sites that have serious people looking for relationships. If there is a young crowd online, then you probably want something else. Fewer rejections and more conversations, even if they aren’t completely romance, will lead to better outcomes.

How to Rebuild After Failure

Now, even if you are on the best site, there is no guarantee that you won’t face any rejections. In fact, you are going to have to learn how to fail with grace. Instead of getting angry at someone rejecting your advances, simply move on. There are far too many people seeking a match to get upset over the failure of a single one. So, when you do face failure, how do you rebuild? The simple answer is to get right back out there and try again. You are only going to succeed after you put in the effort and find an amenable person. Also, you have to realize that it’s not always a problem with you that is causing the issue. Sometimes, you meet the wrong person at the wrong time. Pick yourself up, change your attitude to be positive, and get back in there.

It’s clear that building and maintaining self-esteem is an important part of dating for most men. It can be built through success and diminished through failure. However, by showing men that rejection is a natural part of the dating process, they can begin to recover from the hurt that they feel during poor dating outcomes. All in all, men need to remember that their self-worth isn’t completely contingent on the feelings that others bear towards them, only how they deal with the issues they face.

How Do Failures in Online Dating Affect Male Self-Esteem?
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Most Helpful Girls

  • Anonymous
    Online dating is not good for men. It only benefits those who are very attractive. I studied male and female sexuality, male and female desire works in very different ways. Men prefer pornography and women prefer erotica. The difference is that erotica evokes desire and pornography releases it. Guys are ready to go when they see a girl in stripper heels and a thong, even if they’ve never met her before. An anonymous guy in a G string usually doesn’t have the same effect on women. It will most likely send her running, no matter how hot he is. But put him in a well tailored suit and her reaction will be the opposite.

    So online dating is really not favourable for men. Women aren't supposed to be attracted to anice image. Women are attracted to status and power. (don't try to disagree with me okay, I have a degree on this). On a dating profile, how are you supposed to convey that without seeming like a creep? It's really hard. I don't really have any advice. Other than there truly is a male and female attractiveness differential, and for online dating it doesn't work in your favour unless you're the top 10% of attractiveness. If you're not, it will do you much better to stop using the dating profiles that are destroying your confidence and get out there in real life. Approaching a girl in real life is far more memorable than a random image of a hot guy on a phone. Please don't lose faith, keep trying and be confident.
    Like 7 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I disagree 100%. Guys can succeed with online dating... they just don't care enough to really try. Get photos taken, get help with their bio, etc etc. If you make a legitimate effort then that effort will pay off.

    • Anonymous

      @coachTanthony You are right of course, succeeding in online dating is totally possible, by improving your skills and presentation. Most people don't have the initiative to do that though. And if you do go to online dating, you will be competing on attractiveness, which women are really hard judges on.

    • Well like you said..."But put him in a well tailored suit and her reaction will be the opposite."

      That right there is what men don't understand when it comes to triggering attraction in a woman even if it is online dating photos. It can be done... they just refuse to invest in the process!

    • Show All
  • bobalife
    Thanks for sharing the male perspective of online dating and how it affected them. Even though I know it may feels very one-sided... women also experience the same thing. At the end, I always believe, we will all face rejections at some point. It just means there is someone else better out there for you and our self-worth should not be determined by this. Not everyone is our type nor are we everyones type, but we are someone's type ;)

    I do find online dating exciting yet a great disappointment... not for the rejections... but in means of the lack of authenticity, the compatibility, and finding something meaningful.
    LikeDisagree 2 People
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    • RandoMcDando

      Nah, women don't experience rejection in the same way, especially on dating apps. My female friends have hundreds of matches, and not just the ones who you'd consider conventional "beauties". They're all wonderful in their own ways of course, but you have to be traditionally attractive as a man to have any real success. A flattering pic or two and some good banter will only get you so far.

Most Helpful Guys

  • Apope16
    This is a good mytake. Men are scorned by women for expressing their greivances about their failures in dating. Women are sooo cruel to men and they make fun of them even on this website. There was a little saying I once heard a guy say, "Women don't care about your struggle, they are only there for the spoils of your success."

    My advice to men out there is to find that strength within yourself. You will feel more empowered once you finally have the courage to actually start rejecting women. It redefines you as a man. You carry yourself differently. What I have started doing is having certain standards of acceptable behavior. Such as no flakey behavior for example. Any sign of flaky behavior or women lacking in interest i say to them, "I think you are really beautiful, but I prefer to spend my time with someone who is really excited to be with me. Good Luck on your journey."

    Women start 90% of the breakups. When you as a man set standards for a breakup it changes everything about how women relate to you.
    Like 2 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Dating can actually be really hard on a guy, especially if you are 'average' - it's actually much easier to be far above or far below. Whilst I acknowledge that, and I respect people's efforts. I'm also not going to grovel and beg for forgiveness. Women can't really help their reproductive choices, this is what our body is telling us - to pass on the best genes. Rejection can really sting and effect your confidence, but it's also a part of life. With rejections also come success, so good luck to all on getting the girl of your dreams. :)

    • ManOnFire

      @Apope16 Bro, this was incredibly well-said.

    • @sagevalentineee rejection is a part of life for most men. I just wish women can could have a better attitude and understanding what it’s like for men. 90 percent of them are oblivious and will continue to be so because society enables them.

      I have been rejected multiple times. Quitting is not an option because chances are I’ll die alone if I don’t try.

      But women need to understand the following:

      - dating is much tougher for guys than girls when ALL else is equal. We take all the initial risks. I’ve met middle aged women who are still stupid and naive about this.
      - the biggest reason men hate the friend zone is not because we are being denied sex & intimacy. That sucks of course. It’s about not being RESPECTED. It’s about the woman looking at us as a castrated male.
      - ghosting is fucking rude. I once dated a younger girl for 9 months and she one day ghosted me after a minor argument and I admittedly acted a bit clingy. Never heard from her again.

      I’m doing better now but this female attitude towards men leads to depression, rage, early mortality and sometimes violence. Women generally fail to comprehend this.

  • ManOnFire
    The sad truth is that dating sites were never built to be successful for most men. They were built as a meat market for women to choose a guy from. Or multiple guys. Ever notice how commercials for online usually have women talking about their bad luck with dating and how online dating worked for them? Also notice how virtually no one ever coaches women are talks to them about what they can do to make their dating profiles more interesting or how to get the right guys attracted to them? It's because people figure if a woman is on an online dating site, she'll always find somebody.

    Also, dating sites know that a lot of guys struggle on there, and that's part of how they make their money, from guys who will upgrade to premium subscriptions in the hopes that they'll finally land that date or hook up.
    LikeDisagree 6 People
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    • You sound salty. I've had plenty of success with dating apps. Oh well, sucks for you! Haha

    • @MountAverage that's pretty impressive coming from you who is the pinnacle of average apparently

    • @brennanhuff See, that's exactly my point! Haha. I'm npt special or anything, and still I managed to have plenty of success on dating apps! :D

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • coachTanthony
    ---------------------I tell all my clients this one thing.

    I would rather be rejected and understood then ambiguous in my actions.

    Rejection is a part of life.
    Like 2 People
  • Brainsbeforebeauty
    Nice take. And that applies to anyone putting themselves out there. Women face rejection, too. And you have to expect that on dating sites, because most of them are misused for the wrong reasons.
    Disagree 1 Person
    • Petra150

      online dating i gold for us women, and especially them who like the hunt, the nice feeling of the power we women have, as 90 % of all rejection are done by us. Knowing most guys really want a reatioshipn, while most of us girls rather like the the opportunity to see a great selection of men we can play against each other, to eventually reject them, and then at the same time go and complain about being one, and have the compassion of others. Really pathetic in my eyes, and online dating should not exist

    • @Petra150 I wouldn't know I don't do online dating.

  • brennanhuff
    It used to bother me since some good looking guys who are my friends would have success. I was happy for them, but confused that it wasn't working for me. The reason is because in person, my experience showed, that I'm otherwise a pretty good looking guy too. From being checked out by cute girl, to having a cute girl who could've gotten in trouble at dunkin donuts for giving me a free large cappucino with no charge... just because and not to others.

    To a hot girl talk to me and I got her number at a pro football game in the beer stand. Like I have personality, but a decent number of instances of attractive women's attention to me based purely on my looks, because I didn't talk to them, but them simply having just seen me. (Not often), I've had women be googly eyed before too working behind a counter at a retail store... yet sporadic with matches on bumble and still haven't gotten a date. I never though it would be easy, but if you can explain that logic to me, please do so, because I don't get it.
  • Unit1
    We must understand a couple things here.

    1. Expect rejection. You'll be disappointed much less often and grow very resilient. Let the surprise be when she accepts going out with you.

    2. Women date whoever the hell they want. There are a plethora of examples out there proving this point but I'll show a few popular examples

    2.1. They say they don't care about men's money. You don't have much money but you can entertain her, treat her right and do other romantic stuff, so that she'll want to see you again soon. However they proceed to become a girlfriend to whoever has more money than you do.

    2.2. They say they're looking for a handsome and tall bodybuilder and a hard working man. You happen to be all that she wants - except she tells you, that you aren't her type or that you are too sweet or not smart enough for her. However they went after that college dropout criminal, who calls men beta, is rude to the waiters, gets drunk every other day and preaches his political views wherever possible. They have completely dismissed all standards for that one loser, that they keep going after.

    3. Failure is not failure itself. The true failure lies in giving up something, that you want.
    Like 1 Person
  • alligatorblues
    You've got to be kidding. First of all, online dating is based completely on physical appearance. So most people invent some version of themselves they think is most attractive.
    Practically everyone online dating is lying at least a bit. Online dating is for the laziest among us. Without body language and other nonverbal cues, it's no fun meeting potential dates!
    Women respond to men who view them as people. A man values what he has to work to get. If a guy has any sense, he will know how to be endearing. But most guys act like all women are porn stars who love to have all kinds of shallow, lewd encounters!
    Guy view instagram models, and set that as their standard! Well, those models don't actually look like their photos! Far from it! No woman will give you self-esteem for more than a moment.
    You need to develop it before you can be a good date. I make jesus the center of my life! I am just confortable alone with a book as I am at a party with friends, and girls! I have the Holy Spirit inside my heart
  • Reaperbot666
    modern dating culture online only helps the most attractive people.
    Like 3 People
    • Unit1

      All women must watch this!

      Women will understand, that they won't survive a week being a man and being ignored/ghosted by the opposite sex even if you got the looks, the respectable job, charisma and a meaningful bio.

      Don't hate the players. Hate the game and beat it. Chance of success: 0.01%

  • Tamera952
    Interesting and well stated. You could have probably even expanded on more of the insidious aspects and other contributing factors or issues commonly found when looking for love online.
    (Also, I'm rather impressed you didn't mention "penis size" once! You know, in terms of measuring one's worth by unrealistic measures and body shaming, etc.)
  • Radio4men
    Guys born after year 1995 dont and refuse to Approach a girl they rather die. men are becoming more of soyboys (SIMPS).

    The more girly and less confidence men have, the more miserable women will become.
    as a man we need 56000 different set of skills to get girls especially the hotter and younger ones.
    If those skills aren't worked out on, like anything else they will not be made.
    Like 2 People
  • apple24
    You shouldn't be dating until you learn and improve yourself. Self esteem is earn not given or inherited. So if your fat then do something about it. You have to earn it and if girls still don't like you. YOU have to respect for yourself and guess what you'll be happier and people will notice you.
    Disagree 1 Person
    • I don't think you understand the sociological aspects of the issue here. Dating apps introduce new variables.

  • Nalix
    You come to expect failure and when a woman starts to respond positively or show interest in you, you are naturally suspicious and think that it's a trap or that she isn't sincere.
    Like 3 People
    • I think it's all those bots that have trained us to enter with that assumption

  • Jaysonava
    They don't care. That's not the political agenda. The political agenda is to advance the profits of the rich. They do this by making the men work very hard to serve the system. The faults in the system are blamed on the middle class.
  • genericname85
    I wouldn't say much. Men are taught to not be crybabies and take hits without complaining. Who cares about men anyway? We live in a male white patriarchy right? Men don't need more privilege... And yes I'm being sarcastic.
  • NerdInDenial
    I don't hinge my life on how women feel or think of me because dying or being alone is not the end of the world and online dating is the worst for Asian males.
    Like 1 Person
  • Avicenna
    It shouldn't (because "failure" is normal and relative when it comes to dating), but it does when expectations are high or guys benchmark themselves with others.
    Like 1 Person
  • Juxtapose
    Asking women out is degrading, especially when you consider that they bitch about receiving so much attention from men yet also rig the system so that they don't ask out guys at allll.

    Ladyboys are the answer, lol.
    Like 1 Person
    • OMG YES except for the ladyboy part wtf what's wrong with hookers?

  • FireRedPikachu
    I have a male friend who is going though a rough spell because online dating didn't go to well
    Like 2 People
  • Silver158
    Not really into online dating and only ever had one "failure" so far (mostly women message me so can't complain) but this failure was a woman who very much revealed herself to be a gold digger early on in our interactions and I noped out of that pretty quick as you could imagine.

    Didn't affect my self-esteem as I knew she was bad news fairly quick. If she'd kept that hidden until we'd gotten into things a bit deeper it might have done some damage.
  • Joeharbor
    Why are people even still using this shit? it's just a digital beauty contest. We all know from common sense that there are more than just looks that go into factors why people choose each other.

    Boycott online dating
    Like 1 Person
    • slatyb

      Just another tool in the box. Worked for me.

    • Joeharbor

      @slatyb yeah there sure are a lot of tools in that box lol

  • glock33sig357
    For some it plays a role to diminish their self-esteem, but don't care about being rejected by anyone in an online dating service; I prefer a face-to-face encounter.
  • Lman3000
    Easy fix delete every dating app account, and just take your mind off all that bullshit with shit that makes you happy, gaming, movies, gym, friends whatever and build yourself back up
    Like 1 Person
  • captain_voidwalker
    Here's the ultimate secret to happiness. Self esteem is bullshit. You do not have innate value, so once you understand that you have to work hard to make your self valuable. Self esteem is useless, but built esteem that is the doorway to success
  • Liam_Hayden
    They didn't affect me at all. I just decided that meeting real women in real life was better. I still get rejected 80%-90% of the time, but that is the nature of the cold call.
    Like 1 Person
    • I feel weird cold approaching as I feel like a creep doing it. It doesn't bother you? I don't do it in such a way and am respectful, but I just feel women more often probably don't like that even if the guy is good looking. Though I think women will give some signal if she wants a guy to talk to her. I never just walked up though, but like if at a book store and looking at books in the same aisle or a girl comes to same aisle, I might ask a question or try to strike up a convo, but we mutually kind of came together in same spot and not me just coming over to her.

    • @brennanhuff don't forget it's also fucking degrading

  • Guanfei
    I've tried online dating. In more than 2 years, I only got 2 matches, one being from a fake profile.
    Not gonna lie, that's not giving me much confidence.
    Like 1 Person
  • BlueScorpio
    Listen, i tell everyone to stay the hell away from online dating.. it's a huge waste of time for a lot of people today. Meet people in person, face to face communication is better. People don't take online dating serious, it's not deep and you can't sense a person energy or emotions through a screen but you can by just looking at their face and conversing with them (sometimes). It eliminates people who just want to waste your time, ghosters, catfishers, validators, and sex seekers. Online dating just ruins communication skills and has made people lazy, that's why most people prefer text than calling. They to be able to ignore and not have to respond/run away instead being forward unlike in person.
  • goodfellas816
    In my opinion the shit is fucking terrible now one looks the same in person not even me I was once told I wasn't as fit & tall as my pics lead to believe lol that fucked my head up but my experience just wasn't good
  • zagor
    I don't know why being rejected by someone who has never met you and really doesn't know anything about you would be worse than getting rejected to your face.
    • I understand your point, but I guess it's just that you're hopeful that something will turn out with online, which is generally what guys turn to when their in-person options are limited or zero, so the feeling that even THAT then is also not working out for you leaves a lot of guys feeling utterly hopeless.

  • Fellator_95
    I think it affects the same way normal dating does since both are related to emotions and nothing to do with physical contact.

    you can have a good sex with pretty much anyone but you cannot form an emotional bond with anyone that easily
  • standingUP
    I don't understand what lack of self esteem feels like. Why would anybody allow someone else to negatively affect your self -esteem? lol dumb.

    When it comes to dating failures oh well that's why there's 8 billion people on this planet. Of course you are not going to be compatible to every person out there. The best example of people not being compatible is co-workers. I can work with most of them and have pleasant conversations and sometimes even personal. But I would never date these women. Some commonalities does not mean compatibility.

    When it comes to a loving relationship there are so many factors to have to match up. It's just not anybody that can just fit in your lifestyle dynamic. So whats to get all upset about? Go on, move on, be available for the right ONE. Most relationships do not last if it was a hook up connection because people are selling out their dynamic needed.
    • For me it's more disenchantment with my environment and particularly women. My self-esteem is usually a constant. How Do Failures in Online Dating Affect Male Self-Esteem?

  • DeltaCharlieEcho
    I stopped caring a long time ago, once I did I started dating hotter and hotter women. Online dating isn't real, only the real world is real don't take shit so seriously.
  • nelly83
    I don’t understand why this is only for men. I do online dating and I feel the same way.
    Disagree 2 People
  • startingfitness
    i agree. i tried for a short while and after being discouraged I deleted all of them not worth it. Its a waste of time.
  • not329446
    Only if you're a millennial does this happen. Let go of mommy and the cellphone. Experience real life.
    In my opinion its effact a lot. to move out from this we have to do other activity for diverting our mind.
  • sensible27
    Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.
    Like 3 People
  • Thatsamazing

    Harshly. That's how.
  • Fuentes
    Thats weird
  • Daniel_Dano
    Online dating is bullshit
    Like 1 Person
  • mary748
    they should just be honest
  • Anonymous
    It's completely wrong to build up your personal self-esteem on hand of your success in dating.
  • Anonymous
    Well, some males gotta understand that if they aren't getting any pussy irl and don't know how to flirt, online dating will do no magic to them.
  • Anonymous
    What about women now?
  • Anonymous
    Out of everything on GAG I need this the most.

    I’ve had to disassociate with family and some friends because I can no longer tolerate being mocked and insulted for being the “weird” single guy. I flipped out on my own brother (who is married with kid) after he said something real stupid last week.

    About “rebuilding”. I’m in a unique situation where I have a very hard meeting single women. I can only use apps.
    Like 1 Person
  • Anonymous
    If i could tell guys starting out online dating one thing it would be, "just consider it practice". Most women who use online dating are doing it either as a joke or as a last resort. Either way neither are taking it very serious and neither should you be.
    Rule #1 Never message her first!
    I get it IRL guys do the approaching. But in real life your odds are exponentially better. The women need to know this is last call. She's here because she's exhausted every avenue and no guy wants her. It's time to cowgirl up and swallow that bitter pill.
  • Anonymous
    don't waste your time with online dating
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • No other choice.

    • Anonymous


      no we have other choices
      but they are on the extreme end of things

      and society is to much of a bitch to fight for GOD

    • Uh... what?

  • Anonymous
    I think the framing here isn't helpful. You shouldn't worry about "how to rebuild after failure!" You shouldn't be falling apart in the FIRST place due to a girl turning you down--even if rudely! You need to build failure into your process.
    Like 1 Person
  • Anonymous
    Of course, it starts to affect most men if they're the type who gets rejected by at least 98% of women and if the rejection is done in a really nasty way.

    On average, I'd say I have asked out over 500 women over the years, since high school, in different ways, though being respectful. Most of the time, handling the rejection with tact and class. I'd say 490 of those rejections were nasty and personal. (That doesn't mean there were 10 successes, that just means those 10 rejected me in a relatively humane way.)

    I have decided to try to focus more on my career and have taken a huge step back on the dating. I hope I'm not going to be 50 and still single, no matter how successful work is. I think it would still nag at me if I had the same trouble with women I have today, even if I had a career I loved. So it's probably not the best idea, but it's the way I'm trying to cope with less than 1% percent "success" rate, which is a bit humiliating.

    "You only need one to be a success" Yeah, but if that one comes after a lot of attacks, it's tough to get through it and keep going without it affecting you. Add in other rejections, like trouble finding work, or you keep getting passed over for promotion after promotion... and repeated rejection can seem like a big thing.
    • See THIS is why I took the avoidant route right away. Sustained rejection is scarring, traumatizing, especially when you have to invest so much in receiving it, as opposed to rejection being something that simply happens TO you. As a guy, you're basically asking for rejection if you're actively seeking a woman. It's nothing short of psychological self-mutiliation!

      Your last point is brilliant! You know, they say you should work on "healing" your trauma before entering a relationship, but what if that trauma is your whole past of trying to enter a relationship? Imagine how clingy you would be once you get that "one success" knowing you would likely have to go through the gauntlet all over again if and when it most likely doesn't work out?

      The problem fundamentally is a much broader one, that scarcity, uncertainty, and failure are problems predominantly faced by men and therefore totally overlooked as valid forms of suffering.