Between readers, friends, and family, I know a lot of people who are using dating sites, and aside from the whole coming up against the Cough Up A Shag Or The Dates That Weren’t Going To Materialise Anyway WIll Dry Up issue, it can be hard to deal with what feels like ‘rejection’ or ‘passing rejection’ and feeling ‘unattractive’ as well as the frustration of not meeting the type of people you feel that you ‘should’ meet.
One reader for instance, felt a bit bruised by the realisation that her profile had been looked at over ten thousand times since she’d been on the site.
Now I don’t think she expected all ten thousand to get in touch, but she was disappointed that ‘only’ just over a hundred had.
Let me assure you – I’ve read and heard enough horror stories to know that while the profile provides you with some information, you won’t know what someone wants and who they are until you’ve experienced them over time. It’s like when you have a person’s resume / CV – you’ve got to do the due diligence. The key is not to read any great meaning into a click or a wink or a message.
It’s an expression of potential interest just like when someone asks for your number, it’s not a contract or an automatic precursor to love.
In ‘olden times’, you had to leave your house, or be set up, look in the back of the newspaper/magazine or use a dating agency.
Now, if you’re married and enjoy dogging (getting laid in car parks I’m told) and want to meet someone behind your spouses back, you can locate someone with a few clicks. If you want to exaggerate who you are, you’re free to do as you like.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Online dating isn’t for the faint hearted or those without a reasonable level of self-esteem, some Columbo skills and their feet firmly in reality.
If you use online dating to collect attention to bolster your wavering self-esteem, to avoid ‘rejection rejection’ in the real world because you feel ‘safer’ at home, and find it easy to feel connected to someone by seeing a few things that you like, you’ll get your virtual tippy tapping fingers burned. From behind a screen or mobile device, you can browse the aisles and filter by your whims and shopping list of requirements.
The computer says that you can search this way so now it’s as if we seem to think that if the computer says YES, then no matter how convoluted and contradictory some of the things we want may be, or how someone may be good on virtual paper but not in reality, we expect what we want and expect to materialise. The likelihood is that if someone’s skimming through lots of profiles, they’ll likely click when something catches their eye.
People browse dating sites to pass time, to look for their next Fast Forwarding opportunity (it could be hours, a day, several days, weeks, or even months) and yes to look for a relationship. They might click through on the profile, see something that does or doesn’t resonate and either respond or move on.
If you want to showboat like there’s a relationship on offer and keep it to emails, sexts, texts and a bit of Skyping, you can find someone who is used to crumbs of attention and you can have them there as your backup ‘relationship’ (albeit a fantasy one) while you have other relationships.