Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Various Thoughts on Internet Dating (Kris)

(When I started this blog, I was very clear that I didn't want it to become a forum for ragging on men. I want it to be positive, yet honest. So this entry is complaining a bit about on-line dating, but hopefully it's more discussing some frustrations. I'm still very open and positive about meeting people online.)

I've been surprised that the LDS Promise website hasn't been as fruitful as the others. At first it seemed much better, but I've had longer, more significant contact from the other sites. In fact, I have my first face-to-face (a.k.a. date) this week.

Which leads me to a point I want to make and, hopefully, not sound like the crazy bonehead who called Bridget last week. I think some people are on line just to feel like they are doing something regarding their dating lives, but really they aren't doing anything, just creating the appearance of doing something. I think there are many cases when "something" is really "nothing"- like my first two times on line. I knew I needed to be putting forth effort, but really wasn't comfortable meeting someone online. It can be the same with going to firesides, dances, whatever- you show up to feel like you're doing something, but once you're there you don't do whatever you need to in order to meet someone or put yourself out there. You (meaning me) go, not willing to do anything except be there, just waiting for a sign from heaven or hoping Mr. Right happens to sit right next to you. Or what about self-help books? You really feel like you're doing something, working on yourself, improving, but if you never get your nose out of the book, leave the house, and put it to use, it's just an excuse to stay home. I realize there are helpful books out there, and I'm not saying they can't help us learn and change. I'm just saying if you really want to change things in your life if may take more than posting a profile online and calling it good. Anyway, I feel like I meet men online and it goes to a point, then they disappear. Casual conversation is good, but it seems a lot of guys don't want much more.

Some guys are also really bad, or maybe just don't care, at the online approach. One guy sent me almost every flirt possible over a two day period. Ya- if I'm not responding to the first 5, I'm not interested! I'm not into the online flirt much. I usually just delete them and respond to messages. Maybe this is being too picky on my part. But if someone is interested, a couple lines shouldn't be too difficult and makes them much more attractive. (This is funny because I'm like this IRL too. I don't know how to deal with it when someone I don't know starts flirting with me; I just get flustered. I totally prefer the direct approach.)

Another surprising thing online is that I've realized, being almost 40, that my dating pool consists largely of middle-aged men. This was shocking. I look at these photos and think, "I'm not that old." I spent a few weekends ago with married friends that I've known since college and tried to imagine what the men would look like if I didn't know them. I couldn't do it. They just didn't look that old to me, even though I know they are. It's been an adjustment but I'm trying to be open to men whose photo look more like my dad than my date. :)

So the guy I'm going out with this week is also surprising. He's definitely at the upper age range of what I'd consider appropriate to date. Some stuff in his profile bugged me too, like he's specifically looking for someone younger. But you know, he started with a good email and made me feel interesting. Yes, I'm a sucker for flattery. We'll see how it goes.


Bridget said...

Oh my gosh, this is such a true blog.I really think some people are on there to just look at the pics and like you said feel like they're doing something. Saying that, the whole forum of online is really sans any accountability or proper etiquette....anything goes it would seem. BTW you didn't sound anything like the bonehead that called me.

kat said...

for the record - you don't look that old, nor act that 'old.' whatever that means. i think i'm still 25, although sometimes my body begs to differ. i'm all for being open minded, but that does NOT mean you have to date someone closer in age to your dad then to you!!!! (says the girl who had a total crush on a certain balding man with braces, who was i believe smack in the middle between her age and her mothers!)

Heidi P said...

Hmm...don't like flirting, but like flattery. I think some men don't know the difference. They may be trying to flatter, but comes across as flirting.
I like what you said about actually doing something...Its true. Its not enough just to 'show up'.
Nice Post. :)

Amander said...

Interesting thoughts about people being online to be doing "something". I have been considering online dating services, but haven't committed yet. I don't want to do it unless I'm really going to invest myself.