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Online Dating: The Grass is the Same on the Other Side

Disappointment with the free dating sites leads to anger at the pay sites.

Well, there hasn’t been much going on lately in the world of online dating, and this both relieves and frustrates me. The relief comes with the knowledge that the odds of me being approached for a booty call are slimmer. It seems like people with screen names such as “letsgetitin247” and “hangingoutmyboxers” (these are both 100 percent real names, and that fact alone depresses me) are starting to get the hint that I’m not on those sites for a quickie, and I don’t want to pick up whatever it is they’re putting down. I don’t understand it. I find it really sad that I’m one of the few that utilize a free dating site because it doesn’t cost anything. I’m not there for a one night stand, I don’t want to hear your slutty and demeaning opening liners, and I sure as hell don’t have the time to keep deflecting such approaches. This, my friends, is where the aforementioned “frustration” sets in.

I thought that the freebie sites were holding me back. I figured that if I went to a pay site, I would find more people who are looking for a relationship. People that aren’t going to harass me with sexual innuendos and inappropriate screen names. So I caved. I paid close to $40 for one month on a pay site to see if it made a difference. Not only did it not make a difference, it’s like I paid $40 for NOTHING. Every few days I receive a message saying that I have 15 new matches. The first time this happened, I went through each profile individually, sent a few well-thought-out messages and a wink here and there. Nothing came of them.

The next time I widened my own parameters, because I felt as though my paying for this site meant there was bound to be something good- that the fruitfulness would eventually make itself known. Three more sets of “15 matches!” and by this time I’m searching on my own. My first month is almost up, and I’m canceling it. I’ve sent out close to 100 emails, and a bazillion “winks”. It doesn’t make a difference. Not one person has emailed me back.

I got one person on my second day on the site that claimed he was interested. Well, the website sent me a message saying he was, so I can only assume that meant there was a wink, or he clicked on the “Yes I’m interested” as opposed to sending me a message. I sent him a few sentences introducing myself and got a one sentence response that just answered one of the questions I sent him. This irritates me. If YOU say you are interested in ME, and I close the gap and send out the floatation device of conversation starters, you better damn well grab on to it. I HATE having to force conversation. If I give you an opening with three questions about you, and a statement about something I have an interest in (for example), and you just respond with “yeah, I’ve lived here my whole life”…I don’t know what to do with you. *sigh* That’s it.

That’s the extent of my time on a large dating site. The commercials lie. Sure, your aunt, brother, high school teacher, or co-workers might all be on that site, but apparently they are all mute.

There’s my irritation. I don’t know what to do any more. Sure, the inappropriateness of the guys on the free sites were a depressing reminder of what I have to work with and what’s out there for me to peruse, but they were also fodder for my blog. Even those have slowed down. I had a friend recently volunteer to check out my profile and possibly rewrite it. I think that’s a good idea. I feel as though there’s a huge possibility I may be misrepresenting myself. I don’t know how, because if you don’t know how to sell yourself, then who does? It’s worth a shot.

The world is a tough, judgmental, and brutally discriminatory one. It’s hard enough getting through day-to-day tasks, but trying to meet someone seems even more challenging. Especially with technology. It makes it easier to “meet” people, but also easier to ignore them, stalk them, or be a creeper who is supremely inappropriate and disrespectful. I hope those of you who are doing the online dating game are able to navigate the extremely muddy and dangerous waters, because I feel as though I’m lost.

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Kristen Braun April 17, 2012 at 02:40 PM
...hmmmm...interesting proposal John. I think that it would be quite different the reaction/response I would get using a different picture. Though I think the difference would take my self esteem down a few notches, possibly result in a few Ben & Jerry's nightcaps. I may look into this though.
T W. April 18, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Hi Kristen, I'm glad I stumbled upon your article to know this happens to women as well. I have spent considerable time on many of the sites (free and pay), and have had a string of disappointing first dates. It still surprises me that someone would put the time and energy into maintaining an online dating account, and not engage. I spent a weekend sending over 100 emails and countless winks, I received a single response. Unfortunately even the lone response was from a spam commercial external site. I'm not completely sold on dating sites, even as I'm a 30-something male. I think that the initial awkward face-to-face meeting is in danger of being lost to the ages. One thing I've found helpful is to completely quash my Google footprint. It's helpful when your first date knows nothing about you, save for what you have told them.
krdunnam April 21, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Hey Kristen (and readers) -- The only dating site I've had any success with is plentyoffish dot com. It used to be completely free (made money off on-site ads) and only recently modified to offer paid subscriptions. I guess the differences are: it's free to contact someone, the forums are interesting to read, and various local members host get-togethers which are listed on the site. Continued thanks for your war stories!
Kristen Braun April 23, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Hi TW, thank you for the comment and reading the blog :) Of course this happens to women! It's a rough world out there, and there's no group on the dating sites that's not hit with the same insanity. We're all going to be burdened with the same problems: no contact (even though we're sending out what feels like millions of lures), the contact that we DO get isn't what we're searching for. In my case, it's booty-calls. It's a battlefield out there, and I, for one, was not prepared. Though my arsenal contains wit and the strength to endure, I feel like I'm outnumbered. Best of luck to you on the sites!
Kristen Braun April 23, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Hello, and thank you SO much for the comment! I am currently on the Fish, and I've got to tell you, that's where the crazies have been coming from. OK Cupid has the booty calls, Fish has the crazies, and Match had nothing to offer me. Granted, it's excellent fodder for the blog, but it's hell on the self esteem. I'm glad you're having success! Gives me something to hope for LOL! I'm not too sure about sticking with the online sites though, to tell you the truth. I may just be pulling all the profiles and try to meet someone organically. We'll see :) THANKS FOR READING!

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