Thursday, July 19, 2012

Online dating or online shopping?

I said i was going to take a break from here, but i have this on my heart...actually for a while now. I have had a profile on an online dating site for about two months and have decided to respond to very few men. Actually, 1 I took the chance to contact first. I attribute it to having gone through a divorce and being picky this time around, but picky? How could I be picky when I am looking at a profile? It reminds me of online shopping. Is that what this has come to? I don't doubt that people find love on these sights and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had, but in all honesty, I would have traded all of the all-night phone calls, lengthy emails and hours of IM for the few in-person meetings regardless of the outcome. They are awkward and the waiting "games" are frustrating, but nothing can replace that face-to-face interaction and eye contact. If I feel like I am online shopping, it feels awful to think others are doing the same with me. It's like an online meat market. It enables people to be always looking for "the next best thing" instead of investing time into really knowing someone. It enables people to "get to know" multiple people at the same time and never be able to be fully emotionally available to any of them. For people like myself who wear their hearts on their sleeves, the emailing is awful. I have learned my lesson from sharing too much and being too open from behind a computer screen or phone. At least for a woman, it creates a false emotional connection without knowing someone. I am not a casual dater - I want to invest some time into getting to know someONE that I share a mutual interest with. I don't get to know multiple men at the same time. Unfortunately, I know I am in the minority when it comes to online dating. Is the supply of singles really going to deplete so fast that you cannot date/get to know one person at a time and fully give getting to know the person a chance?

I struggle with taking my profile down for these reasons, but then I have a good experience or good conversations and think maybe I am wrong about it. It isnt quite what I want to do, but how else do you meet people today? How do you do this without feeling like you are just one person on someone's list, when in fact you probably are. Am I missing something? I want to just meet someone that I can spend time with getting to know then as a person, not as a profile I like or how they write to me. I'm not in any rush to commit to a relationship or to shop for a spouse. There will be no big loss if I don't meet anyone that I really get to know on this dating site, but by staying on it am I just giving away emotions and energy to write out my story and "resume" over and over until I match someone's criteria on paper? I can do that here... I guess I just have had one too many awful emails from men on there saying we are soulmates because with both love Christ or how I am just what they are looking for from what my profile says. Is it too much to get to know someone with the only expectation being that we are going to learn much about each other to see if we want to commit or move on? I don't think it takes that long to figure it's not's a choice. A mutual attraction, sure. Dont get me started on the ones who don't know if they are ready to date, but put up profiles. Do I really want to be put in someone's online shopping cart while I am compared to the other online products? Your thoughts?


  1. All very good thoughts and questions. And yes, the process of online dating can seem callous and remote at first glance. But for me, this was the only viable option. Like you, I was a single mother and very selective about who I was going to let into my life. I had strict rules about not going out until Justin was in bed and always being home when he got up (this was more of an issue when Ted and I got serious). I needed the screening process that online dating afforded to rule out guys who were not worth my precious time. I needed to talk to them at length to get a better feel for them before I wasted my time in person. And honestly, there was nowhere else I was going to meet a single guy. I didn't do bars or the "singles" scene and there was not a big singles market my age at church. Having said all of that, online dating is just not for some people, and if that is you, then it is okay. God has a plan and you will find the guy you are meant to be with....not matter what channel you take.

  2. Thanks Nikki! I think it definitely can work and you are Ted are very much evidence of it :)