About a year ago, I ended a long-term relationship and decided I wasn’t going to date anymore. I got divorced about seven years ago and I dated a few men, but this time I felt like I was done. I wanted time to heal, figure some things out and invest in myself. I had zero time for any crap in my life.
Then, about six months ago, I changed my mind. I decided I was too rash in my decision to completely cut dating out of my life and the possibility of a relationship. I downloaded the dating app Hinge, talked to a few men, went on some dates, but it all felt… off. Like I was doing something I really didn’t want to be doing, but felt like I should. After all, I’m a single mother of three who works from home, where there aren’t a ton of opportunities to meet single men. So online dating seemed like it was the thing to do.
But here’s the problem. Picture me exchanging messages with someone I think I may like. I ask them a question about themselves, because I genuinely want to get to know them. What the hell are we doing putting our profiles up if we aren’t going to get to know each other? But I can say with complete honesty that maybe one percent of men will respond by answering me and then asking me questions about myself. But so many of them just want to talk endlessly about themselves.
Then they blow up my phone with pictures of themselves at the gym, with their kids, or sitting there looking all serious and sexy. Talking about themselves is really enjoyable apparently. But they don’t want to get to know anything about me. I just don’t get it. Are they showing off because they think that’s what I like? It’s not working. I lose interest and they’re surprised when I don’t want to meet in person.
So after a few short weeks of this newfound enthusiasm for finding someone online, I deleted all dating apps for good. Seriously. For real this time.
I’m done with the shenanigans. I’m just going to say it: most of the men who are dating online are lazy. They put in minimum effort. They’ll state on their profile they don’t tolerate “games or BS” but then they play games. They wonder why women stop messaging them back (many of them actually state this on their profile!) and why we don’t want to meet them in person.
Like the guy who sent me so many selfies of himself, with no text, that I blocked him. Or the guy who said he was playing “hard to get” and didn’t want to seem too anxious. Or the guy who told me after we were chatting for a few days that he was actually married and his wife wanted to watch the two of us have sex. Oh, then there was the man who was very communicative for a few days and seemed interesting, then stopped texting, only to come back a week later and blow up my phone and say he wasn’t really himself the past few days because it was “really cold outside.” He wondered why I didn’t want to meet him in person.
Yeah, that’s what’s out there, ladies. Brace yourself.
The thing is, I’ve gone against my better judgment and gone on dates with these men. I’ve told myself people are nervous, and you can’t really tell what someone is like until you meet them in person, but you can tell. They are exactly the same. They are totally full of themselves and really are not interested in a relationship that is two-way.
The other day, I was talking to the most beautiful 21-year-old at the gym and she asked for dating advice. I asked her how she was meeting men, wondering if her dismal experience was from meeting men in bars or something. She told me: “I’m online, I have all the apps and men are so … uninteresting and lazy. If another one of them messages me ‘Hey’ I’m going to scream. I thought this would be so much easier.”
Same, sister, same.
I’m sure there are some wonderful men out there in the world of online dating, but I’ve yet to meet any of them. I’ve been trying off and on for almost seven years and it’s resulted in lots of first dates and the worst relationship of my life. I accept total responsibility for this. I’m not choosing the right men, but I’m also not listening to gut feelings I get and giving lots of people second chances when I know it’s not a fit. So I need to take matters into my own hands and break up with online dating. For real this time.
It takes too much time and energy away from the things I want to focus on in my life. Like sending cute dog reels to my sister and trimming my split ends with kitchen scissors. I am joking (kinda) but there has to be a better way to meet someone and weed through the crap of these sad, narcissistic, middle-aged men.
Katie lives in Maine with her three kids, two ducks, and a Goldendoodle. When she’s not writing, she’d reading, at the gym, redecorating her home, or spending too much money online