Why I Gave Up Dating…

I tried the online dating thing on and off for 6 years or so.  It was great in the very beginning because I finally realized there were plenty of guys who find me attractive, and so my previously horribly low self-esteem was lifted up substantially – I finally felt like there wasn’t something “wrong” with me.

But as it went on… ugh, it’s just nauseating.  Not only do I find people are even more shallow online now (which is irritating, because I sense in the beginning, before there were many dating sites, people cared more about finding kindred souls online… but maybe that’s a myth; I never tried it til I was 27), but I find that the dating sites also end up making me more shallow, which makes me irritated with myself.  Often there are just SOOOOOOOO many people on there, you have to filter somewhat to get a handle on it — and often the easiest things to filter on (website design-wise) are the trivial superficial things that really don’t matter to me in real life.  But with no sense of chemistry, and knowing that not all of it is truthful…

The last guy I dated from an online site I went out with three times — and as much as being rejected/dismissed out of hand hurt, it actually bothered me much more (to the point of tears) that I could tell the guy really liked me, but I found him somewhat dull and not engaging.  I stuck it out for three dates in the hopes that he’d have a chance to relax and I may find him more interesting, but while he did seem comfortable enough by the end of the second date (I conversed fairly easily, since I wasn’t all that interested, and so we talked a lot), he just didn’t get much more interesting to me.  In the end, I just knew I wasn’t that interested in him, something wasn’t clicking, despite him being a really nice, responsible guy with some shared interests of mine.  I figured it would be worse to lead him on with more dates when I had no real interest in him, but could tell he was hurt when I confessed I wasn’t interested — because it’s hard for dating rejections not to be taken personally.  But oh did I cry that night when I got home, I felt like such a jerk.

That distressed me so much that I stepped back and really looked at what I was doing.  All online dating (or fix-ups, or whatever) can do is increase the number of people you meet — but then it seems you have to try so hard to market yourself, which is even more difficult to do without lying if you’re deemed “deficient” in the superficial stuff by our culture (ie. my size)… and even when you do find a few to meet, you have to go through the awkward “interview” process, and then if one likes the other more than vice versa, hurt feelings are inevitable…

I just started to think of all the time & effort that would have to be put into such a dating system to meet someone I even remotely clicked with (inasmuch as wanting a relationship with them), and figured I have other things I’m far more passionate about that don’t make me feel bad, rejector or rejectee, that I’d rather spend that time on.  And after reading an article about some survey that found that the average online dater will meet ~30 people face-to-face before they find someone they’re willing to date (not necessarily long-term), and knowing I’m far weirder and probably pickier personality-wise than most since I’m not looking to “settle down” to get married/have kids, I figured I was probably looking at more like 50-100 guys, assuming I could find that many to even meet me face-to-face.

(Funny aside — I did the eChemistry site’s EXCESSIVE >200 question quiz, and it told me I was compatible with 1 out of every 125 guys… and that it had no matches for me, haha… what a waste of time.)

The article about online dating was actually advocating using multiple dating sites and going out practically every night of the week and really “working at it” — UGH!  No thanks, my self-esteem’s either too fragile or far too important to me to put myself through that.  And being an introvert, I find meeting new people (too many/too often) very tiring and somewhat unsettling.

I’ve never had a serious relationship nor fallen in love, and I would very much like to find both someday, but the current dating culture is just not the way to find someone I really connect with… unless I want to spend all my free time for YEARS sifting through profiles and going on date after date after date after date in an endless search, all the while stressing myself out for going against my natural introverted tendencies.  And even then, I may end up having to to choose between staying single and hooking up with someone I’m just not that into, which is a recipe for disaster.  I’d most definitely choose the former, and then I’d be kicking myself for spending so much of my precious free time on that rather than taking classes, pursuing hobbies, volunteering, etc.

So I quit.  Now I’m just letting life happen and trying to forget about finding anyone, and if I happen to stumble upon someone someday that I really feel a connection with, then I’ll go from there.  (It happens once in a blue moon, but they’re invariably attached, so not an option.)  I have had to accept that some things in life you just can’t force — people can go out and find companionship and someone to share a life with, but real chemistry and love are far more random.  I suspect many are eventually okay  settling for the former after giving up on the latter because they desire a conventional life.  I’d rather hold onto the possibility for the latter, and accept that there’s a good chance I’ll end up single forever because of it.  Far better single than in an unhappy/unfulfilling relationship, since I wouldn’t stay in such a situation anyway.

Though I still hold onto a tiny bit of hope that my luck may change someday and I’ll find that random intense connection that they write the songs and stories about.  A romantic, through-and-through.  🙂

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~ by bohemianincognito on 2011 July 20.

5 Responses to “Why I Gave Up Dating…”

  1. Reading your post I could not help but be reminded of my best friend’s recent foray into online dating. She, like you, is an introvert and tried online dating (I did too for a while, albeit briefly) and discovered (again) that she felt it was not effective in helping her meet people she was genuinely interested in. It can be tough weeding out the guys! Also, years ago she and I commiserated about being miserably single– not that single is always miserable, but at the time, it was!. I think you have the right idea: let it happen and invest this time in yourself.

    • Thanks for the comment — it’s good to know others have felt the same way. Sometimes, the way our culture acts, you start to wonder if you’re a little insane for going against the grain… or finding the “cultural norm” a little insane itself.

  2. Thanks for your comments. I have heard a lot of people who have decided to stop dating for 12 months and instead to focus on finding meaning in your own life. What people have found is that the other relationships in their lives become healthier too. Going from one date to another. One hook up to another will never bring lasting satisfaction. Do the counter-cultural thing and decided to stop dating.

    Check out my latest blog where I address sex and relationships. http://www.brianlamew.wordpress.com

    • Well, I don’t know about 12 months… I’m talking indefinitely (as far as looking for it goes). Though who knows what I’ll think in the future; anything can change. I’ve spent the vast majority of my life not in relationships, and not even dating all that much. It’s just become part of who I am. I’ve been trying to remember the mantra “live life logically”, and to me, there’s just no logic in the online dating/fix-up option for me, given how introverted I am. (Though I’ll admit, I’m a pretty… “passionate” person, so it isn’t always easy to follow the mantra.)

      Thanks for the comment, and I’ll swing by your blog to check it out!

  3. dating…

    […]Why I Gave Up Dating… « Bohemian Incognito[…]…

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