where's the instant relationship aisle?

Between readers, friends, and family, I know a lot of people who are using dating sites, and aside from the whole coming up against the Cough Up A Shag Or The Dates That Weren’t Going To Materialise Anyway WIll Dry Up issue, it can be hard to deal with what feels like ‘rejection’ or ‘passing rejection’ and feeling ‘unattractive’ as well as the frustration of not meeting the type of people you feel that you ‘should’ meet.

One reader for instance, felt a bit bruised by the realisation that her profile had been looked at over ten thousand times since she’d been on the site. Now I don’t think she expected all ten thousand to get in touch, but she was disappointed that ‘only’ just over a hundred had. I’ve also heard a lot of stories of people finding people who match their ‘requirements’ who they cannot forge a relationship with.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Online dating isn’t for the faint hearted or those without a reasonable level of self-esteem, some Columbo skills and their feet firmly in reality. If you use online dating to collect attention to bolster your wavering self-esteem, to avoid ‘rejection rejection’ in the real world because you feel ‘safer’ at home, and find it easy to feel connected to someone by seeing a few things that you like, you’ll get your virtual tippy tapping fingers burned.

I think of dating sites like people supermarkets.

From behind a screen or mobile device, you can browse the aisles and filter by your whims and shopping list of requirements. The computer says that you can search this way so now it’s as if we seem to think that if the computer says YES, then no matter how convoluted and contradictory some of the things we want may be, or how someone may be good on virtual paper but not in reality, we expect what we want and expect to materialise.

People browse dating sites to pass time, to look for their next Fast Forwarding opportunity (it could be hours, a day, several days, weeks, or even months) and yes to look for a relationship. Let me assure you – I’ve read and heard enough horror stories to know that while the profile provides you with some information, you won’t know what someone wants and who they are until you’ve experienced them over time. There’s no point going “But they said…”. It’s like when you have a person’s resume / CV – you’ve got to do the due diligence. You’re not going to give a job based on CV alone!

People unfold. Yes, even virtual ones.

The likelihood is that if someone’s skimming through lots of profiles, they’ll likely click when something catches their eye. They might click through on the profile, see something that does or doesn’t resonate and either respond or move on. The key is not to read any great meaning into a click or a wink or a message. It’s an expression of potential interest just like when someone asks for your number, it’s not a contract or an automatic precursor to love.

In ‘olden times’, you had to leave your house, or be set up, look in the back of the newspaper/magazine or use a dating agency. Now, if you’re married and enjoy dogging (getting laid in car parks I’m told) and want to meet someone behind your spouses back, you can locate someone with a few clicks. Or you can just pretend to be single… If you want to exaggerate who you are, you’re free to do as you like. If you want to showboat like there’s a relationship on offer and keep it to emails, sexts, texts and a bit of Skyping, you can find someone who is used to crumbs of attention and you can have them there as your backup ‘relationship’ (albeit a fantasy one) while you have other relationships.

On dating sites, there’s no ‘judgment’ from your family and peers about being superficial, or selecting a financial bracket, or choosing them because they’re holding a cat while two kids hover nearby. You can make a thousand assumptions about the person before you’ve even met. If they look how you want them to look and you’re sold on words and imagery, you may be excited and full of hope based on reading a profile.

Some people will roam the ‘aisles’, browsing aimlessly and possibly reaching out and collecting attention aimlessly. Let’s be real, whether it’s on or offline, a lot of people 1) don’t know what they want or 2) think that they do but then realise later that they want different or that they don’t know or 3) overestimate their capacity for a relationship or 4) just don’t know how to be ‘alone’.

Some will head straight to a particular aisle and narrow down their search and then read a few profiles and possibly select one or several to reach out to, possibly to increase their ‘hit rate’. Really, their reasons could be anything which is why there’s no point trying to get in their mind. I looked at several tomato ketchups recently. I chose an organic glass bottled one with a nice label. There’s nothing to say that it was going to taste great or that in those few moments that I made a judgment about any of the others. I just chose a ketchup based on my tastes at that moment.

Really, someone not clicking on your profile or reaching out isn’t a ‘judgment’ of you. If they’ve got to narrow their options, where is the judgment in that? It doesn’t mean that you’re ‘unattractive’. It’s not the dating version of X-Factor.

You have to treat online dating the way that any company or brand with an email newsletter list has to. They’re not going to send an email newsletter and expect every single person to open it, read, click and respond. In fact, the industry rate is 1-2%. Obviously there are things that can be done to optimise these ‘campaigns’ and increase interaction but with regards to online dating, people’s responses to imagery, words, and filters can be a tad unpredictable. You can ensure that you have a well written profile with a good (truthful but flattering) picture that you’re specific in what you’re looking for and that you in turn focus your search on people who have similar profiles and are values focused, but until you meet in reality, you have to reserve judgement and reign in your libido and imagination. Really.

People can use words and photographs to portray themselves and their lives in any way that they like. We’ve been subjected to this with advertising for many years so we really shouldn’t be that surprised that it happens on dating sites. They’re there to ‘showcase’ ‘single’ (depending on what type of site it is) humans and facilitate ‘connections’ and ‘introductions’ but now that sites are so prolific and the barrier to entry is so low, you have to expect that it will take time and reality.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s on or offline, you still have to take your time and go through the discovery phase.

However the whole virtual aspect means that you have to do more ‘balancing’ of the imagination books because your job is to reconcile preconceptions based on initial virtual interactions with your actual experience of that person. If there’s too much imagination and words and not enough human contact, you may become invested in something and someone that doesn’t exist.

Basically you have to keep it real about getting virtual and accept that if you’re going to use dating sites, you’ll have to ‘work through’ a lot more people and dates as well as accepting that the superficial element, the browsing etc come with the territory. You have to accept that it will take time and that it’s not an instant result. You probably need to accept that you’ll come across someone that misrepresents themselves and you just have to flush hard when you recognise it. Take it as a given that you’ll meet people sniffing around for sex. If you struggle with disappointment and rejection, steer clear. You also have to keep assumptions to an absolute minimum other than if they act shady and have contradictory information or behaviour, FLUSH. Hard. Don’t forget: People still meet face-to-face.

Your thoughts?

PS Does anyone else find it fascinating that so many people use the filters yet many don’t use it for distance?

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154 Responses to Keeping It Real About Online Dating – The People Supermarket

  1. searcher says:

    Online dating was always a big NO for me. I’ve always believed that most guys who used dating sites were not looking for a serious relationship, just a casual one or a quick shag. I finally decided to give it a try and low and behold, I was pretty spot on with my assumptions. Yes, there were the guys who seemed genuinely interested in me, my profile, and getting to know me better, but then the scumbags were there too, of course. And some did not hide it at all. It was all out there for everyone to see. I feel as if online dating is a way to instantly inflate their egos in which I would not give them the time of day when I knew that that was what they were after. There were the ones that I caught in lies, the ones who seemed sweet but then showed a rude, controlling side out of the blue, and the ones who disrespected me in their first message, telling me I must be desperate to resort to using a dating site (that must make them desperate too, right?!?!)

    I grew tired of the charades after a month and cancelled my subscription because I’d honestly rather meet a genuine guy on the street than find one from a dating site. I did happen to meet up with one guy that I was slightly interested in. Turns out, he may have wanted all of the things that he claimed to want in his profile, but the baggage that came along with him was inexcusable, right down to the ex-girlfriend Facebooking me out of the blue, telling me to back off. That was a wake-up call. I’m not dogging dating sites in any way, but being prepared for anything, and I do mean anything, is something you’ll want to prep for before diving into that cyber supermarket.

    After reading your blogs, Natalie, I’ve learned to trust myself a little more each day. I may not have gotten very far yet, but I’ve made some progress and I’m very happy about that. Thank you so much!

    • Learner says:

      searcher,
      I agree that dating sites can be hazardous, although I know they work for some. I met ONE guy from an online site (plenty of fish) once, and he did have plenty of fish alright – a whole harem’s worth! I did enjoy our one coffee date, and he’s a photographer so I ended up getting him to do some nice portraits for me, but otherwise? Flush!
      Congratulations on your progress in walking away from the EUB, and walking back to YOU.
      btw I replied to one of your comments on the “Indecision” post. It’s a bit full in the comment section over there, so I wanted to make sure you knew it was there :)

      • dancingqueen says:

        @ Learner; I met someone on POF and our private joke was that the site should be called plenty of f***heads:) because that is mostly who you meet.

      • searcher says:

        Learner,
        Thank you! And I’m glad you flushed that AC! I saw your comment on “Indecision” and replied back to you! :)

        Dating sites are just too much work. It’s almost as if you can’t just focus on one person at a time, what with all those messages, winks, likes, pokes, and whatever else is out there. It’s just too much. And I’m sure it’s flattering for some to get all of that attention all at once (I was flattered for the first week, then became annoyed) but then you realize, this guy is probably saying the same things to about a hundred other women. None of it seems genuine, to me at least.

        But hey, at least you got some nice photos out of the deal!!!

        • Learner says:

          searcher,

          yes! – all that commotion going on with the winks and pokes and sudden IM’s coming at you. And even if you put “no casual sex” as a filter, you can still get people of both sexes suggesting very interesting but shady activities! I can see a narc loving the attention – I think the ex would have lapped it all up. I totally feel you re: they are probably doing/saying the same thing to hundreds of women. “Chancing their arm” as Natalie says. Ew. I don’t think I have the self-esteem or boundaries in place to deal with it all.

          PS, I am glad you think my “Project Memory Replacement” technique(from the Indecision post) may work for you, too. Best of luck!

          dancingqueen – digging your private joke name for POF! Thanks for the laugh :)

  2. imfree says:

    Ah great article. Very recently a number of people have told me that I should give internet dating a go and when I have said, ah no thanks, I have been treated to a well meaning lecture along the lines of “well how are you ever going to meet anyone then? and You’ll end up single forever” which not surprisingly has left me feeling a bit sh1te and wondering if maybe they are right.

    I think at the moment I would rather spend my time doing interesting things I enjoy, learning new sports, joining clubs rather than spend it looking on line for men. I have spent too much of my adult life focusing on men and now it feels like it is time to focus on myself. I’m not sure how internet dating would help this, spending hours searching, emailing, winking or what ever. feels like a step backwards for me.

    Obviously plenty of people have done well out of it. But I just dont like the idea (which has been sold to me many times) that I have a choice, internet dating or accept singledom forever…aghghghg

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      No they’re not right. You’ll just meet assanovas (if they actually turn up!) and waste a lot of time and maybe even get internet addiction of top of that.

    • Jennifer says:

      imfree,

      No they are not right. You will not end up single forever because you forgo online dating. If you are a hermit and never leave your house. Maybe. Probably. But I’m assuming this isn’t the case. Yes, it may take time to find a good relationship and it may not. Either way it’s worth keeping your eyes and ears open and listening to that gut! Bottom line, if you’re not comfortable online dating. Don’t. I won’t and I get that crap from one of my closest friends. I pay her no mind when she says such things. Well I really just smile, listen,let her have her own opinion and say, “No thanks.” People can be pushy about online dating. They’re just projecting their own insecurities and fears of being single forever or stuck with the unavailable man of their choosing. You wouldn’t believe the horrendous dating advice I get from respectable, well meaning people. Some people just aren’t educated on the dating front. We can be because we have sources like BR available to us to shed some light on the darkness of it all. Stay Strong!!

      • imfree says:

        Thanks!!
        I just dont undertand why a single status can be a topic that others feel they can openly and immediately comment on. Don’t get me wrong, friends or work people may enquire, that doesn’t bother me too much. It’s people who think they have the right to aggressively question me on first meeting me. I have recently been grilled by a very distant family member(ish) i haven’t seen since for 25 odd years and whom I wouldn’t recognise if I bumped into them with a name tag, The first thing they asked me was *why* am I not with someone and proceeded to go on and on about it despite me looking awkward and not saying much. And this was at my fathers funeral – wtf?!

        Good to know I am not the only one with reservations about the online dating. I can always change my mind but at the moment, I’ll pass!

  3. FX says:

    Sound advice as always, NML. It’s funny you ask about the distance filter. I always set it to the minimum, which is not usually low enough for me so I also specifically state in my text: “I am definitely not looking for a pen pal or long distance relationship so if you are not local, good luck to you, but please pass me by.” I live near the center of a large city and if they live more than a 30 minute drive from my location, they are too far away for me to consider. I get to define my comfort zone for geography and everything else! As a rule, I don’t reply to anyone who contacts me that obviously doesn’t fit the very few written criteria in my concise profile. I take that as instant boundary busting.

  4. Julie Anne says:

    Regarding your “P.S.”, not filtering for distance may be a function of the “soulmate” mindset. If the universe has a soulmate all picked out for me and I just have to find him/her, love knows no distance. Filtering for distance may filter out “the One”! Never mind that one or the other of you would have to uproot and move! It could also indicate hidden emotional unavailability. Unless you have the money, the flexibility, and the inclination to up and move (or “host” your match to move closer to you), this shows an unrealistic attitude and maybe some dreamy denial.

    My online service ignored my distance filter (50 mile radius from home) and matched me with a man who lived a five-hour drive from me. In every regard we were compatible and interested in each other, but I KNEW I couldn’t fit a five-hour drive into my busy life and I was not looking for a long-distance relationship. So I sadly and politely declined. Hey! That’s a boundary, isn’t it! I KNEW I had one somewhere :)

    Thanks for your life-changing, life-SAVING blog!

  5. lygia says:

    Yes, you have to be pretty tough to use dating sites. I had all sorts of experiences, met the jerk and met the sociopath, met the nicest guy ever only to see him go after his ex who appeared again and also met the ones who I d never never want as a date or anything near it.
    I met men who had a wonderful pictures and turned out to be fat and very old and absolute horrible and rude. I talked online with men who only wanted to talk sex, sex and sex and talked to men who disappered after a very good online relationship,to leave me wondering what I did or said or if they had died. I met a man who never wrote to me again because I didnt want to send him my nude picture.
    Im still alone after one year of that, Im beautiful and intelligent and full of life. I once met a man without seeing his picture before and it turned out the most horrendous date of my life, with a disgusting old ugly person. I met and loved an adonis and was loved and left by him. I could write a book and iM seriouslly thinking about that.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      Oh yes, one of my constant experiences of irritation was just getting A CLEAR FACE PICTURE of the person!!

      AAAAARRGH!!

      In the real world, if someone approached you wearing a bag over their head and asked for a date, you’d tell them to SOD OFF!!

    • Lessons Learned says:

      Lygia – I haven’t tried internet dating so I cant comment on it – but sounds like you’ve had a pretty horrendous experience.

      On the Adonis point you make – I have met and loved and been left by TWO Adonises – six years total with said Adonises. And not many of those six years were happy ones at all.

      I’ve broadened my criteria and found that in stopping looking for Adonises in real life, I’ve been meeting lots of interesting guys without needing internet dating.

      I’m in early days with a guy who is definitely no Adonis, but he is kind and funny, and helped me move house last weekend, and sends me sweet texts when he leaves me, and organises when he’s going to see me next when he is still with me, and never leaves me hanging.

      Neither of my two Adonises helped me move house ever – even though they had the muscles of Adonis. Funny thing is it turns out I didn’t need a guy with big muscles to help me move if he wasn’t even going to show up, or was going to grumble the whole time once he did. It’s not the muscles that count – it’s the attitude.

      Just for laughs, reasons given to me by Adonises over the years for not helping me move:
      - “sorry i’m playing golf with my parents (when provided with one month’s notice of date of moving)”
      - “sorry I dont like moving things in my suit, and i didn’t bring any other clothes”
      - “I have a blood blister”
      - “I want to go to New York for a week” (I live in Australia)
      - “Cant your exchange student friends help you?”
      - “that’s a really big weekend at work – I’ll help in the evenings” (he didn’t)

      • lygia says:

        Ah, well, my adonis was a gentleman as well, helped me to move about twelve heavy boxes, brought cheese and wine and took me for wonderful walks, said I was his soul mate, his wife, his woman, his everything and left me out of the blue without any reason at all, no fights, nothing, one day he was on the phone calling me darling and next day, literally, he was with another woman from his past. I also dont mind about men being handsome or not, however, I have met my share of jerks , the aparently good, the bad and the ugly. I have to go, I have a date today, again, someone I met online and have never seen yet.

  6. Christina says:

    Excellent advice, Natalie! I think a lot of people tend to have unrealistic expectations of online dating sites, and this of course is fed by the marketing of the sites themselves. There’s this idea that they’re like vending machines: if you throw in the correct change, out pops the perfect partner.

    It should never be considered more than a simple tool that can help you meet more people in person. That’s really all it can be, especially since it’s now been proven that all of those matching algorithms are without question, unscientific.

    I think you’re right about needing a healthy dose of self-esteem before getting online. There are a lot of people out there who are happy to see just how much crap you’re willing to take. A flush-first-ask-questions-later policy is essential.

    It’s not a magic partner-finder. Just see it as a way to help you meet guys you might not run into otherwise.

    I met my husband online, btw, so happy ending are possible!

    • Jennifer says:

      Christina,

      I love your attitude about online dating! So glad you touched upon the marketing scheme. And how they do make it seem like a romantic partner finder vending machine.

      I let myself get a bit jaded/cynical about online dating because I haven’t seen it work out so well. It’s nice to hear you found your hubby there, I’m sure your realistic/positive attitude helped with that. I’m still not ready to date after the ex. But I’m seeing I need to be more open minded in some areas, while not excusing bad behavior. Thanks for sharing!

    • dancingqueen says:

      Christina, I can’t seem to stomach it more than a 2 month period at a time…how long did it take to meet your hubby:)?

  7. S. says:

    I tried the “instant relationship” aisle, and it reeked of rotten produce! I quit the dating sites because it was the only way to stop the insanity quote. If I could only get back the countless hours I spent browsing, reading messages, writing back, waiting patiently for months just to MEET a guy, that would be nice. I love how they say their looking for a LTR, and still pull the moves on you right away. It made me question if there’s any men of integrity/honesty in this world? Some guys didn’t even take me out on a “date” before laying it on thick. I came to realize that finding someone you can relate to can’t be rushed or be chosen out like a catalog online…. if a man doesn’t have the balls to talk to me in person and do the “old-fashioned” method of getting to know me, become friends, and THEN maybe more, then I’m not interested. Thank you for your articles– they are inspiring and keep me well-grounded. I always hear the word “flush” when I spot red flags now. Thanks for that, Natalie!

  8. tracy says:

    I’ve been doing on line on and off for the past four years. I simply have no other way to meet people, I have few friends in town, I don’t want to meet anyone my brother hangs with, I’m raising kids alone…When I started I got far too emotional about the whole thing. I met more assclowns than I care to admit. Kept at it…I met one guy I was with for a year and a half and it was like I was reliving my marriage. Back on line, continued to meet assclowns, though therre were some nice guys here and there who were legitimately looking for a relationship, but nothing sparked.
    But my perspective on it has changed in these four years. For one, *I* am in control. I used to feel like if I emailed someone and got no response, I was rejected. But actually, this person is either not interested or just plain awful and rude, so why worry about someone who doesn’t write back? Convincing someone to be with you is ridiculous. Next, I feel like I learned “the code”. If you read between lines carefully you can filter out a lot of jerks. For instance, anyone who is “looking for fun”, or is VERY specific about what he is looking for in a woman (sometimes to the point of mentioning good hygeine or very specific requirements about weight) is only looking for arm candy. There are the show-off guys who want you to know all about their fast cars and the millions of exotic places they’ve been, all the sports they play…they don’t want to settle down, they want to play. They should look for a guy to hang out with! Other clues they’re not worth your time: they give you their phone number at the first email, they won’t provide a picture, they display tons of negativity in their profile, they’re constantly on line, they want to email but never seem to be able to meet (usually a sign that they’re married).
    I have met a very nice man, on line. We aren’t as close distance-wise as I’d like to be (he’s in the city, I’m in the burbs, but it’s a commuter distance, not a weekend away distance), but we are both single parents raising our kids alone and know that realistically we can’t spend more time together until our kids have met, and neither of us is looking to do that soon. But the benefit of on line is that I would never have met this person in real life.
    So, BR fans, it CAN work, but you have to be very diligent and dispense with fantasy and romantic ideals and look at a guys’ profile with a grain of salt. As one guy I met said, “Some people give good screen, then you meet them and they’re duds in person.”

    • Valley Forge Lady says:

      Great Message!!!! I pays to be postive in a process that takes perserverance! The good news is that you have the brains not to be stuck with the bad guys who are on line. There are good people on line if you are…it is just a real effort to discern them. Women take the shopping cart attitude about men too. Look at those hot babes who are taking down the top military brass….they knew they were messing with powerful married men …and they did not care!!!
      It is better to be alone than stuck. Integrity has power!!!! All the best to you and your good guy!!!!

    • Cija Black says:

      So well put. I too had spent quite a bit of time on online sites and there is a rhythm to it. Like any tool you have to learn how to use it properly and not expect it to magically, instantly find you Mr. perfect.

  9. Hi Natalie I am an avid daily reader of your blog, having recently had a relationship where I ignored all the red flags to my cost! I took your advice, had a 6 month break from dating However, I went back onto a dating site using new skills which I gained from reading Baggage Reclaim, AND i THINK I AM HAVING SOME SUCCESS!

    I have a mental checklist now so that I can weed out the ‘unavailables’. My own core values are
    NO drinking (i was married to an alcoholic)
    No smoking
    Must eat fruit and vegetables(I became a Florence Nightingale recently to a man who wouldn’t eat Fruit and veg) really! This really was relationship insanity.
    He talks to me consistently when we first met
    He makes arrangements for a first date.
    He works.
    He is single

    If these values are not in place then I wouldn’t even think of meeting him.

    I have met this new guy, and although I am getting that familiar warm, fuzzy feeling ‘ooooh I really like him’ I am taking things slowly, having learnt my lesson from Mr ‘I hate Fruit and Veg’ as I was well and truly Future Faked for 6 months. I have learnt my lessons as my heart was well and truly broken and even though I still feel the effects of that relationship in my psyche now, it has taught me so much about myself! Your blog has been a real guide into putting my heart back together and healing myself in a completely new way.

    I don’t know yet whether the new man I have met is the one, we have both deleted our online dating profiles! But for the moment I am still enjoying my life for myself as well as getting to know someone new.

    I think there are men out there who are genuinely looking for positive relationships. There is hope but I am positive about using dating websites but it has to be with care, love trust and respect for myself- hence my checklist!!

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      I think it should be a mandatory discovery expedition to ask about online profiles. Many people are ‘technically single’ but in reality anything but.

    • Mymble says:

      Angie,
      I totally agree about the fruit and veg!
      I believe it is indicative of an underlying value – that of taking care of yourself and being responsible for your own health.

      There are two single men in my age bracket at my work, both have at different times made their interest in me clear. Both of them seem to take pride in only eating pies, chips, etc, no fruit or vegetables. They also have few interests or hobbies and take no exercise.
      Getting involved with one of them would be a “mommy” type relationship, No ta, got two kids already.

    • La Pintura Bella says:

      Angie, it’s good you have a list. But these are actually “preferences,” not “values.” Values are things like integrity, character, treating people as he’d like to be treated, honesty, living up to his word, etc. If someone has common values with you, the preferences aren’t necessarily deal breakers. I used to confuse my wish list of preferences with actual values and it’s one of the things that kept me from discerning and EUM was an EUM or AC.

  10. Valley Forge Lady says:

    This is coming at a cross roads for me. I am almost at the end of my MATCH.COM. Another year of hoping for a good out come with honored boundaries. I agree about the stories. My experience has been entertaining when I am philosphical…but the thought of not renewing my membership feels like giving up. But maybe I need to go into online dating rehab.

    This has been a 10 year process for me. For the first nine years I had a child at home now that she is college…the lonliness and futility of on line dating is daunting.

    I work in a world of women and in business the men I meet are married or gay. The bar scene is dead. The cute guys sitting in church by themselves have wives in the choir!

    Speaking of Church…..I went on Christian Mingle since I am sassy church lady. The guys on that site look at me but probably think I am too “worldly”. The non-church type think I am holy roller ….I can’t win!!

    Then so many of my married girl friends wish they were single because the feel stuck in their marriages.

    I have to also realize that the economic situation causes a lot of dating issues.

    I have learned not to take this stuff personally but damn this is hard.

    I am good looking enough to get lots of attention…but nothing sticks.

    I wish I could be content to just get fat and collect cats.

    • lygia says:

      I had to laugh about getting fat and getiing cats!! i also dont want that for me.
      I really dont know what these guys in these sites really want. Most say they want a LTR but in one minute flat they are talking sex sex and sex. If I complain they flush me. Also, I think that my pics have too much breast showing for a Christian man to take me seriously and too little for some others who want me to take the rest of the top off.
      You really cannot win.

  11. Max says:

    If you use Dating Sites…you REALLY have to be up for the challenge. I used to tell my single friends to go online – NOW I always tell them to use caution. It is BEST to AVOID ANYTHING THAT IS FREE ie. plentyoffish..etc. You will get every “fruitcake” in the book. Don’t go online if you don’t have the Guts for it.

  12. Gina says:

    I tried online dating and met my last three ex-boyfriends online. The first two relationships each lasted one year, and the last one ended after 7 months. The first guy cheated on me with his supposedly ex-girlfriend (they are still together). The second guy was a FF/EUM who was still in love with his ex who dumped him (he recently got married to someone else). The third guy was emotionally abusive in a passive-agressive manner and had self-esteem issues. All of the gentlemen above were “nice” guys, and if you met them in person, you would probably like them.

    After those three experiences I’m emotionally drained and have decided to be in a relationship with myself for an unknown length of time. As a result, I removed my online profile several months ago. Although I have my lonely moments from time-to-time, overall, I am content being on my own and taking responsibility for making myself happy rather than looking for a man to make me happy.

    • tired_of_assanova says:

      One of the reasons why my non-relationships are so short is that I just can’t tolerate assholery! I sit here and read stories of people putting up with clowns for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 20 years and I just for the life of me cannot imagine being imprisoned with an assclown for that long!

      I want to date people and have relationships because they make me feel good; but in the past they’ve actually made me feel WORSE about myself!!

  13. KM says:

    A true Internet dating story…
    He found me on Match. Dated for 4 months until I found out he was married through a friend that did research on him. Told me he wanted everything with me and that he fell for me but his 60 70 hour work week was very tough to have a relationship with someone. I would meet his family, friends ect. in time. Spent days and nights together.
    The night I found out he was married he lied to the end then finally admitted. Told me he went on Match to find someone so that when he got out of his marriage hopefully she would be there. He said he loved her but was not in love and wanted to eventually get out of the marriage. He wanted to continue the relationship with me.
    All the stories of his life were one big lie. He would complain about how miserable his life was. This is a sure red flag of a manipulator. He did however admit to me that he did manipulate me to get me to stay with him because of his feelings. He told me horrible stories about his wife, kids, sister, the mother(s) of his children…the entire family. The stories were very sad about these people and not nice at all. To find out later they were all lies. It’s sick someone would make up terrible things about their family to get sympathy in order to cheat.
    I sent his wife a letter on FB. I found her cell # and sent her a text she responded “who is this”. I told her my name and she did not respond after that. I figured he got to her and told her some bs about me.
    Almost 2 months later she contacted me through FB. Told me his story was I dated him before they met which was 5 YEARS AGO. I wanted to get married and he did not want to. WELL 5 YEARS AGO I was living 800 miles away and just ending a very long relationship with my ex. I explained this to her. She also stated she found hotel receipts and I was not the only one. They were not with me bacause he would come to my house. He did admit to me he met other women before me so must be one of them. I told her I have texts ect if she wanted them and she said nothing else was needed.
    BEWARE there are sooooo many committed men on these sites. My one rule of thumb now is if I’m not invited to his house in a week then his number is deleted. I felt I needed to let his wife know not only for her but to stop him from finding his next victim. I had thoughts of some poor soul with children and him pulling the same thing on them. Not only would she be hurt but the kids! Myself…well I am way too strong for someone to keep me down, been there done that and I have no children. I did not date for a long time before him was very busy with my life so I guess I let my guard down when it came to men. Yes I was manipulated, wanted to believe him and saw red flags in the beginning. I’m wiser now and the red flags are flying all over. I did meet someone else and quickly ended it with him after a red flag came up. Never took the time to find out if I was right. Why should I if I’m already questioning at such an early stage of a relationship. There’s always a reason why things happen in life.

  14. ResJudicata says:

    I have participated in, and have survived, online dating. However, I have not succeeded at this. I have met, and regrettably dated, a crackhead, a heavily-addicted gambler, and a consummate mama’s boy. More recently, I receive responses with bad grammar, illogical thought processes, and flowery praise, all of which lead me to believe that they are internet dating scam artists. While my profile is still out there, I now find that only about 1 out of every 50 respondents are actually who they say they are. Finally…I have come to appreciate being alone more after these horrendous experiences. After all of this, I don’t feel it’s likely that I will find anyone at this late date, so I am resigned to spending time alone with my dogs…and am relatively happy with that prospect.

    • La Pintura Bella says:

      ResJudicata…

      I hear you sister. I’ve tried online dating as well. The expensive, scientific site (E-Harmony) kept sending me people who were totally inappropriate. In age, values, distance, everything. It was a waste of time because you don’t get to pick, they pick for you and make you communicate before you even get to see the whole profile!

      I’ve also tried Match.com. Lot’s of strange men there. One guy contacted me and told me he’s a dominant and I’d be his submissive. Err, excuse me? Did you read my profile? What makes you think I’d go for this? Because he “read between the lines.” Told him there was a huge problem with this idea…I like to dominate. LOL He disappeared after calling me uptight in response.

      The last date I ever had from an online site (again Match) was with someone that sounded great on paper. We met in person and I was interested. I checked him out, we were in the same industry and knew a lot of the same people. EVERYONE told me he was a great guy! Um, two months later he disappeared for the weekend and showed up at my house at 2am totally out of it, talking to imaginary people and hallucinating because he’d been on a 3 day Meth binge. Turns out he’s had a 20 year, serious drug problem. Took him to the ER to get him out of my house and never saw or spoke to him again…although he tried. The ER Doctor told me I was very lucky. They were putting him in the psych ward, strapped down, and that usually when people come in this messed up on Meth, their significant other arrives in an ambulance behind them seriously injured or dead.

      Point of all of this…it can be very dangerous, even when you’re being very careful. Proceed with extreme caution is my advice.

      • rave says:

        La Pintura Bella, I know your story wasn’t meant to be funny, but it actually made me laugh.
        I can just imagine you opening the door at 2 am with the person everyone described as Prince Charming high on meth.

        I guess when you’re not into drugs, you don’t really read the signs and red flags. You dodged a bullet on that one.

        To be honest, I was friends for many months with someone who was a meth addict and I didn’t guess.

        I believe it’s because I don’t know anything about drug taking. I remained friends with the person for a while, but wasn’t interested in pursuing a friendship for other reasons. She eventually got clean, which was great to witness and inspiring.

        It’s healthier, in my opinion, to spend time bettering oneself to be deserving of a great partner, than screening mediocre people through a sorting online tool. After a while, mediocre will look good after dating Mr Catastrophic.

        I believe online dating is for people who have something to hide.
        Whether it’s physical ugliness or emotional ugliness, a wife in the wings, or the fact that they don’t like to take action and would rather like-click you, the medium lends itself to lying and being disappointed when you’re a half decent person who hasn’t lied about their value.

        • La Pintura Bella says:

          Rave…I know. It was a shock to put it mildly!!! Sounds like something you’d read in a book or see in a movie and thing, “Nah, that could/would never happen.”

          It was 7 years ago now, so I too can laugh about it now. At the time, I wanted to become Nurse Ratchet and torture the SOB while he was locked up in the psych ward. JK…well, sort of. LOL One needs o maintain their sense of humor to survive these Mr. Catastrophics!

          I don’t do drugs at all and don’t have any friends who do them (that I’m aware of), so I had NOOOOOOOO idea. Lie you, I wouldn’t even know what to look for re: signs that they’re on the stuff in my presence. The truly ironic thing, we had been talking about what our deal-breakers were and the #1 thing on my list was addictions of any kind. He actually looked at me with a straight face and said, “That’s a really good one and very important.” All the while he’s a full-blown 20 year addict. Go figure…they have no shame.

          My perfect Karmic fantasy…I should write a book about horrible dating misadventures, option it to Hollywood and make a bloody fortune!

          • lygia says:

            No, Im writting this book myself, unless we all decide to contribute a chapter.
            See my list of Mr. Disasters
            - A guy who told me he had been a down and out , living in the streets.
            - a man who said that if i sent him a nude pic he would marry me.
            - a wonderful guy who promised me love and companionship only to run after his ex again and never give me back my things I left in his house.
            -a man who wanted money

            -a man I saw without seeing his pic first to my deep regret till the end of time
            -Men who wanted only sex and sex and when I told them I was not going for that they just went their merry way.
            -Men who I thought were my match and just dropped from the face of the earth.
            -A man who lied shameless about absolutely everything in his life and told me so after.
            - Dozens of married men.

            ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • dancingqueen says:

      “Finally…I have come to appreciate being alone more after these horrendous experiences”

      Okay that made me spit my wine out which stinks because it was the last glass…

      Yes, I agree, internet dating really was a gift in that…it made me super happy to be single and not dating some of the men who approached me. I wish that they had a filter for
      *bathroom mirror pics of bare-chested me taken with their cellphones ( I actually wrote that, in the profile “Please don’t contact me if you took a pic in your bathroom mirror of your bare chest with your cell phone”
      *pics of their vehicles
      *pics of their houses
      *pics of their exes with their faces whited out but cleavage showing
      *anytime a man says “psycho” in his post about his exes especially if they spell it “psico”
      *their/there/they’re issues
      *z for s ex: becuz, waz up, etc
      *says that he just wants to “check things out”, “have some fun”
      any other ideas of some filters we could recommend;)?

      • Revolution says:

        DQ, babe.

        “Psico” *snort* :)

        And, ahem, this (from a few posts back):

        “…especially with some of the women on this blog, myself included, being more than educated enough to debate gender issues.”

        *grin*

      • Linden says:

        DQ, you crack me up!

        Filters I’ve been using:

        1. Anyone who says they are into a “healthy lifestyle” and want someone else who is. Not that I’m against this in principle, but men who put it in their profile usually are using it as a more polite proxy for “no fat chicks.” Also, I enjoy junk food from time to time and don’t want to be nitpicked by a food fascist.

        2. Someone who says the main thing they are looking for is “chemistry.” AKA, instant sex.

        3. Someone who says they don’t like “drama.” I think men who have to mention this have probably provoked serious amounts of drama in others and are protesting too much.

        4. Someone who has a big long laundry list of qualities they aren’t looking for, rather than ones they are. A lot of baggage there, I figure.

        • Stephanie says:

          I second the comment about “I don’t do drama” the disappearing AC said this to me a few times. It’s an amber flag that translates – I’ve caused some drama in my past and I can’t handle it! Or when I disappear please don’t come looking for me to answer any questions!

        • Rosie says:

          Linden, back when I was EU, my profile had a big laundry list of what I *didn’t* want. Lo and behold, I got exactly what I said I *didn’t* want.

        • julia says:

          Ha! I just finished a two-week whirlwind with an assclown who was Mr. Fitness. Crazy with it. I’m the oppposite, which is how I knew he was just looking to get laid, despite all the (unnecessary) future faking he did in the first 3 days. One day we were talking sandwiches (who knows why) and he said, “But no mayonnaise. That stuff is revolting. You look like the kind of person who likes mayonnaise.” Excuse me?!? Dick in the house?!? Hello, Douchebag, YOU asked ME out, in person, so why cry to me now? I knew then he would be NO fun to eat with and I’d be picked on forever about my food choices if I was dumb enough to try to stick with him.

        • lygia says:

          5) men who says clearly ‘im married but so what’
          6) men who say ‘please dont ask about other women in my life’
          7)men dressed as Father Christmas. I was actually contacted by Father Christmas last week in all his glory, white natural beard, and answered that Im not a three year old.
          8)Men who say ‘im only looking for friendship’ but the minute you contact them they change the tune and are now looking for a shag.
          9)Men in brown sandals and socks
          10) men who send pics of themselves in dirt vests, slippers, a horrible unmade bed behind them and even sometimes a partial pic of a woman on the bed.

      • tracy says:

        Ha ha! So spot on! I used the same filters. When I was getting divorced I discovered a ton of pictures on the computer that my ex had taken of himself, clearly to put on line. Yep, ALL of them were shirtless. I was simultaneously grossed out, but I also thought “how pathetic”, ’cause let me tell you, he is one boney-ass guy, you couldn’t find a muscle on him if you tried. Ew, ew, ew.

      • runnergirl says:

        DQ,
        I’m so glad you mentioned your filters. I was thinking maybe it was just me and ladies liked the bare chested bathroom cell phone mirror pics. And then, they apparently don’t see how godawfully messy their bathroom is? The spelling makes me howl and I’m a teacher so I thought I’d seen it all. These are folks who can use spell check, although spell check won’t pick up a their/there/they’re issue.
        A few more suggested filters:
        *The guy proudly displaying a dead fish of some sort. What’s up with dead fish?
        *The guy playing a guitar in his godawful messy garage. I’m over 50 and stopped listening to garage bands 30 years ago.
        *The guy riding a motorcycle in a helmet and full riding gear. Is it really him?

        Sometimes when I read their profiles and look at the pics of dead fish, motorcycles, cars, it seems like they are trying to attract another guy?

        • seriously nuts says:

          how about …”Hey hon, how are you, I’ve just been board.” BOARD! not bored… but board. are you f***ing serious
          ? oh, and I slept with that twice, before getting that text. he was 48yrs. old. LMAO

        • lygia says:

          kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

          what can I say?
          yes, dead fish, football trophies, football shirts, football banners,boxing gloves, holding babies, holding dogs,cutting cakes,spreading arms and legs in bed,behind a cloud of smoke from his cigarette, what is wrong with a nice pic of himself just looking at the camera?

          • runnergirl says:

            I just spit my ice tea. Okay. So it’s not just me. Maybe Evan Marc Katz could help these guys with their spelling and their pics. A board guy is a red flag and a bored guy is even a redder flag!

            PS. One guy I met who posted a pic with a cute dog admitted that the dog wasn’t even his. It was a stranger’s dog at a dog park. He didn’t have a dog but went to a dog park?

  15. selkie says:

    They say don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You end up buying things you normally wouldn’t or shouldn’t….or don’t need. See any parallels?

    • sushi says:

      selkie,
      perfectly put !
      I did do some online dating when hungry and on a diet now :)Ended up with two horrendous relationships with people who looked great on paper and waved flags immediatelly ( but I was too hungry).
      In own words of someone I met there and did not continue seeing ( he was honest on meeting, not that you could tell from a profile, wanted sex and I wanted a relationship, lovely person but he made it easy for me not to ignore red flags because of his honesty); there are tonnes of fakes on there looking for sex lying and future faking because they have no hope of getting laid otherwise. I have a friend who met his wife online, they are both the sort of people who would not accept ANY BS. I also have a friend who found out after 8 months that the guy was married and his wife was pregnant. Another friend is over the moon, and in a LD (different countries)relationship for 4 years. She says it`s going like a dream,I saw red flags that would make me run for the hills when spent some time with them both. She recently said to him: I think you love my life (she has an intersting one)more than you love me and he agreed! WTF? The only way to go there is with your self esteem bullet proof and very aware of your boundaries.

    • runnergirl says:

      Selkie,

      Perfect follow-up to Natalie’s online grocery store analogy!

  16. miskwa says:

    I wish there were options other than on line. In order to find a quality man, I need to go a minimum of 75 miles in any direction from here, now on nasty slippery mountain roads. Right now I am on a break from on line due to trying to see if I can afford to relocate and am also dealing with a dying parent. Yep, I got the full gamut of scammers, guys who lied about their appearance and health and what they want (sex, not marriage). Guys that couldn’t bother to read my profile (maybe just couldn’t read), racists, and a few that are more or less genuine friends. I gave a lot of advice to dudes all over the globe about high altitude organic farming so at least they learned something. Yep, I do wish there were quality men near here. One good thing is that if I am “rejected” or subjected to even a shred of disrespect and/or assclownery, I can flush and will never have to deal with them again. A big problem here is that one has to face “exes” almost daily.

  17. Tired says:

    Its not just dating sites , others to. Im on twitter and have had to men hit on me . One is not to bad and it is polite chat , but my red flag sensor is on . The other well within 8 or 9 mess mentioned sex . So instead of feeling uncomfatable the first time iny life i told him quite clear no sorry wrong girl got a whoops ! Reply .
    My friend did do a dating site and she is a largr lady , she after a week or two had to be quite clear that she was looking to date and no oddballs etc , she said her views went down over night
    Plus how do u know if you date someone they come off theses sites ?

    • searcher says:

      Guys are resorting to hitting on women through Twitter now? Ahh the good old days of getting creepy messages through Myspace, then Facebook, and now…Twitter.

      Any guy who has ever contacted me or anyone I know through those social media sites were just trying to get laid. I have to wonder if the majority of those men have switched to dating sites to make it seem more “legit”….just sayin’

      • La Pintura Bella says:

        Nah…they’ve been doing it on dating sites all along. The dating sites have been up and running before Facebook and Twitter, even MySpace, were even invented.

  18. Tinkerbell says:

    Online dating offers a variety of experiences with lots of different types. I became addicted to it, and the more addicted I was, like any other drug, the more dissatisfied and desperate I became. Finally, after about 10 months of this intense searching, dreaming, fantasizing and even romanticizing over guys I hadn’t seen in person, I pulled my profile and quit. But, I learned a lot about myself. I was one who actually preferred to interact long distance. I came to realize while reading BR avidly also, that I was emotionally unavailable. Filters? I didn’t know what they were and didn’t need to know because I wasn’t going to have a relationship and probably never meet these guys from 600-1500 miles away. Absurd! I was just collecting ego strokes, and entertaining myself, laughing at the pitiful ones who needn’t make the effort, and leery of the few really good looking ones because they had to be already “taken” and wanted to play around, or they were just as EU as I was. I’ve learned a lot and matured emotionally and spiritually. It’s is commonly thought that when you work hard on yourself and aspire to be the kind of person you are looking for to have a serious, permanent relationship with, he’ll come along. Not before you’ve done your work. I didn’t even know what I wanted, and it didn’t matter to me because I didn’t expect to have it, anyway. That’s all changed now. I am happy and content with someone who is a good person, and with whom I share the same values. But, it is still early in the relationship. I will not allow myself to move too quickly and be fast-forwarded. I’m definitely doing the Columbo thing. But, at the same time I realize that if I’m going to fearful and suspicious, that’s not going to help forge a healthy relationship either. But, we’re very good friends and really having a good time with each other for however, long it lasts. I’m still here reading your stories but having less to say as I move into a different realm.

    • Tania says:

      Nice to hear that, Tinkerbell! How did you meet him?

    • Revolution says:

      I’m so happy to hear that things are going well, Tink! It couldn’t have happened to a kinder person! You have helped myself and so many others on BR. Whether you stick around for a few more hours or months here on BR, just know that we wish you well!

  19. runnergirl says:

    Natalie, so appreciate your insights and advice with regards to everything, including the online supermarket. For me, everything you have written is connected whether it is enjoying life with or without a him, dating (even online), or whether you are in a relationship.
    I’m probably one of the few who is still enjoying the online experience so far, even though there have been some who lied, some not over their ex’s, one who stood me up on a second date and then begged for a second chance (he got blocked), some with really bad manners etc. I’ve learned a lot. I’m totally with you now on not making assumptions or building sandcastles based on a profile or a few emails or even after we’ve met in reality, once, twice or even three times! Another important lesson is that his issues have nothing to do with me which is logically the case since he is a perfect stranger. I’m learning to enforce my boundaries, particularly with the spontaneous guys or the texters and/or the sex sniffers. One guy just emailed at 5 today and wanted to know if I was spontaneous and ready for a drink tonight. Nope. I’ll respond, maybe, tomorrow. The guy I met on Saturday was kind of nice. No bells or whistles, no red flags or amber alerts. Just ho-hum. Said he would call and texted tonight about how we should get together later this week. No response cos I don’t text.
    I’m staying cemented in reality. Your “Dating as a Discovery Phase” philosophy has been an eye-opener. Actually everything has been an eye-opener. I see how I got caught out so many times in the past by doing my dreamer thingy. I won’t be using the “r” word for a while and I won’t be having sex until we mutually agree on using the “r” word.
    BTW, I have a distance filter of 15 miles. Gas is almost 5 bucks a gallon and our public transportation sucks! I’m also geographically challenged so I like meeting folks in my neck of the woods. Thanks Natalie.

  20. theres more to life says:

    My experience of online dating has been for a couple of months and I have just quit as it was getting tiring and taking up time with meeting up with people only to never see them again. After 2 months maybe 10 dates with around 4 people I ended up looking forward to a night in or going shopping more than dragging myself out for another date. As the date tended to be followed by a period of trying to accurately process the date and work out whether to proceed etc based on feel, attraction, actions…

    It’s true you can’t tell what someone is going to be like until you meet and then often it requires a further date to even begin to know them. I like clubs and activities so much more because at least you are out doing something you enjoy so it is enjoyable no matter whether you meet a potential date or not. Also if you like someone it is easier to get to know them as a friend and make friends. The only people I have ever really had relationships with I have always known as a friend in some capacity. For me this is how the attraction develops successfully without pressure and over time.

    Even dating a friend of a friend doesn’t help as I recently discovered. I though okay great this person I have not met online and I can trust them and relate to them more because we have mutual friends. Not so and this guy professed to miss me and “wish you were here” after 2 dates and only a week. Actually the friend of the friend date was the worst of them all with serious future faking and boundary pushing.

    I may give internet dating another go again at some point but I reccomend not getting stuck on there. Nothing beats taking time to get to know someone and for me that’s in an environment where dating doesn’t dominate my life. On a dating site I did’t make friends or enjoy just hanging out where as at a club or group setting I am never board or tired and dating doesn’t have to dominate all the time as the main agenda.

  21. maya says:

    I’m over 40, and that alone will filter me out for a lot of males, I am pretty darn sure ;) I haven’t been on a dating site – have been tempted but the horror of meeting a 20 year old who’s only interested because he’s looking for a MILF or a sex starved 60 year old pensioner isn’t too exciting for me.

    Yeah, I’ll be probably live out my life as a lil’ old lady with a grouchy cat but hey, that grouchy cat understands me :)

    • natashya says:

      i’m very divided about online dating. yes, i did meet my ex EUM there, and though he was horribly EU (still in love with his ex), he wasn’t a creep, rude or an oddball. however, because it started out as LD, i built up an idea of who he was which didn’t quite match who he actually was once we were together. or at least not after ‘the honeymoon’ was over.

      part of the problem i think is that emailing and skyping can create a false sense of intimacy. after just a few emails and a total of 9 hours on skype, i was already ‘in love’ with this guy. hadn’t even met him in real life yet.

      after it ended horribly, i bought the dreamer as well as mr. unavailable and the fallback girl and it has helped me tremendously in my recovery. i see things so much clearer now, and also the part i played in this drama.

      • natashya says:

        i am not giving up on online dating altogether, as i have a very hard time meeting men where i live, but i am definitely a lot more careful now. there is no crazy falling in love with a picture on skype.

    • Little Star says:

      I loved your comment Maya, you made me laugh! That’s what I experienced and what annoys me the most when young guys insist meeting me (OK I look young for my age, but still) and when I refuse, they keep saying: “I like older women, and age it is just number etc” Yeah right, why cant they understand, it is not UP TO THEM WHAT they like and want (!!!), it is ABOUT ME! I just do not fancy teenagers and pensioners, FULL STOP:)

      • maya says:

        I’ll consider the pensioners – to a certain extent, but I keep meeting those who only want a quick shag, and a free one at that … dang!

        But for those whom online dating can work, I say, go for it … but it’s just not me.

    • FX says:

      maya, I was online in my early 40s and met many quality, age-appropriate men – and I went to all the best restaurants and fun activities, too! I had a great time dating and it expanded my opportunities to meet people – both men and women in real life, too. I had a couple of relationships of many months that ended but I don’t regret them. I continued to get together with a few as friends. I was out with one as friends when I met the AC, but that’s another story!

      Obviously, one’s attitude and expectations have a lot of influence over the experience. I’m 10 years older and, although I’ve changed, I’m keeping an open mind. There aren’t as many prospects now but I had a fun date last week with a very nice man. He’s not for me but I wouldn’t mind having a drink with him again if he’s on the same page. I’m meeting a man my age for dinner on Friday night and he sounds nice but I’m not hanging my hat on having a relationship with him. We’ve just exchanged 4 emails, for goodness sake! If we have a pleasant evening, whether it progresses or not, it was worth my while to get out and expand my horizons.

  22. Mary says:

    I have done Internet dating for years with some horrible experiences, what I thought were great experiences followed by them disappearing and so on.
    My self esteem was low (I’m working on it now) and I had no boundaries. Or thought I did, but missed red flags and allowed fast forwarding. I got hurt lots of times.
    Not sure whether to take a break while I work on my self esteem or keep trying now I have boundaries in place. It’s hard.
    I am reading Natalie’s advice most days and learning from her and all the comments.
    Thanks.

  23. Little Star says:

    Yes, Natalie you are spot on again, THANK YOU. I already disappointed of new guy, even I never even met him. As you said: “you won’t know what someone wants and who they are until you’ve experienced them over time” and I already do not want experience anything even meeting him! I am so not ready, I cancelled my profile in couple of on-line dating sites, I need to be alone for the while and clear my mind and decide what I want to do next:)

  24. Valley Forge Lady says:

    For all the ladies who are burned out on the on line dating process….Celebrate that you are not stuck with any of your horror stories. There are many ladies who are STUCK and the jerks they are with are sneaking around on line.

    Guys have stories to tell too. They encounter married women, addicted women, women who are looking for a meal ticket, all kinds of issues.

    Taking it slow and easy has never made more sense. BUT DON”T GIVE UP!!!! Winners never quit…and quitters never win. Stay positive and true to yourself.

  25. tired_of_assanova says:

    I have been offline for a long time now and I am never going back. At first I thought it were impossible and it took a while but life is so much better now.

    When I read about ‘rules’ and other things with online dating, it just makes me think of people going into a shark pen with a shark cage. Still dangerous.

    And online dating feeds into crumb normalisation, feeds into having lots of options, adding harems to your facebook, IM and chat, staring at screens all evening and weekend, and blah blah blah blah.

    Pull the plug! I did!

  26. Beth says:

    I tried E-Harmony. Based on my unique interests combined with my specific desire for a Christian they had no one for me, even though I set my profile to all men in a 16 year age range of all races the world over. I went on a few bad dates with people I had met face to face. I then proceeded to try Christian specific sites. I took a 2 minute look at the lame men and the frumpy, cutesy, low-end women, and spontaneously burst in to tears. THIS, I thought to myself,wa s the holy grail (no pun intended) of dating I’d been told about all these years? As Charlotte from Sex and the City so famously said, MY HAIR HURTS!

    • gentle soul says:

      “I took a 2 minute look at the lame men and the frumpy, cutesy, low-end women, and spontaneously burst in to tears.”

      Beth- I feel your frustration here and hope that you can move past this and find a means of engaging with a wider array people. I hope I would not be considered a frumpy, cutesy,or low-end woman as I have used online dating. I’m sure you did not mean this and I hope that you can see that nobody is better or worse than anyone else we are all merely different and looking to find someone we can connect with. There are a lot of nice good people out there I promise but this requires a change in heart and mindset which is best done before dating.

    • FX says:

      I signed up for e-harmony when it had a free trial promotion. Almost every profile they sent was further away than I wanted as well as just not being of interest, When they tried to get me to become a paid member, I sent them an email telling them I would if they could show me a reasonable number of members who met my criteria… Didn’t happen! I’m so sorry about your other dreadful experience. It obviously wasn’t a good fit. Flush! On the flip side, I am not at all religious and someone who is would not appeal to me. I recently added something about that to my profile because it seemed a lot of the men who contacted me were of that stripe. There are a lot of sites now so you may find one that gives you more quality options.

  27. pinkpanther says:

    I have had some good experiences, specifically from the years of 1997-2005, back when the internet was just a babe, and we were (most of us still flesh and blood)

    Things seem different now,these past few years, as technology progresses people seem more frantic, entitled, disconnected as if their humanity has morphed and now some are truly “wired” different.

    We can say anything, be anything online, and who’s to stop us? It’s like driving around flipping the bird, it’s easy to be a little god online, anyone can do it.

    When I detected some of these revolting attitudes in myself, primarily the judging of people based on looks, it made me see a side of myself which I don’t want to cultivate.

    so now it creeps me out, the huge disconnect.

    I don’t want to treat people like things, nor do I want to be one.

    • Be True says:

      You’re so right Pink! When I dated last time it was over 7 or 8 years ago and it was a different experience, even meeting people online. There weren’t “dating sites”.. you just talked to someone online and maybe you’d meet to see what happened. Now that there’s sites specifically for dating, it’s become a whole other beast. People are seriously disconnected and it gets harder and harder to meet in person because people don’t make eye contact.. they’re too busy with their noses in their smartphones… probably looking at a dating site LOL.

  28. Cija Black says:

    This is one of the best articles I have seen regarding online dating. Dating sites aren’t a magic pill and it’s true they do require that the user toughen up a bit. The other big piece that I think is missing for many people when they go into online dating is that they still haven’t sorted through their past relationship baggage before posting online. So they still use the same filters they did before to find a mate without considering if those are good filters at all. I think many people would be far more pleased with their dating results if they took the time beforehand to figure out what they want. I am writing a book on this very topic. Modern Love. Thanks again for a great article.

  29. Espoir says:

    Selkie,

    Spot-on with your remark ”They say don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You end up buying things you normally wouldn’t or shouldn’t….or don’t need. See any parallels?”
    Yes, yes , I see it now – I also can relate to everything that Thinkerbell wrote : I put up my (free) online profile feeling full of resentment and I started collecting ego strokes and releasing my Florence Nightingdale persona left and right in order to save some lost souls when in fact I was the one missing important lessons.
    I’m not reluctant to online dating and I like to think that once I’ll be ready I’ll make wise choices.

  30. Janice says:

    Great article! This is primarily why I gave up on online dating, after a few months of being on it. I met recovering alcoholics, guys who were still married and not separated yet, guys with no jobs, guys just out to get laid, etc. I have no problems meeting assholes by myself in the real world, so I figured I’d stop doing the online dating route. It felt like bashing my head against the wall.

  31. Red*ribbons says:

    I went NC almost 1 year ago after a 2 year long messy break up after a 1 year relationship that should have lasted as long as his attention span, which was approximately 6 weeks. I am so mad at myself for letting it drag on as long as it did but I did. I wasted 3 whole years of my precious time on that, convincing myself that he was my Last Chance Saloon when he was so completely unworthy of my energy, time or money.(yep, got burned) NC was agony at first, it was moment by moment for me. Like a slow withdrawal from a toxic drug. I knew I had to sit it out and I did. BR was my saviour, my best friend and my teacher. When I couldn’t sleep, when I had a panic attack, when I couldn’t bother my dear patient friends anymore. BR was there, day and night. So thank you, all of you who comment and Nat for the wonderful work you do. I recommend your books and website to all of those who are suffering in any way through relationship agonies. The answers are often to be found here.
    I am now in a new phase of a relationship that had its beginnings online but only for a couple of messages before we met. He made all the effort and all the time for me at my convenience and treated me in a beautiful honest way from the very beginning. I know its unusual but it is possible to meet someone on line. Just do your BR degree and be alert and observant. I realise it’s early days but it’s growing and flourishing in ways I could never imagine. Integrity and respect are huge and I’m having the loveliest sweetest time. I realise how much I have learnt from this site. And I apply it to everything, work, family, friendships and Him. I am completely different in this relationship, it is unique in every way and I realise that ALL of my previous relationships have been the same, ultimately with the same person..I was blind for years, looking for the wrong “qualities” putting emphasis on meaningless characteristics.
    Now I am in what feels like a different country, a different story and I am happy. At last. I feel it, it’s not anxiety, it’s not twisting me out, I’m not on the phone to my friends analysing every move he makes. I just AM. I learnt to be me, he lets me be me…I matured and at the ripe “shoulda known better” age of 49 I’m having a real relationship. he is too. We are both at the wheel and it is a smooth navigation. Sorry if I am coming across as smug, I just wanted to share. I’ve been hanging around here for a year. I eat BR for breakfast. Y’all have helped me.
    There comes a time when you have to take some responsibility for your own growth and be alone and work on yourself. I didn’t want to admit I’d been wrong for so long (28 years in various EU couplings) and it hurts like pulling a tooth without anaesthetic but the relief is immense eventually. I owe it to you Nat, I think you deserve a Nobel Prize for Relationships & Helping Others Realise Self Growth. I got a prize, my self worth and my boundaries and my ability to read people and situations much more eloquently.
    I curtesy and hope you won’t hear from me too much but I’m always on BR anyway, reading, measuring and checking and allowing myself to believe. Please God, don’t let these be famous last words but I wanted to present a chink of hope. I learnt to grow up this last year. It’s been HUGE. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    • Lilia says:

      Red*ribbons,
      you give me hope. I´m going through a very hard time right now, finally accepting that things are definitely over with my exEUM. The thing that bothers me the most at this moment is that before we became romantic we were very close friends and that I trusted him completely. I always felt I could rely on him, if the guys I got involved with flaked out on me, this friend was always there for me.

      I guess my attachment to him was so strong because it developed over a very long time (15 years). So anyway. Apparently we were this close because there was no chance of us being a couple (I was living with someone else, he had a series of girlfriends).

      As a friend, he was great. But as a love interest he put me through hell. I´ve never had so much heartbreak from anyone. I initiated NC in April of this year, he tried to get in touch with me again but those were some lukewarm attempts – the last one was in september. I signed up for a dating site and met a series of ACs and EUMs. The only one I clicked with was a player and only reminded me of my exEUM. So I cancelled my subscription.

      Now I´m so tired of all these experiences. I guess I need time on my own, I can´t cover up the hurt with some online distractions. I don´t know how to heal from this, a part of me wants to ask him to be my friend again, another part doesn´t want to ever see him again. I dream almost every night about him and fantasize about him missing me and being in pain about it.

      I tell myself it´s a matter of time to get over him, I don´t know what else to do. If anyone has any advice, I´d really appreciate it.

      • Revolution says:

        Lilia,

        You know what to do, hon. You are doing it. You’re taking the time, feeling your feelings, and sticking to NC. That’s the right thing to do. Just because you’re missing him and dreaming about him, doesn’t mean you’re not on the right path. Just stick with it. It’s understandable to miss people to whom you’ve given your heart. It’s natural. It SHOULD hurt. If it didn’t, I would worry.

        There’s nothing new I can tell you to do that you don’t already know. You’ve been on BR and so you know the drill. I’m in the same boat (and in the same NC time frame) that you are, and I have my days too. But just remember: we went NC for a reason. Remember that reason.

        Over and over, people tell me “Take care of YOU.” So much so that it pisses me off sometimes. “What the eff do you MEAN, ‘take care of you’? Isn’t that what I’ve been DOING all of this time?!” I feel like saying to them. But, slowly, I’m starting to realize that I can grow in this area. Being single and working for your food and shelter, and maybe even policing your new, healthy boundaries ISN’T the full spectrum of “taking care of ourselves.” It is SO much more than that. Yes, it can get a little abstract, but mainly the part we need to take care of is in our psyche. This could mean different things for all of us. Try to translate this “taking care of yourself” into tangible things, specific to yourself, your emotions, and your day-to-day life. It could be as simple as allowing yourself to dream about him without feeling like you’re backsliding in some way. Then, later and when you’re ready, it could mean a sense of the “good parent” stepping in and saying, “Okay, Lilia dear. I think we’re done with dreaming about him. We don’t need that anymore. It’s time to move on.” This can be a very gentle, organic process. It’s a bit like indulging in a craving for potato chips from time to time. Yes, sometimes we should indulge in that craving. But we can tell the moment that the craving has been indulged, and to stop then and there and not eat the entire bag.

        Hopefully my thoughts aren’t too scattered for you to understand, Lilia. But the bottom line is that I think you need to take care of yourself right now. Find out what that means to you specifically. And remember, hon, it should be done gently and moderately. My best thoughts are with you.

        • Lilia says:

          Thank you for your reply, Revolution. I really needed that. I guess it´s just part of the process to feel this way.

          What you wrote about taking care of myself does make a lot of sense. I had this idea that it was somehow wrong for me to fantasize a bit, I thought it meant I wasn´t being a responsible grownup who knows how to put an end to bad relationships. But of course, it´s only natural that emotions develop at their own pace.

          Some days I start to feel sorry for myself, other days I am mad at myself for having been so gullible. It is much more uplifting when I´m just plain angry at him. At this moment I´m going through the feelings of loss and it is not easy. However, maintaining the non-relationship with him would´ve been much much worse.

          Anyway, thanks again, your words are a big comfort and it is good to know that we´re all together in this.

          • dancingqueen says:

            hey Lilia,

            I used to have horrible dreams about my ex; it was so frustrating, it was like I could nc him in my life, but once asleep, we were in contact.

            Now looking back I realize that those dreams were a form of processing, healing and a sign of progress…think of them that way and it might help. They really are your deep inside feelings processing something that maybe you are too strong to process during the day.

            Hugs! we are all rooting for you! You will get through this and out the other end; I did and if I can do that, you can surely!

            • Mymble says:

              DQ
              There was someone posted a while back about the dreams. How they are a sign that your subconscious is processing the experience in order to clear your system and allow you to move on. She described them as
              being like a cat horking up a hairball.
              That image made me laugh all day, and at that time I so needed something to laugh about. The dreams were so vivid, intense and portentous.

          • natashya says:

            lilia, the dreams are normal. they’re part of the healing. try to accept that this will happen and don’t beat yourself up over it. they will go away. just the other day i woke up and for the first 15 minutes i didn’t even think about the ex EUM. when i did, i couldn’t remember dreaming about him, either.

            the only way out is through. there is a way out. after my break up, i was in so much pain, i cried so much. but i allowed it, to get it out. every tear shed is one i won’t have to carry with me in the present and the future.

            writing in my diary also helped a lot. making lists of why i shouldn’t be with him. things he’d done that were just not cool. i kept on reading them over and over. i still do, just not every day anymore.

            the pain will subside. the dreams will diminish.

          • Lilly says:

            Lilia, I cannot add to what has been said, but just wanted you to know that I can relate to all that you describe. You are not alone and here’s a big hug xx.

      • Red*ribbons says:

        Lilia
        you are doing exactly what you should be doing, maintain no contact. Even when it feels really really sore. It is a matter of time. Keep busy, be gentle with yourself, those dreams are common, I had them and an overwhelming panic if I woke in the night. It was horrible. I felt ill.
        I came to the conclusion that nobody could help me but myself. That felt like an epiphany. I took up running even though I could hardly breathe after 100 metres. I threw myself into my work determined to claw back some self esteem. I became comfortable alone, as I added more and more positive things to my day, he faded until I realised I hadn’t thought of him at all. I became fit, mentally and physically and if I ever see him again I’ll thank him for forcing me to turn my life around.
        “Living well is the best revenge”
        I didn’t know it at the time and I would never have believed it but having a relationshit was the best thing that could have happened to me. it woke me up…To think, I could have half lived my days away with a complete AC and I never would have found me.
        **Shudder**
        NC all the way.
        Keep reading BR.
        Everyone on here will support you, it’s a wonderful community.

        • Lilia says:

          Revolution, Dancingqueen, Mymble, Natashya, Lilly, Red*ribbons, thanks all of you for your support!
          I´ll just have to keep on going through those dreams. They are all different versions of me trying to get some of the EUM´s attention or discovering that he´s lied to me and that he´s with someone else.

          I´ll keep NC. Some sadness is always better than the acute despair I went through when I was in contact with him.
          Big hugs to all, this is indeed a wonderful community.

          • Revolution says:

            Lilia,

            You’re so welcome. I’m glad we all could help. You share such a kind heart through your comments here, and I hate to see you beat yourself up. I have full confidence that you will stick to it and get there in the end. :)

      • Victorious says:

        I don’t know if this will help Lillia but several times I have read that getting “over” these particular type of men is like quitting smoking. You know they are bad for you and that you don’t want the cigarrettes/man any more, but there is a part of you that doesn’t want to let go, that wishes they weren’t bad for you so you could stick with it/them. When I quit smoking I used to have really vivid dreams, up to a year/18 months afterwards, where I was smoking again. When I awoke I was disgusted with myself until I realized it was just a dream. Then I was really relieved it was just a dream and I hadn’t started smoking again. I think it is a natural part of the process and you are doing so well. Give yourself a little pat on the back. YOu deserve it.

    • Mymble says:

      Red ribbons
      It’s really great to hear your story. I hope it continues as well as it has begun.

    • Allison says:

      Glad you shared!!!!

      All the best :)

  32. Jennifer says:

    Personally, I’ve never seen anything good or a healthy relationship come out of online dating. Yes, I’ve seen marriages result, but very, very bad ones. I’m not saying finding a healthy, mutally fulfilling relationship online is impossible. But it’s a bit like being the exception to the rule. It’s a bit forced. It takes a lot of the enjoyment out of dating. There’s something to be said for meeting people whether it be friends or dates organically. Just by being in places you love, surrounded by people you love. I’m not totally there. I still find myself in situations that are not so great, and I think, “Why am I here with these people doing this? I can’t stand it!” And I get out. Know yourself. Don’t be hungry with dating. I once was and still am sometimes. But the dubious mates you’ll attract set you up for bein a fallback girl.

    I remember when I first got Natalie’s bood Mr Unavailable and the Fallback girl. I thought, “I’m not a fallback girl! I’m such a bitch!” I was indeed a fallback girl hiding behind a cynical facade I thought drove men crazy for me. It did. Al the wrong ones who used and dropped me. The facade was just a cover up for a lot of deep hurts.

    Also, a year or so ago my cousin set me up with a man she met online. He texted me near everyday for a few weeks before we actually went on a date. I was so not attracted to him. EVER. I used him fpr attention to get validation that I was still attractive to the opposite sex (I was 27 and hadn’t had a bf in 5 years). Ladies, do not think you have to settle. Get happy with you. If you wanna feel beautiful and loved, seriously, look yourself straight in the mirror in the eyes, and say. “I love and accept you just as you are. And..YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.”

    • searcher says:

      Jennifer,
      That’s funny because my close friend just told me a few weeks ago to wake up every morning, look at myself in the mirror and repeat a mantra like what you’ve just said. I asked her how could that work if you don’t truly believe it. She said when she started telling herself every day that she’s beautiful and loves herself, she didn’t truly believe those words but after time they sunk in and she began believing them and feeling better about herself more each day.

      I can’t say I’ve started it yet but I think it’s a great idea. Just another thing on my list of to-do’s!

      • Rosie says:

        Jennifer and Searcher,

        When I feel rejected, looking at myself in the mirror helps a lot. I look myself in the eye and take notice of what’s there–smarts, kindness, humor, femininity… Also, I make a list of everything I like about myself. As days go by and I think of something else I like about myself, I add it to my list. After reading over my list, I realize that his rejection is his mistake. He’s losing by not knowing me. :)

    • SM says:

      Jennifer I know 3 people who married someone they met online and all started out in situations you should never be in or continue. Two of the guys are functioning alcoholics, two situations they were just separated or still living with the spouse. The other they met online and married 9 weeks later, he’s an alcoholic and I wonder if she even did a background check on him. The friend that married the guy still living with his spouse, keeps telling me that I should consider dating a just separated man because they dont want to be single for long (no thanks). So even though I know people who found someone to marry online, I cant say I hold those up as examples.

  33. Laurie says:

    I am SO relieved to hear someone come right out and say don’t do the on-line dating thing if you struggle with rejection and low self-esteem. It’s so idealized, this whole on-line thing, like “Mr. Prince really IS waiting for you out there, your happy ever after is just waiting for you to log on and find it” … it’s a hellacious place for someone emotionally vulnerable. I’ve known this for a while but finally accepted that I don’t belong on these sites. better off alone without all the pain and drama. The one person I’ve recently “met” off the personals was so lacking in any form of basically decent behavior but was SOOOOOO good looking, I tailed him for months before I realized he was shit in a relationship and I’d been settling for crumbs. Why do women do that? OK, I know why … I just wish it weren’t so :).

  34. Heather says:

    Natalie,

    I wish I had read this years ago, before I gave online dating a real go, after getting out of a bad marriage. I knew that it would not always be easy, but still. It was hard after awhile, to be told that the guy really wanted something serious, only for him to disappear after getting what he was looking for (a shag).

    It left me with the impression that guys just do not want anything but sex, and that anyone who talks about a relationship, is someone to be cautious of, because it’s probably insincere. It was to the point that I was ready to finally call it quits for awhile, late last year, and stop dating at all, online or off. Three days before my self-imposed cutoff date, I began chatting with a nice fellow, who is now my boyfriend of almost a year.

    I think I’d have dealt with the rejection a lot better and understood things more, had I had this article. I’m glad you wrote it though, because it did explain alot of things to me. And should my relationship end, and I ever decide to try dating again (which is looking to be less and less likely), I will keep what you wrote, firmly in mind. Keep expectations to a bare minimum, be ready for anything, and don’t get wrapped up in just a profile or a message or one date.

  35. Be True says:

    I’ve been online “dating” off and on for almost a year now. I’ve met many men and while I always try to take something from that meeting (even if it’s just a recommendation for a new tv show), they never lead anywhere. But like many here, I don’t have many other options in meeting people so I leave my profile up. I take breaks when it gets to be too annoying, but I always come back. But once you’ve done it awhile, you do get better at “vetting” the participants and learning how to read the signs. I will say I think it’s just men these days, I don’t think it’s just online. I’ve heard the same stories from girls who’ve met guys in person first.. it’s not just the online crowd. It’s ALL OF THEM.

  36. Claudia says:

    For some reason I always wonder why someone normal and likable would have to resort to online-dating. Could it be…bad luck? living and working in an area with no humans? (these two are the only excusable, although very unlikely reasons I can think of)

    My other theories are either hilarious or scary.

    Or maybe I’m just too cynical.

    • FX says:

      Claudia, I’m glad you wrote this because it gives me an opening… 11 years ago, my bf whom I was crazy about moved literally to the other side of the planet. I worked with mostly women but was a very attractive, fit and young 42, outgoing and lived in a trendy, lively area in a big city. I had never had a problem meeting men before. After being in a funk for about the ex for 6 months, I realized I wanted to date. I didn’t have anyone on my radar and hadn’t even met an interesting man for a while.

      Sitting at work one day, an ad for Match.com popped up and I clicked through. I called my best friend and exclaimed, “Did you know you can shop for men on your computer? It’s like a catalog! There are pictures and everything!” And, I went on tons of dates and met some cool guys – a few turned into relationships of varying lengths but it did get me back out and about and I started meeting men in real life again.

      After my last LTR whom I met the old-fashioned way – in a bar LOL, I’m in my 50s so it is even more difficult to meet men to date in real life even in a big city. Anyway, I’m back online but I am a very different person than I was during my last round and so I am much more selective.

      I don’t know your age but opportunities do shrink with as you get older – it is hard for me to even find a like-minded woman to go out with where we might meet men. For me, online dating is just a way to make a shallow pool a little deeper.

    • Allison says:

      Claudia,

      I have not done any online dating, but have considered it.

      I live in NYC, and believe it or not, it is very difficult to meet men. I am very social, and have many different interests, yet have found it difficult to meet a perspective partner – I, also, have many beautiful, educated, lovely friends who are in the same boat, it simply is difficult to make connections.

      I have to say that I do know others who have met their partners online, and seem to be in solid relationships.

      Maybe, it is time to give it a try, but go in with realistic expectations.

      • Claudia says:

        Allison, Fx.

        I have to admit I had not considered your contexts.
        I am 35 years old and live in an area where people are very open to dating (although demographically I think a big percentage of existing assclowns has been generously provided)
        I didn’t know that dating was so hard in NYC, Allison. :(
        And FX, I have felt the effect of ageing as well. It does shrink your dating opportunities, but it also filters bullshit you shouldn’t be dealing with at this point in your life. I would love to hear a successful end to your story and maybe stop being so cynical about online dating :):)

  37. Kate says:

    I’m constantly surprised by how disappointed, hurt and jaded people feel after experiencing online dating. Its strange, because I’ve always viewed myself as quite a sensitive soul, with strong moral values, and so online dating seemed like a harsh world to voluntarily enter. However I’ve been dating online now for about 2 months and have been really enjoying it. I keep my expectations low, I consider anything I read online as meaningless until I meet the person, and I do some serious “reading between the lines”. You have to attempt to learn the language of online dating – “looking for someone to hang out with” = not interested in serious relationship, “I want someone fit and attractive” = I’m shallow and I’m probably about 80lb overweight, No profile picture = probably married. The thing is, I try hard not to see these failures in other people as a reflection on me, if anything I find people’s foibles and fudging of the truth as actually pretty hilarious. Sure I’ve been taken in for a day or two on a couple of occasions by smooth talkers, but I’ve cut the cord as soon as I saw who they really are. I always remember Natalie’s words “You don’t live in a fairy tale”. Stick to your boundaries, spend time getting to really know someone, look for honesty/kindness/selflessness/self awareness and don’t be hard on yourself if something doesn’t work out. Its just a big learning process and I see it as a way to hone my skills in identifying EUMs from a mile off.

    Please don’t be jaded ladies, just remember there ARE good people out there, its just a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, you have to be patient and keep your sense of humor. And when it all gets too much, take a break until you are feeling more able to dive back in. And keep BR at hand at all times to refer back to!!

  38. malaise says:

    An online profile is just a gauge, and maybe not even a good one at that. I was on a dating site again recently but realized pretty quickly I was wasting my time, and still not over my last relationship. I’m just done. It’s hard though once you’ve been burned to not be overly cynical or judgemental. You don’t want to start off with a negative mindet that every guy is lying until he proves you wrong, but you do want to be alert and self-aware. The worst thing you can do if you already have self-esteem and relationship issues is to foray into online dating. BAD IDEA. I learned the hard way.

    I think the best thing is to keep the online, NON face-to-face contact to a bare minimum. If it hasn’t been said face to face it doesn’t mean anything. Just because you talked for hours online doesn’t mean you actually KNOW who they are. People want to build a comfort level online with a person before they meet which is fair, and that might weed out the obvious players and psychos. But you can get TOO comfortable, and before you know it you’re in another imaginary relationship. You’ll build them up and have unrealistic expectations when you eventually do meet.

  39. Stephanie says:

    I tried eharmony last year and it was a mistake. I didn’t realise how low my self esteem was and how vulnerable I was. I met the most charming handsome man I had ever laid eyes on after only doing online dating for 2 weeks. He swept me off my feet for a couple of months then stood me up and flushed me without any explanation. Looking back the signs and red flags where there but the whole situation has put me off online dating because after he dumped me, he updated his profile to read “honesty is a must as I’m looking for someone special”. This guy passive aggressively told me lies towards the end as he was trying to fade me out so I thought it was funny he wanted someone honest! I played my part in this because as Natalie suggests I didn’t use the dating period to discovery who this guy was I just fell head over heels because I thought he was better than me and believed all the future faking. Its taken a lot of reading Natalie’s post and some counselling to get rid of my negative thoughts about myself. But I still would try online dating!

  40. beautifulsoul says:

    When it comes to dating online I think the huge problem is finding somebody who is authentic & honest. If everybody online was honest and authentic & kept their feet planted in reality, online dating wouldn’t be an issue. But we live in a real world & it’s important to keep your eyes open & to stay even more alert for the red flags that may pop up when dating online. The good thing is us women are equipped with so much wisdom regarding dating — oh how i wish I knew about Baggage Reclaim when I was in College!

  41. MuchMoreBetter says:

    I’ll join the few-and-far-between dissenters to the general chorus of anti-online-dating voices. I found my awesome (more awesome every day, after over a year of dating) boyfriend in The Land of Broken Toys, as I like to call internet dating. I’ve tried the online thing a couple of times before and it never worked, until it did. The absolute key for me was that this time, I was not there to look for a relationship. I accepted from the beginning that my chances of finding someone dateable online were so slim, they could be pretty much disregarded. Instead, I was there to do my homework. I realized that I sucked at talking to people I did not already know, especially with the possibility of it turning into a date. So I went online specifically to meet a whole bunch of people and practice talking to strangers.

    It was a learning experience, all right. I got some hilariously awful messages (I still have the screenshots!), read PILES of boring profiles, met some interesting guys, went on *a lot* of first dates and very, very few second ones. I learned how to figure out my interest level, and what my interest was actually based on. I learned how to judge THEIR interest, too. I discovered that there’s a whole variety of reasons why people go out and date, much along the lines of Natalie’s post. I also learned that people often don’t actually admit the reasons to themselves, let alone you. I mean, what nice guy would ever tell himself “I just want the validation that chicks still want me”? The creeps were just the honest ones. In fact, I found Natalie’s blog because after another spectacularly confusing encounter I finally realized that I needed more information and Googled. The learning experience of going on a dating site for the learning instead of the dating was very, very valuable for me.

    So yeah, personally I recommend trying a dating site, as long as you’re not on there to find a good guy who’s the right fit for you, to actually date. Because if you don’t expect that outcome, you might actually enjoy the experience – meet a bunch of new people, find out about a bunch of new music, go to new places in town you’ve never tried before, get some funny stories. Because then you’ll learn a lot about people in general and yourself in particular. Because then you’ll learn to chill out and just get to know people, for the sake of getting to know them, because people are interesting even if they’re not The One. Because then…you might actually find one. I’d say the chances are about as good as finding a keeper at a bar – always possible, just not probable.

    Also, a note to the girls: don’t wait for the guys you want to chat up to contact you. Playing coy doesn’t work on the internets – how are they supposed to know you want to talk to them? All the guys I actually enjoyed meeting were the ones I initiated contact with myself, including the (eventual) bf. All the guys who contacted me first were no good – creepy, or boring, or rude, or with serious issues, or all of the above.

    • runnergirl says:

      MuchMoreBetter,

      Perfectly stated. I have had a similar experience with online dating. I have learned a lot about me in particular. I’ve learned to chill and enjoy meeting new guys. Some are just hilarious. I’m totally enjoying the experiences.
      However almost two years ago, when I found Natalie and BR, I was a magnitude 10 wreck. You all don’t know how many times you scraped me off my bathroom floor or maybe you remember. Oh! It makes me cry again to re-live how low it was.
      Almost two years later after a steady BR diet, I’m feeling so different. Thanks to BR and Natalie.
      I can’t even believe I’m dating!

  42. Sadder but Wiser says:

    I have GOT to be positive about this whole thing because I’m about to take the plunge myself. Yikes! I’m devouring the positive stories here because I have to fortify my courage. Keep ‘em coming, please!

    Sigh.

    I really, really don’t want to have to resort to on-line dating, but I see no other way to meet someone suitable because I live in this very small town where the only unattached men are uneducated rednecks (I apologize if I’m offending anybody – but *wailing* it’s true!!!) The odds are almost zero that some great guy is just going to appear in the woods while I’m hiking or wander into town looking for direction while I just happen to be biking by or trip over my feet while I’m sitting having coffee in the cafe… nah, ain’t gonna happen.

    I’ve also been resisting due to stupid resentment because my ex has found plenty of women in this town and will never have to be lonely or do the on-line dating thing. How come I have to? How come he doesn’t have to? It’s not fair!! He’s come out on top again! Waah, waah, and so on, until I dissolve into a puddle of pouting and indignation. But I have to take a deep breath and face the reality. His life is his and mine is mine, and never the twain shall meet.

    I have to hang onto the fact that my sister, who also lives in this town, also knew that Mr. Wonderful was not just going to knock on her door one day, so she did E-Harmony, and guess what! Found a great guy who was willing to do the 6-hour commute during their dating period. They got married 3 years ago and have a darling 16-month-old girl right now. AND my 59-year-old cousin found her husband on Christian Mingle a year ago and is as happy as she can be. At age 58 she had never heard of this guy. At age 59 she was crazy in love and getting married. Two success stories in my own family! So it CAN happen!

    • cc says:

      sadder but wiser-
      i can attest to both the online horror stories and the success stories. i can summarize it like this:

      my best friend met her now husband online. but he was really the only truly half-way decent guy she met. there was her (truly wonderful) husband; fifty feet of crap; and then every other guy she dated.

      online dating is just another method of meeting people. i know all that stuff about your ex plagues you, but don’t let online dating be yet another thing on that pile. everything natalie said in this post is true. and my experience has been that it is VERY hard to meet a decent guy online.

      but for me, it has worked in the sense that i spent 20 years of my adult life in 2 monogamous relationships. so, really i didn’t go on my first real date until just a couple years ago. if i didn’t have online dating, i wouldn’t have dated at all because i just don’t meet eligible available guys every day. and i had a sharp (painful) learning curve, met my exEUM (online) and then found BR.

      so just take BR with you when you go online. then write the best profile you can, put up attractive pictures of you, then get ready to weed out the jerks, the losers, and the obviously incompatible. then just see. take BR with you when you go out on dates.

      just try to ease up on the preconceived notions. yes, its like a supermarket. but (i hope) there are decent guys too.

      p.s. hi, all BR. been a while.

      • runnergirl says:

        Hi cc, I remember you and nice to hear from you. Welcome BACK! I agree online dating is just another way of meeting people, assuming you are over the ex, have some self-esteem, boundaries, and take BR/Natalie with you when you go. That would be true even if you met a guy in person, right? I don’t see much of a difference between starting online and then meeting in person vs. starting out in person. There is a weeding process either way. For me, what has been important, whether I meet the guy in person or online and then in person, is I have to know what I want. I have to have boundaries and enforce them (so far so good). I have to have some self-esteem (so far so good).
        Trust me, I have fallen head over heels in love at accreditation meetings (enter exMM #2) or a faculty conference (see exMM #1) with a guy who is there in person. I have more horror stories about in-person guys than I do online guys. However, my in-person horror stories are as a result of my inclination to fantasy and dream. I’m on a strict no fantasy/dreamer diet. Thus, it wouldn’t matter whether he showed up in the produce section of my grocery store, at my gym, gas station, at a faculty meeting, on my couch (fat chance) or online. The same rules apply in ALL circumstances. Boundaries: Trust, Honesty, and Respect. Everything Natalie says in this post is true whether you are online or hanging out with friends at the local pub, art gallery, or on a hike.
        BTW, you all go with me on every date! Even though I’m in a geographically desirable spot on the planet, it’s still hard to wander around and meet folks. Oh, and you want to talk about guys just looking for a quick shag, try the two cafes within 1 mile of me. You can meet them in person and they still want a quick shag!
        I take BR with me wherever I go.

      • Lilly says:

        cc, I missed you! Glad your back

      • Revolution says:

        cc! Welcome back!

        Where the hell have you been? ;)

        • cc says:

          hi, my lil bunny rabbits,
          i missed you too. i didn’t really go anywhere, i’ve been following natalie’s posts and have been journaling.

          also got swept up for a few weeks in what turned out to be a pretty classic fast forwarding thing until i put an end to it. so, honestly, i didn’t feel i had the RIGHT to say anything here once i realized what a doofus i was being.

          anyway. hugs all around.

          • Revolution says:

            Doofusery happens to the best of us, cc. Sorry you had to deal with that, but glad to hear from you. Hugs back. :)

          • selkie says:

            cc,
            What you brought up has been on my mind quietly.
            I’ve spent a bit of time cooling my jets and doing some soul searching after my last breakup and feel pretty good these days. I feel almost ready to date again. BUT…..I have been wondering how much of what I’ve learned will survive my next dating encounter? It’s definately easier to have boundaries in place when their isn’t much to challenge them. Will I preserve my boundaries or get swept up into la la land? Chalk this latest fast forward madness you experienced up as a BR ‘pop quiz’. You got out and passed. Can you reflect, learn and do even better….yep, but we don’t know where we are sometimes until we do a road test, right? A few weeks is better than a few months, and way better than a few years. Change takes time. Taking chances and learning from them is how we move forward. You did good.

            • cc says:

              thanks, selkie-
              i guess what was different this time around was: the rather blistering speed with which i, once certain boundaries had been crossed, assessed him differently and opted out (athough he did do something pretty bad, so that made it easier); the brevity of time i spent in self-criticism (VERY short); once i decided to opt out, i DECIDED, even in my own head. i didn’t let the long-tailed rats run round in doubt.

              more – i recognized my reaction to what he did as absolutely valid and reasonable. i deemed actions as unacceptable – and my judgment of them as sufficient. i didn’t have to be 100% correct – somewhere between 52%-99% was good enough.

              i felt the feelings, searched my conscience, checked my gut, decided and acted. and i had never done it so relatively simply before.

              so, the bad news is i entertained a situation like that again. the good news is that i was a whole new person when it came to getting myself out of it. and absolutely NO CONTACT since!

              so, yes. you have to road test yourself. and then stay on your own side (!!!) if you find yourself going down the same street again. just turn off that road. and shrug your shoulders and move on.

            • yoghurt says:

              Really good to see you back, cc! :)

              If it’s any consolation, I’ve had my own episode of doofusery in the past month. I lay low for a short while and felt sneaky and bad for not mentioning it…

              …but I processed it, and I realised that a) my self-esteem is clearly better because whereas, even six months ago, I would’ve been dragged into a massive drama that existed only in my head and then suffered an appalling ‘bump’ when (after a long while) it ended, this time I was only briefly carried away. b) Although I did feel manky on the back of it, it was a short sharp jolt c) I was more frustrated and annoyed by the way that it pushed back my ‘progress’ (which hitherto had been good) than the reality of the situation, which wasn’t anything new d) I most certainly WON’T be letting it happen again, because the impression that the frustration, annoyance (more at myself) and hurt have made an impression that I think goes deeper than my automatic-response reflex and e) the reason that I didn’t want to talk about it wasn’t because I wanted to keep up some facade of having-it-togetherness (which, ftr, I don’t) but because I didn’t need to, because I was able to work through it myself.

              I can tell you about it if anyone’s interested, but only for the purposes of openness and disclosure. It’s only the same old same old.

              In any case, my point is that I don’t think that any of us are going to go back into the field and the Real World and get everything right. This stuff takes practice. The difference is that the failures feel different and help to inform our future responses instead of keeping us stuck. So it’s good :)

              • selkie says:

                cc and Yoghurt,

                It sucks we have to encounter these opt out situations, but as we get better in our own skins, the world outside us revolves as it ever did. Jerks still exist. What’s changed is our willingness to get played by them. As you said, less time wasted on self doubt and indecision. Freeing up time for good things in our life. Be very proud of yourself.

                Yogurt,
                Getting better isn’t about getting perfect. WE make mistakes. We still misread or even take a step backward sometimes. Recognizing it and getting back on track to ‘self’ is the important. part. You went over a speed bump, swerved a little and survived without too many scratches. Wipe off the dirt and give yourself a hug. ((((hugs))))

                • cc says:

                  hi, yoghurt!! :)
                  yes, like selkie said, there is no linear. also, it takes time to get to know someone. and when we are healthier, even if we got a bit tipsy on their kool-aid for a while, we are MUCH better equipped to sober up quick and cry “oh, hell, no” when we realize we shouldn’t have engaged or come to discover they’re not what we thought they were.

                  once upon a bad time, we both would have blamed ourselves for not being able to get the other person to stop being an asshat – as if their asshattery has anything whatsoever to do with us. but our times have changed, we changed them.

                  so, be glad you’re strong enough to opt out, not unhappy that you opted in for a little while.

                  and selkie-
                  ok, a week ago i couldn’t have said this – but now i see our getting tested in these ways as a GOOD thing. if we don’t get challenged and pass the tests, how will we ever develop confidence? how will we continue to grow? i *know* its painful (oh, god, i know). but the more we are tested, the better we’ll get at opting out and at doing so earlier and earlier, and the less we’ll opt in to bullshit situations in the first place.

                  and its funny – my first impressions are generally correct. when i looked at the recent ACs picture, my first reaction was – he looks like trouble, like an overgrown child. and he was.

  43. Blackbird says:

    Great article, Natalie.

    You are right that there are a lot of problems inherent in online dating, if a person goes into it not knowing what they want or being clear in how it should work. I agree that the best thing is to view it as a means of introduction to someone whom you want to get to know in real life. Then it becomes like any other “dating discovery” period.

    Thanks again – love your work and have really enjoyed your books.

  44. SM says:

    Natalie I’m so glad you wrote on this topic. Sometimes I think online dating is the only way to meet people. I am out doing things and meeting people all the time, socially and for my job. I rarely meet single men on these outings let alone anyone who would be a potential for me. I’m 45 and I work in the finance world in a fairly large city, I want to meet someone in person but where are they! I go to sporting events, all kinds of stuff, nothing. I’ve done online dating and have met people but it is a lot of work and I just dont have the ambition for it right now.

  45. Tired says:

    Yep even on twitter . Within 8 odd messages he started to mention sex . He said it was a shame we lived so far away it wouldnt work it be a sex thing !!!!!!. Erh no and yukkkkkkkkkkkkkkk .So for the first time in my life instead of ignore it and continue i replied “no it wouldnt i dont do that sort of thing and espically with men that mention it within eight messages of talking to some one .” Its called respecting people !!! He dissapeared of what a gruesome person . Still im chuffed as it means im not scared , shy about stating my boundries . Thanks to here , im also 14 days nc . Yesterday i wS so low very low almost reached out . But i didnt rode the storm out .im feeling proud of myself and im learning to go it alone and if i can do this ill never be scared to go it alone again .thus meaning ill get over rejection easier if it happens again and not cling on like a idiot .:)

  46. theres more to life says:

    Sadder but wiser

    Don’t be ashamed or afraid of using online dating if you want to give it a go. The way I see things is that there a plenty of nice normal people out there you just have to be careful when you first join up. There may be a womens chat area where you can learn a few useful tips if you unsure how to proceed.

    It can get disconcerting depending on who you listen to but I think to be on a dating site you have to be open to the idea that there are some good guys out there (ref recent NML post on being open minded). I did a short stint on online dating and met some genuinely nice guys.

    I feel saddened when people try to say that there are no good guys out there. I think that is a state of mind and stage of life where time is needed to heal and restore trust and belief in the goodness of people and human kind. Sure there may be people on there that have less than honest ulterior motives but if you can be “street smart” the chances of meeting these people reduces dramatically.

    • Marie83 says:

      Thanks there’s more to life you made me feel a bit better – I find it quite depressing when people use the ‘no good men’ speech. I have been in an unhealthy relationship on and off for 3 yrs and the reason why I stuck with him (even when he disappeared countless times) was due to fear – I am coming upto 30 and all my close female friends are married/have kids and I think I do feel a bit like time is running out.However online dating is not for me – my ex was a bit texter/social media communicator and I really think that if I am to meet someone it will not be based online

  47. miskwa says:

    @Claudia
    See Sadder but Wisers comments. She and I are in much the same boat, in a small town, there frequently are NO available healthy men in ones age and educational range. It’s a matter of demographics combined with the harsh reality that small towns, being more affordable (especially here in the mountains) wind up as a sort of dumping ground for folks that cannot live elsewhere. Also, dating a local can lead to big problems if the relationship goes south. One ex works with me, the other lives at the bottom of the college road. Have to deal with both every damn day. You live in a fishbowl. Yep, on line has it’s problems but you will not have bump into those problems on a daily basis. Like I wrote earlier, often one does not find a partner so much as a kindred soul. I can discuss environmental issues, organic gardening, books, rant about the goddam mine and have my opinions honored. I cannot do that where I live/work. Sadder, I’d say give it a shot. I have a subscription to an identity monitor program,you need to subscribe too. if he’s interesting, look him up. If he doesn’t show up on the search bail immediately. You will deal with all manner of unavailables, future fakers, scammers, and a handful of genuinely nice guys. It’s a real good way to practice your BR skills. Also, get away on occasion even to another small town. I have a number of ” escape” places, more progressive small towns that I’d love to live in if there were jobs for me there. Weather permitting, I go there not looking for men but to tour the art galleries, shops, eat at good restaurants, go to indy bookstores, etc. Escape is a good thing at times.

    • Sadder but Wiser says:

      Thanks Miskwa, and you’re absolutely right about the dumping ground reality of small rural towns. I do have a vibrant and interesting college town about an hour away where I go for cultural events and some progressive thinking. I’m pondering the possibility of moving there. If there are any eligble men within a hundred miles of me, that’s where they will be.

  48. Lotus says:

    Thanks Natalie – so much! When I read your blog and every single comment from every woman on here, I FEEL for every single one of you! Stay strong sisters. Our biology so wants us to love and populate the planet, so men, talented charming and lovely, know how to get what they need from us without giving us anything that has any spiritual emotional use to us. Someone offered me a crumb last night – I thought it would taste good after all these 4 years, but it was nothing – unsatisfying. Wait for the signs so you can find a worthy man. Try to look past the good looks, nice veneers and decent job. Really SEE what Natalie is revealing to us. :)

  49. Shelly says:

    I haven’t posted here in almost a year, which means NC from my last assclown worked better than I could have ever hoped – he just slipped out of my consciousness while I was busy focusing on the rest of my life and I never felt the need to go back there. Believe me back then I NEVER thought that day would come! However, I have just got burned big time with the online dating thing. I have no idea why I got so carried away. I thought I had been savvy with myself and deliberately kept online chat to a minimum (so I wouldn’t end up building castles in the sky – my MO) and got a face to face date. Just went from London to Cyprus for it. In my defense I had just finished working on the Olympics and an adventure seemed better than that come down. The red flags were there plain to see – lack of contact, and only spoken on the phone once before I left. I only had the vaguest idea of who I was really meeting (but I did friends out there and in much higher places should things have gone really bad – silly yes, suicidal not quite!!). Literally, got in the taxi and within 10minutes he was kissing me. Got to the hotel and it was sex. I really thought I had worked on my boundaries… Anyway, three days later he went back to his base and I went back home. Supposedly, it would be ‘unfair’ to ask me to wait for him because of his job – he said it so sincerely because he really ‘liked’ me… but, ‘I know what Army life is like’. I got home and one of the three texts I received from him since was that I should ‘keep an open mind about meeting other guys’. I am so ashamed to have fallen for it all. Worse I work with ex army and a lot of current army I should know better. I really want to rage back at him. But NC is the only way to go. Just remember girls it isn’t Ronseal – it doesn’t always do what it says on the tin. His said he was ‘looking for a relationship’ what he really meant was itching for a quick shag…

    • Lilly says:

      Shelly, your post made me think of one of Natalie’s quotes about being human and wanting to love and be loved. You took a chance, but unfortunately fell into the clutches of another AC. I’m sorry you have been burned again and I feel very angry on your behalf. Your experience reminded me of a trip I took to Canada (I live in Oz) last year. I was 4 months pregnant and the exMM had arranged for us to attend a conference relating to our studies. I’d just recovered from severe morning sickness, and had been in hospital. I was a bit concerned about travelling such a long way, but badly wanted to see him and was feeling a lot better. I thought it meant he cared for and wanted to be with me. He certainly seemed excited and wanted to talk about the future, etc. BS – the only thing he wanted was sex. Five days later and I was an emotional wreck. He left the night before me and I cried and cried. This part makes me laugh with derision now, but when I emailed to tell him how unhappy I was he said “you will adjust to my absence just as you did to my presence”! That was it! At the time I was crushed. Not so much now, but what was I thinking!? Well basically I wasn’t. I had ignored all the red flags – right from the word go. He was a married, EUM/AC even though he may have encouraged me to believe otherwise. I, too, feel deeply ashamed to have fallen for it all and worse I didn’t even consider the potential impact on his wife. It’s going to take some time coming to terms with that. I read somewhere that facing shame, but respecting our limitations can tell us a lot about ourselves and can lead to authentic and lasting self-esteem. That’s what I’m hoping for and working towards. I agree NC is the only way to go with these people as difficult as it is. I wish you a speedy recovery from this latest AC. Take hope that you succeeded before and you will again.

  50. Lotus says:

    Let’s face it – sometimes you meet them in person and they’re georgeous, even beautiful. And they’re good lovers and you fall for them. All of this happens before you’ve discerned that they’re unsuitable on so many levels. It hurts. I hurt. The NC continues, just waiting for my brain to feel completely healed. Let’s all of us be healed together.

  51. miskwa says:

    Runnergirl
    Unfortunately it is indeed them on the mototcycle or ATV (all terrain vermin )and looking like a leather clad beached whale. And what part of “I am not interested in any form of motorized recreation ” did you not understand? I don’t know whazzup with the dead fish pics either, nor the dead elk/deer pics. I have gotten a number of beautifully written profiles with a pic of a nice, distinguished guy only to get emails back from them that appear to be written by a kindergartener. I too am an educator, which is clearly stated in my profile. What really frosts my behind is that some realtionship blogs state that kickass chicks such as you and I are supposed to dumb down, lower our expectations, and accept these dudes. Yep, we should write a book about our experiences, it would be a hoot!

    • lygia says:

      Yes, they cannot write, most of them. My first language is Portuguese, Im in Brazil. I despair of the Portuguese I see these guys trying to write. They also get very scared when they realize I know English and say that im too much for them!!!! Talk about excuses. One said he knew English and when he realized that I knew it as well he disappeared.
      Most of the guys I talk online tend to be in manual professions, what in itself is no problem, but they cannot hold a conversation and cannot write or express their thoughts properly. Talk turns to sex very quickly and when I mention Id like to talk about books and plays they just disappear. I have met hundreds of guys like that online and I dont know where the intelectuals and educated are, possibly taking care of their wifes and jobs.

      • runnergirl says:

        Miskwa and lygia,

        Ladies you made me laugh. Dead elk? No way. Maybe it is due to the geography. Most folks don’t hunt elk in So Cal, thank god. But I’ve never seen so many dead fish in my life.

        lygia, I get responses from guys saying I’m stunning but I seem out of their league but they just wanted me to know. Huh? What am I supposed to say? If they say you are too much for them, you probably are! If a guy tells you you are too much for them or out of their league, LISTEN! And lygia, careful about assumptions about intellectuals. The exMM is a brilliant lawyer, great politician, English lit major, well read, could write extremely well, and could talk your ear off about anything. I was blinded by lots of things, including his intelligence, dreamy good looks, his jeans, and his hair. However, he wasn’t home taking care of his wife and kids. He was having an affair…with me.

        Oh well, its fun meeting all kinds of folks. Not so sure about the dead elk guys though. Sorry Miskwa.

  52. Spinster says:

    I’ve never been a fan of online dating and don’t think I’ll ever do it, to be honest. This gives me even more reason to stay away from it. Thanks.

  53. Valley Forge Lady says:

    When this conversation started I was playing with the idea of getting off Match. The idea made me anxious because I was beginning to feel like I was giving up.

    Today I decided to stay on. Match is just a way of staying the in game when I am so busy with my business. I feel more relaxed and less stressed by the dating process since I have this back up tool.

    I looked over the list of men who have viewed me and not contacted me. I observed two things:
    First, the guys thought I was attractive enough to check out Second, despite my looks the guys were correct that we were not a match.

    I am hoping that lightening will strike and I don’t feel so isolated. I have choices. And for that I am appreciative. My boundaries are in place.

  54. Awakened says:

    @Lotus you have to look past the beautiful veneers because there is truth behind every fake smile. My last online Dating EUM had such beautiful teeth and a gorgeous smile yet he was Mr. Jekyle and Dr. Hyde.

    I can now look back and reflect with a sense happiness and peace. 5 months post op NC today. Happiness that I am now aware of all the red flags that so failed at overlooking and peace that passes all understanding to grasp it all. God gave me that.

    My failed to SEE’s were clearly there in BOLD.
    He had a child from an ex which was adamant that he was not over her. I don’t have any and I would never date a man with kids. Conflict will always be there; and with my first born I would never want to share that attention with any baby moma. So clearly should have been a DISMISS for him the moment he contacted me online.

    He had a huge porn and gaming addiction.

    Workaholic until he lost his job 2 days before he drove 10 hours to see me with his daughter. They got a free trip basically minus him footing the bill for his hotel. Great southern hospitality from my fam oh and he got a good free meal.

    Not a very great communicator which he professed to me in the beginning. He communicated mostly by TEXT and a hermit by phone.

    A big time SEXTER…. Sexting was a turn on for him everyday. The only way he could seem to get a “BONER”. Something that was totally uncomfortable for me but I went along with it.

    Frequent drinking binges after work with his buddies from WORK cause he didn’t have any REAL LIFE friends.

    No spiritually or real Committment to God;no effort in attending church; just professed to be an faithful Bible Reader. A wolve in Sheeps clothing basically.

    You can’t have on rosé colored glasses going on theses dating sites. Be sure to take those off first ladies and proceed with DOUBLE CAUTION: oh and make sure you read between the lines and the fine print too.

    • runnergirl says:

      Dear God Awakened, there is no way in hell that some good teeth and great smile could cover up his issues, right? Huge porn and gaming addiction…? Sexter? Drinking binges? Whoo Nelly, there’s a flusher despite his great teeth. In my book, the kid would be way down on the reason to flush list. Hopefully you’ve blocked and flushed twice. ICK!

  55. Anon says:

    Oh my! It’s the weekend, so lots of free time to contemplate life, I woke up thinking for the umpteenth time of trying online dating. I opened the curtains, made coffee and thought of the future, could this change my life? Then I got to the computer, started the checklist and the profile, & stopped myself with an uncomfortable gut feeling. I googled the customer reviews for match.com, has any one done this before? These are over 2,000 recent opinions, not just in the US. http://www.edatereview.com/081001displayreviews.aspx

    • selkie says:

      Anon,

      Whoa! That was goosebump scary in my opinion. The reviews I read by men made me feel like I was a female commodity, not a human. Yikes. Good people do go to dating sites, but I bet they are a needle in the haystack to find.

  56. Roz says:

    Here’s an experience I had with online dating. I filled out a profile, and ended up getting TONS of responses. I am not THAT great looking. I mean, a ton, from lots of gorgeous guys lots of charm, compliments, flattery. I began to chat with one or two, and I quickly found out that I had not noticed the boxes I’d checked for “What I was looking for.” Well, all of them went checked, including “Casual Sex.” I quickly went back and unchecked that box. Guess what–not one response after that. Not one! No charm, no flattery, no hey baby, nothin’. Dry as a desert. Nuff said.

    • runnergirl says:

      Hey Roz, so sorry but great story regarding online dating. I made a similar mistake early on and didn’t realize I could screen out by age. I’m 5frigging3, and kept getting responses from 20-somethings. I have a 23 yro daughter and there is no way in hell I’m going to bring home a guy who is my daughter’s age. Nothing at all against 20-something guys. They are totally cute but…! Opps on checking the “Casual Sex” box. Yup, nuff said if that is NOT what you want. You may want to revise your profile and recheck the boxes.

  57. natashya says:

    i am on an online dating service. i have mixed feelings about it. i did meet the ex EUM on it. however, reading pretty much all articles on BR, plus the dreamer and fbg books, i am so much wiser now.

    i started talking with what seemed to be a nice man, and then tonight, i found out he split up with his wife 3 years ago and is still living with her in the same house. i had total flashbacks of the ex EUM who was in slightly similar situation. if i ever heard an alarm bell, i heard it tonight. followed by the soothing sounds of a mental FLUSH!!!

    thank you nat!

  58. Alex Wise says:

    I have used online dating sites – main one being eharmony and have been messed about by every single guy on there.

    The 1st wanted to offer me his mobile no. After the first email, which I thought was way to lapse as I could have been a psycho. I shut him off.

    The 2nd and I built up a great rapport of 6wks – before we had even met. Huge mistake as when we met for the first date it was incredibly awkward to begin with. I am a forgiving lady and would have been willing to try a 2nd date as I believe that after being out of the dating circuit for ages, it usually takes the 2nd date (max) to decide of you really like a person. However, it messed me about again. After telling me how sexy and gorgeous I was on the night of the date as I was returning home, he went cold turkey on me for a number of days. I found myself texting him to get a defined idea of where we stood, only to get told that he wasn’t interested by text.

    So I learnt that it is important to meet the person asap after the first few emails otherwise preconceptions based on electronic mail are inevitable.

    3rd time lucky – or so I thought. Really not my usual type – but he appeared to be ok on screen. We communicated a few times via secure email then he emailed to ask if we could start talking via phone. Fantastic. Progress at last. Made each other giggle. All good. Couldn’t find a decent hour to meet up as due to my acting schedule on a weekend and weekday evenings and his normal working hours Mon-Friday and hectic schedule, no time. So I went over to his house for our first meeting after a long rehearsal schedule (DO NOT FOLLOW THIS EXAMPLE – BEGINNINGS OF BOOTIE CALL).

    Needless to say pur first meeting was – passionate without the full scale hog. The following weekend it all failed on the physical department and between a wedding and two funerals (one wedding and funeral his side and one funeral my side) he had gone from supposedly liking me enough to take himself off of eharmony (or so I thought) and deciding.that the other girl he dated before me wasn’t his type to deciding that I wasn’t his type, dating and wanting to be with someone else and my having to find out – again through texting his quite self that he no longer wanted to date me. Yes, you guessed it – via text.

    Ok, so so far I have learned A. No preconceptions about person PRIOR to meeting them in reality B. Talk to person via phone after first few emails. C. Meet person within certain time period of communicating via email D. No Bootie Calls E. Take time to get to know person

    Ok – so with all this in mind I move on to most recent guy. So back on Eharmony (after re-instating my profile after indecisive 3rd guy) and there has been just over two months since last guy. I have been contacted by a few people but none of their profiles click with me. I then check the eharmomy notes and suggestions – apparently my distance filters are too restrictive and I may increase my chances if I expand distance. I do this and what do you know? My responses increase 3 fault. 1 guy – an Irish norm.but bristol based chap contacts me and I contact a gorgeous looking (still non typical for my type) , cheeky but interesting seeming guy called David.

    • runnergirl says:

      Alex Wise, I’m online and I wouldn’t in my weakest moments agree to meet at a stranger’s house no matter how much we connected via text/email. Nor would I invite a perfect online stranger into my house. I’m not judging you or anybody else. I just want to get this on the record: It’s not only the onset of a bootie call but it could be dangerous. Be CAREFUL.
      Personally, I cannot do 6 weeks or 6 months of only online communication. I’m only up for about 6 email exchanges maximum. If there is no face-to-face, I’m not interested. Period. Lots of online guys may like to envision how cool they are online and may be able to carry off a totally cool online facade. So, I’m an in-person-online person. That weeds out a ton of the totally cool online dudes. Yeah, once they gotta own up to their goods, it gets a little dicey.

  59. Alex Wise says:

    Hey Runner girl,

    Completely shreds with what you said, hence lesson learned. I am way to trusting which is my problem. Last guy (or most recent guy) was met under completely safety circumstances. I think it is because I use to modelling, where some photographers would get really funny if you bought an entourage with you so instead it was about checking in with people (ie. Mates/Families via text/phonecalls).

    Most of the photographers were legit…..anyhow, in this case I did let a my friend know where I was and I was lucky that he was a douche and not a psycho BUT no, it is not something that I would be doing again. Also, by August, with last guy, I had learnt plenty more (like someone else on here said you can get a better idea of who is purely out for sex and who is talking sh1te – well sometimes). I met the last guy in london and we went for coffee, around Covent gardens etc. So yeah.

  60. Alex Wise says:

    Runner Girl,

    I didn’t mean do six weeks/6 months worth of communication before meeting up – although I ended up doing about that cos of my schedule at the time (between filming, auditioning) and his schedule where he was away for how many weekends.
    What I meant is, where sex is concerned (I call it the cookie – saw this film.which is based on.an actual book written by Steve Harvey – I will be investing in the book myself), unless you plan on having something casual, it is best to make the person wait for it and earn it – Steve Harvey refers to it as the “90 day rule” (there are other things that need to happen (or not happen) within that 90 day something I learnt from effectively putting myself out their as a Bootie Call with the 3rd guy (which was in-intentional due to my acting schedule).

    I know many people talk have talked about not being able to do long distance etc. However, that isn’t necessarily applicable in all cases. I am trying to establish my acting career (I have been acting on/off since I was 13) and after graduating in 2004 from uni with an English degree and trying to work and not being happy with what I was doing I audition for a part time acting course and spent two years re training up. I have given myself 18months to get to a level where I want to be – as in 18 months I will be in my 30s but still have time to effectively kick start my career in another direction (HR, preferably within the arts and then some). My motto is that your 20s are for trying things and your 30s are for settling down and establishing yourself. My point is, with acting being how it is, I will more than likely end up in a long distance relationship of some sort whether I want to or not, because of where my work may take me. To become established, you have to be willing to put in the work. I NEVER lie to people about who I am/where I am at/what I am about. It does amaze me that there are those (like the last one) that appear to shake their like a puppy wagging its tail, in agreement with everthing your saying and supposedly support what you are doing but when the reality sets in, they want to shove the same said information in your face.

    I got told the my dreams were effectively a waste of time and he had a hissy fit because I couldn’t tell him where I was Going To Be in 6 months. He didn’t ask me where I Wanted To Be in 6 months nor did he share and express where he Wanted To Be In 6 months. No one can know 100% where they are GOING TO BE in 6 months. A friend of mine was laughing and giggling with me this time last year. 3 months later, she was burying her mate who had been knocked down by a car at the age 20. 3 months after that, I attended the same giggly mate’s funeral who I had seen alive and kicking not 3 wks before. Her Sickle Cell & Thallsemia conditions got her in the end and due to the hospital not paying proper attention to what would be a minor infection in generally well abled person, my friend went into crisis due to her conditions and her organs shut down. I never knew she was sick (most of us didn’t know) because she never allowed her illnesses to dictate her life. She literally lived each day like it was her last. She certainly never knew that her family and friends would be burying her at 21. She knew it was a higher possibility, but she didn’t know for definite.

    Point is, I honestly believe that after dating at around 6wks (at anytime even) asking someone where they are Going To Be is an unrealistic question as no one really knows. I felt like I had been condemned for not being able to answer this question and also that it was very onesided.

    Also he was a coward. I told him this. Anyone that allows a 5yr phone relationship that they had with someone halfway across the other side of the world to influnce them 18months later with a potential relationship with someone nowhere near as far away, quite clearly isn’t ready.

  61. Libby Walkup says:

    I’ve just heard of this site and I think I will like it a lot. Sometimes, as a person who feels as if there’s no one left to date, and that my chances for love are nil, just scrolling profiles or getting a message no matter how sleazy it is (once someone sent me his phone number and no other words), makes me feel better. Like maybe all these people are shit but at least there’s single or presumable single people, in the world still and I probably won’t be left alone forever.

    Great advice. Meeting in person is always the deciding factor. Cheers.

  62. lygia says:

    Met a complete jerk last week that was sooooooooooo good online and a lovely guy personally that wasnt very interesting online, the appearances really deceive on those sites. The jerk wanted sex straight away,( no no ), was defensive, was a bit insane, I think.I let him bring me home and he came back next day to sit in his car outside my house and watch my movements and ask the neighbours what I do and if I meet people! Never been so scared.
    The good guy was a bit boring but I warmed a lot to him during the date, he told me how lovely I was, we had a great time together and agreed about a second date, only for him to disappear on me and tell me by email that …er…no, he wasnt interested.
    At the moment Im trying to find the delete buttom on POF to delete my profile there and still talking to two guys on other site, one that disappeared for months and is back in my life (the other girl didnt want him I suppose) and a good kind guy who is not my type at all. Arrrrrrrrghhhhh Had enough

  63. Rebecca says:

    I can’t begin to explain how much your articles hit the nail on the head. True eye openers for me!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!