Well, maybe not the act of dating itself. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t gotten that far yet. But the process of even trying to find that one you’ll spent the rest of your life with can be aggravating and downright depressing.
I’ve been pretty fortunate in my life. Certain things have fallen into my lap that I didn’t have to actually try for. And while I’ve had some lowlights, I’ve never had it bad enough that’s ever put me in any kind of danger. Maybe this is why I take a wait and see approach to some things. Or maybe it’s just because I’m too timid to try things. (Pretty sure it’s the latter.)
While the above paragraph seems rambly (which it is, along with the rest of this post), it also explains how I’ve been treating this whole dating thing. (Again, not actual dating yet.) And it’s likely not the best approach.
I’ve installed/uninstalled dating apps on my tablet on and off. OkCupid, Tinder, Bumble, happn are the ones I usually go to. I’ll log in, swipe through the pictures noticing that most of the people on the apps are incredibly good looking, read the profiles seeing how they all read very similarly with the same exact interests. Eventually, this depresses me and I uninstall the apps because I just can’t deal with it anymore. Weeks later, I’ll get that sense of loneliness again and repeat the above process.
I even got suckered into paying for a 6 month subscription into one of the services. Well, maybe not “suckered in”. More like “desperation kicked in as I had to know who was looking at my profile”, which requires the paid service. Also, I was sent a 20% off coupon code, so that helped a little. No sooner than I sign up for the service, the number of people visiting my profile turns to nothing. Awesome.
In the case of most dating apps, you can indicate if you like the person you’re looking at. But that’s just one piece of the puzzle. That person then also has to like you back. Only once there is a match, then can each person message each other. (In the case of Bumble, if matching with the opposite sex, only the woman can initiate messaging.)
Before continuing, let’s talk about the profiles I come across. A large majority of people on dating sites are all about being outdoors, running, biking, yoga, traveling, football, bars, etc. Essentially, all the things that aren’t bad and it’s not that I dislike this stuff. It’s just these are things that are almost part of their daily lives. I like being outdoors but only during the fall and winter when I don’t have to worry about turning into a pile of sweat. I like wandering around the city by foot but not really into running or biking. Traveling is nice but plane travel and globetrotting aren’t for me. I understand the benefits of yoga but that can be torture! (SCREW YOU, WII FIT INSTRUCTOR! Bodies aren’t suppose to bend like that!)
The thing is the more simple and nerdy stuff, you just don’t find on these dating sites. They’re not tailored for my kind of personality.
(Quick side note: When I changed my profile from “interested in women” to “interested in men and women”, I sure did get a lot of visits and likes from men all of sudden. Too bad they were either in their 50s, swingers, or in open relationships. Yeah… not for me…)
So what about communities? That’s how I met most of my friends in the last several years. We all started off with a similar enjoyment, hung around in chatrooms, and got to know one another that way. This was back when I had a lot more free time though. (Unemployment can have its advantages.) And even then, it still took me a few years to actually meet them in person. It’d be the same if I tried to meet people now. It’ll take me a long time to be comfortable around them in a setting I feel safe in before feeling like I’m up to the challenge of saying “Hi” in person.
“But, Travis. Didn’t you freak out on social media one day that someone matched you on a dating app?” This is correct. And that gets into another issue that I have a problem overcoming: reaching out to someone. I already feel weird messaging a friend because I stupidly feel like interrupting whatever it is they’re doing. Could you imagine what it’s like for me to get the courage to message someone I don’t know and only have a picture or a self-written profile to work from? (Mind you, the only times I’ve been told I actually had a match, the person either unmatched me or never messaged me, both of which were on Bumble.)
I have to take the initiative at some point though and not go with my usual “eh… something might happen eventually” approach. Of course, if you’ve read some of my previous posts, I haven’t been very good in reacting when I try to take the initiative. Which is another reason for my hesitation on all of this.
Self-confidence is another problem. When I look at the profiles of the people on these sites, not only do I see good looking people but I also see self-confidence. While my friends are wonderful people and have said I’m a good looking gentleman (thank you for the kind words, gang), the reality is I do have two (maybe three?) noticeable physical characteristics that can be a bit of a put off to people. Let’s not kid ourselves. While I would love for personality to be the sole reason someone is interested in another person (and personality does make another person that much more desireable), looks are one of the things people consider when finding a mate. I’d be lying if I said I don’t take this into account as well. (Which makes me a bit hypocritical and feel a bit assholey for doing so.)
Now I could correct these things but it requires a bit of work and money. One procedure alone is anywhere from $7,500 – $10,000 minimum. (Not that I’ve actually went out pricing this or anything…) Even if I could afford to take care of those situations, my fear of medical procedures would prevent me going through with the adjustments.
For those that have read a previous post, I’ve had no issues finding flings in the past. (Especially with guys. We’re a horny bunch it seems. Or just make it more noticeable.) Mind you, we’re talking at least 10 years ago. This was back in the day of MySpace, chatrooms, and 1 Mbps “broadband”. There was no such thing as Tinder or Grindr at that point. Well, I guess Craigslist still exists but I didn’t go that route. Anyway, while I could easily(?) do this again to handle certain needs, current day me would feel weird doing that with a stranger. I’m at the point where I want to know a person, who they are, their personality, etc.
What’s the point of this? Nothing really. Just wanted to point out the frustrating nature of even attempting to find someone that I like and who likes me in return. And since I really haven’t sat down to talk to anyone about it, I could at least write about it to get these thoughts out of my head. As note above, part of this is on me. I have to change. Maybe. I think.