While there are many online dating success stories, online dating is not for everyone. That was the case for Amy, who had just gotten out of a relationship and wanted to give online dating a shot.
“I knew I’d miss that companionship so I went looking for some,” she said. In the interest of finding like-minded guys to date, she signed up for an account with a Christian-based online dating site. She had high hopes for her experience, only what she actually found surprised her.
To her credit, Amy did her homework. She wanted to have a good experience, so she read a lot of the advice out there for online dating and created her profile with that advice in mind. “For my profile, I was very direct. I said, ‘If you just want to be ‘friends’ move on, I’m not interested. Honestly, I’m on this site to find someone I can spend my life with. That’s right, I want to get married!’”
She also described herself as honestly and completely as she could, and she explained what she was looking for in a man. “I like to think of myself as normal, witty, clean, fun to be around, and caring…I’m looking for a good man who won’t lie to me, use me, or cheat on me who is faithful.”
Her pictures included a few selfies, one with her two nieces, one with her sister at her wedding, and a family photo. “I looked pretty but no cleavage or suggestive pics,” Amy said.
Amy was proactive in her approach to online dating and cast a wide net. She logged onto the site multiple times a day. “I would get a fair amount of messages or flirts but I would also send messages and flirts too. My attitude was, the more you send out the more likely you are to get a few back. Sometimes I would just run through the site sending a flirt to anyone who had a job and didn’t weird me out.
“I had an open mind so if someone would message me I would at least try to get to know them before passing judgment, so I did talk to a fair amount of guys. I think in the six months that I paid for I gave my number out to 25 guys.”
She did make some good guy friends and had positive experiences with them. One lived a few hours away, and they texted for months getting to know each other. “I think we knew nothing was going to come of it, but it was nice to have someone to talk to.” Another guy talked on the phone with her constantly, with thousands of texts per month. “We shared a lot about ourselves with each other and there was never any judgment. In the end, he just wasn’t feeling it.”
Unfortunately, what she didn’t expect was the volume and severity of negative experiences that poured in. “Once a guy asked if he could make out with me before he even asked for my name. Another guy, while talking on the phone to me would interrupt me and say, ‘Listen! Listen! You’re not listening to me!’ That same guy tried to tell me who I was and what kind of person I was from just a few messages, texts, and a short phone call…I told him that I didn’t think it was going to work out because we were at different stages. He then yelled at me for questioning his faith and then hung up on me.
“With another guy, things seemed to be working out but he soon began to say that he wasn’t ready to be my boyfriend but wanted to sleep with me so badly.” Several guys, when she would explain her standards and that she was saving herself for marriage, their behavior turned on her. “They treated me like I was too sheltered or something.” There were more negative experiences, and in the end it was those negative experiences prompted her to delete her online dating profile and quit online dating altogether.
Still, she believes there are good things about online dating. “You can meet some nice guys even if it leads to nowhere, but I wasn’t there for that. You can end up with some really funny stories. And even though it didn’t work out for me, you can meet someone this way.”
Unfortunately, online dating has left her a bad taste in her mouth. “The absolutely pathetic feeling you have realizing that this is what it has come to for you. The jerks that make you lose faith in the male gender. And the realization that it’s slim pickins even when you branch out on the internet.”
Amy’s advice for anyone who is considering online dating? “Be completely honest in everything, your profile, your texts, and how you are feeling about a person. Don’t try to portray something you’re not. Don’t lead people on just because you’re scared you’ll hurt their feelings.
“Give everyone who messages you the benefit of the doubt―you may really like the person they are. Make sure you have a list of uncompromising things you want in a partner and don’t change them just because the guy says you’re pretty. Watch out for the sweet talkers. And don’t be so desperate that you’ll settle for just about anything.”