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Confused about online dating

(33 Posts)
KohINoorPencil Mon 13-Jul-15 16:57:39

I finally got the courage up to put up a photo and 272 people have 'liked' me and I have 100 messages.

I am so confused. I started talking to a few men but they really quickly started asking for more photos and meeting up and I felt a bit freaked out. I've never dated much.

Is it worth persevering?

pocketsaviour Mon 13-Jul-15 17:08:43

I am so confused. I started talking to a few men but they really quickly started asking for more photos and meeting up

I don't mean to be sarcastic, but the purpose of a dating site is to find dates. Is the problem that you perhaps don't feel ready to date yet? There's nothing wrong with asking people to message a bit longer before meeting up, or ask for their phone number so you can talk on the phone a bit before meeting.

And you don't have to just pick one of the dudes who you've talked to, you can arrange dates with any of them, and then see which one(s) you like best.

pocketsaviour Mon 13-Jul-15 17:09:59

Unless you mean they were just wanting hook-ups and nude photos? If so, you may want to revisit your profile settings and make sure "Casual sex" or "casual dating" aren't checked in the section for "I'm looking for..." (or whatever the equivalent is on the site you're on.)

KohINoorPencil Mon 13-Jul-15 17:12:01

I thought I was ready to date, I am fed up of being eternally single. That's why I'm confused.

My profile does say that I'm not looking for casual sex or relationships, but within about 5 messages four different men starting asking how good I was at kissing and commenting on my looks. It felt horrible.

woowoo22 Mon 13-Jul-15 17:17:12

There are LOADS of oddballs out there and some nice people.

Be very selective/ruthless in deciding who to meet.

pocketsaviour Mon 13-Jul-15 17:28:37

Yeah you'll get loads of "trawlers". They just drop all their lines in the water and hope one day to fish up someone desperate enough to meet them for no strings sex. The block button is your friend, there.

Are you on a free site? The paid sites have a lot less of this kind of rubbish.

Of the men you've been talking to, do you feel any of them are potentially worth meeting?

FredaMayor Mon 13-Jul-15 17:28:58

OP, you will need to become quite thick-skinned to survive the dog-eat-dog of OD. The anonymity afforded to those who reply to you online lets them use approaches they would never make to your face if you met in RL. Keep a template with a short 'disclaimer' to insert into your replies along the lines of 'please note, not at all interested in no-strings sex or one night stands'. It will weed out some of them but not all.

Beware also that some who purport to be are not actually single, the age they say they are, the real owners of the body parts they send photos of, or even the gender they claim to be. If you are still game for it, try reading the profiles and messages at face value, people give themselves away eventually over time which is of course to your advantage. Many people do not write so well in these situations, and some of it is frankly rubbish, but if someone is genuine it comes eventually through in the simplicity of what they write. Use your intuition, and take a break from it if it starts to mess with your head.

Trying to meet soon is a way of cutting through what a person might feel is 'waffle' if they have been online for months or even years and not got anywhere because most of the time they send posts that seem to be written by a 12 year old. Nevertheless, stick to your own timeframe and do not until you feel happy to. A decent person worth the bother will always respect and appreciate that.

badtime Mon 13-Jul-15 17:30:09

The first time I tried internet dating, I lasted about two days then suspended my profile.

About 6 months later, I actually was ready, and it was nowhere near as terrifying as it had initially seemed.

FredaMayor Mon 13-Jul-15 17:33:13

Do not meet until you feel happy to....[frowns]

KohINoorPencil Mon 13-Jul-15 17:34:41

Two or three seemed quite nice, but they mentioned meeting up so quickly and their profiles all said they were looking for something casual. There were barely any profiles which weren't, but then I don't know if that's because hardly any people in their mid-twenties would date for any other reasons.

I honestly didn't expect to get many any responses.

FredaMayor Mon 13-Jul-15 17:41:18

OP, try better (i.e. paid) sites, perhaps Guardian Soulmates or similar. Plenty of Fish and so forth are fairly dreadful for those looking for LTRs by all accounts. You will find various 'profile doctors' offering advice on how best to present your online profile, probably worth a look if you haven't done so already.

Sickoffrozen Mon 13-Jul-15 17:44:57

When I did OD I hated it. I decided to join a few classes, groups etc and this led to meeting my last partner.

Everythinghaschanged Mon 13-Jul-15 17:49:38

Try chatting to some of them. Although you have had a lot of replies you will find that most of them will lead nowhere.

Yes some men will ask to meet up straight away, sometimes in their first message then others will want to chat online for weeks with no intention of meeting.

Decide on your criteria for weeding them out. For me, if they live too far away it's a non-starter for example so that rules out a lot of them.

Just take it easy and see how it goes. Don't do anything you're uncomfortable with. I don't give out my number any more because some guys get carried away and want to text all night long.

KohINoorPencil Mon 13-Jul-15 18:21:57

I was reluctant to pay in case people only wanted a proper relationship, which I know I'm not ready for.

Dating just doesn't come naturally to me I suppose!

gatewalker Mon 13-Jul-15 18:32:29

OP, am I getting it right here: you are put off because the profiles of the men who might be prospects said they were looking for something casual, and you're not ready for a "proper relationship". If so what do you want, then? Therein might lie the source of your discomfort ... your ambivalence.

Pinklaydee1302 Mon 13-Jul-15 18:38:05

Well I had about 50 dates in the three years I been single and out of all of them I only met about 6 I liked shock

Finally ive met a decent one and we been seeing each other awhile now and he doesn't mess me about, play mind games, disappear....I just know he caressmile

KohINoorPencil Mon 13-Jul-15 18:41:43

blush

I have never dated before and I hadn't even kissed someone until this year. I'm not ready for a relationship but I'm not interested in casual sex. There must be a middle ground??

gatewalker Mon 13-Jul-15 18:48:49

So is it explicit that "casual relationship" means "casual sex" in those contexts? If so, then that makes more sense.

As a veteran of online dating, I'd definitely suggest a paid site - you don't need to be looking for anything 'serious' there.

Also, as much as this may be difficult, it helps to be really boundaried to the point of doing things that you may find rude offline. Specifically, there is no obligation whatsoever to respond to anything. Nothing.

A few rules of thumb I work from: I never date separated men; I look for eye contact in a photograph; I'm interested in their user name: no matter how 'jokey', it tends to give a lot away.

Many people do want to meet quickly because they've had the experience of spending a whole lot of time chatting only to find there isn't a good match. So it's not always about simply wanting to get laid.

Finally - trust your gut. Always. Always. Always. And you never need to explain.

pocketsaviour Mon 13-Jul-15 19:15:12

Oh god, the usernames.

I once remarked "If your username is Brian_Hull_1958 then I can only assume that a) you were born in 1958 and therefore well outside the age range I've stated I'm interested in and shouldn't be contacting me, or b) you're the one thousand, nine hundred and fifty-eighth least interesting man in Hull."

OP Maybe it would help in your own mind if you framed to yourself what you ARE looking for, rather than what you aren't? EG - are you looking for one person, or several? Do you want a friend you can have sex with, but no romantic feelings? Do you want to go "out" on dates, or are you looking to progress to the "hanging out at each other's places" stage? Do you want to have sex with your dates or is that off the table? If you do, how quickly do you envisage that happening?

In your profile, make sure you haven't written "I'm looking for fun" or similar because that's usually code for casual sex.

KohINoorPencil Mon 13-Jul-15 19:28:51

Thank you for all the advice.

I'm so unsure about dating, I suppose I don't know what I want. I so want to date but I freak myself out when it seems even a bit likely!

gatewalker Mon 13-Jul-15 19:36:53

pocketsaviour grin

OP, have you thought about taking some time to find out what you really want? Away from dating, I mean? I know this might seem a leap in a thread about online dating, but have you considered therapy?

FuckitFay Mon 13-Jul-15 19:45:31

I think you need to be very sure in what you want for OD as many men try to unpleasantly mould women on there and trawl for slightly or very vulnerable unsure women.
Are you quite young? Why haven't you ever dated before? I truly think OD is not the best place for a first ever date. You need to be ruthless in weeding out men you feel uncomfortable about and be clear what you want and OK about ditching if they are not what you want.

KohINoorPencil Mon 13-Jul-15 19:58:19

I'm 25. High school was horrible and I went into a female dominated career so I never meet men. My friends tried to set me up but the guy they found was really religious, and I'm not.

I don't know about therapy. I couldn't afford it and I'd be mortified asking my GP.

gatewalker Mon 13-Jul-15 20:08:11

I wouldn't go through your GP anyway: NHS-based therapy is very limiting in terms of usefulness, especially because it undermines the idea of long-term therapy immediately by limiting the number of sessions to 8 in most cases (the last I heard).

If you could stretch yourself to therapy, even if only once every two weeks, I'd highly recommend it.

TasEdin Mon 13-Jul-15 20:14:38

If you're in the UK therapy can be free or very cheap, even if not through the NHS. I (male) had therapy through a couple of sources before my NHS counsellor. One was a semi-charity (pay what you can), one was a uni school (only open to non students, about £5 per session). Also, don't be afraid to speak to your GP. They are professionals, and have certainly seem dozens and dozens of more embarrassing things.

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