Depressed at the state of 'dating' these days(11 Posts)
I'm on a name change and I haven't posted here in well over two years, but I've been lurking on this board again lately mostly to read up on trans stuff. Things over the past few days have made me feel really low though and I have no one to talk to in real life about it so I've logged in here to see if anyone can help me make sense of things.
I'm mid-40s, been split from my ex six years, we have 3 kids together (all live with me) and I'm crushed by loneliness. I'm amazing at telling people how much I love being single and quite a big part of me DOES love being single and I have no intention of ever living with a man again, but there's another part of me that that hates having no one to share my life with. There's a lot about being in a relationship that I miss.
So I turned to on-line dating. I wrote a reasonably detailed, interesting, witty profile. I included pictures. I'm a plus-size and I'm up-front about that in my profile because I'd rather people know than find out if we meet and reject me to my face. I'm plain at best. And the whole thing is ridiculous.
If I message men first I invariably get rejected with 'I don't date women with children' (I've had a lot of those - I'm not looking for a Dad to my kids, they have one of those, I don't want men even meeting my kids, thanks) or I get ignored. When they message me first I get generic cut and paste messages that they're clearly just throwing out and seeing what they catch. I have never got beyond a handful of messages. Certainly never had a sniff of a date.
And here's the biggest issue. Why do they all go from 0-60 within a matter of messages? It deteriorates into filth seemingly overnight. The latest one seemed lovely, chatty and warm and friendly but I've ended up just not talking to him because of the way he descended into what he wanted to do to me. Not with me, to me. And it was gross. It was straight from hardcore porn. I won't share details but it's saddened me that this keeps happening.
I know you need to be hardy to pursue this stuff and I've tried and tried, but where are the decent blokes? Are there actually any left? I know I'm exaggerating.
And before anyone asks why this is here, rather than in Relationships, I think I'm concerned about and wary of sex with anyone 'new' because of the whole pornified expectations that seem to be in place for dating these days, even with older men (latest guy was 49). Is it me? Am I being too vanilla? What else do I do to meet people? I'm quite introverted and have no friends to go out with - or certainly not where I'm not always the BFG anyway.
Sorry for the waffle - I'm venting more than anything I think.
The way to get success on dating apps / online is through lots of messages or matches and persistence. Most men and women will use variants of "Hi how are you? / How was your weekend? / Oh you do X activity? That's awesome!" etc etc for pretty much every opening, because they'll be sending a lot of messages. It's not personal, I did the same, but unless something truly unique jumps out at me about someone's profile then I'd use a safe opener.
My experience with the dirty messages is the exact opposite, and I'm 30 so tended to match with those in the 27-33 range most often. I've got chatting to one or two idiots, whose red flags were quickly apparent (although it was rampant misogyny rather than explicit messages), but I've never received any dirty messages.
And I've used dating apps for almost a year, in London. The number of men I matched with or chatted with was not small. Even so, no filth or dick pics. I'm not really sure why your experience is so different - which platforms are you using out of interest?
I wonder if maybe it's that younger guys are more likely to have cottoned on to the fact that this behaviour is not acceptable, whereas men in their 40s, possibly coming into the dating world having been married for a while, aren't quite up to speed?
Despite matching with lots of people, it's worth bearing in mind that only about 10% of those matches would ever translate into a conversation, and even fewer would turn into an actual date. It requires patience and a thick skin, as the numbers are never on your side, so please don't be discouraged!
So far the biggest issue is that men in my age group (45-53 I've chosen) are still looking for women to have babies with so at least 10 years younger than them, and quite frankly I'm not interested in men old enough to be my dad! The other issue is I've been told by men my profile is too political and it's not good for women to mention politics, well tough, I'm only looking for someone who shares my liberal values so might as well weed them out straight away
I have a friend who is single who met people through Meetup.com, going to groups where people had similar interests. It's good because it's not focused on dating so she just went along, had a good time, and if she happened to meet someone she fancied she could take her time getting to know them.
i can’t speak about online dating, but I really don’t think its possible to be too vanilla.
My close friends tell me that that only men ten years or more older than them are interested in them as men are inevitably looking for younger women. I find that ridiculous so it's lucky for me I'm not looking for a date.
Maybe going to singles events in RL might work better?
I sympathise OP. My own experience of that type of thing was that good manners & politeness go out of the window. One piece of advice given to me was to go with a site you pay for, as untoward comments get picked up and acted upon and also don't move away from the site too early. It's safer for you if you stay on the site as messages can be tracked if you should meet a wrong 'un. Moving to WhatsApp or whatever removes that. It's a tough world, internet dating. Best of luck.
A good friend of mine was on Tinder for 3-4 years before she met her now boyfriend 2 years ago (she is early 30s). She had a real love-hate relationship with the app. She'd date enough guys to get totally jaded by the experience, then delete it for a while, then feel ready to date again, and then the cycle would repeat itself. I was with her for breakfast one morning when a guy sent her a totally unsolicited dick pic. It was 8.15am! This was just one of the times she deleted the app out of sheer exasperation.
She ended up meeting her boyfriend through a work contact. I know there are plenty of success stories (I've been to at least one Tinder wedding that I'm aware of!) but equally I don't think it's unusual to have a fairly shitty experience of OLD too. PPs are right - maybe a face-to-face singles night is more your style.
This has not been my experience at all. I have been on dating sites for years now. I am now mainly messaging men 10-15 years older than me as men my own age want to go out with women in their 20s. I n all these years I have never had a reply from anyone and I have never had anyone view my profile. The only explanation for this is that I am just not attractive enough, and the men know they can get someone younger and more attractive.
Is it me? Am I being too vanilla?
It's not you. You have a right to want what you want (which in this case sounds perfectly normal). Don't change your boundaries or doubt yourself just because there are a lot of creeps online.
Dating is hard, and finding a compatible partner is even more difficult. I'm in my 30s and don't have children, but I would imagine it would be tricky as you get older and if you're a single mum.
I would recommend using a wide variety of methods instead of heavily investing in just one type.
Sign up to different types of dating apps and sites. Each will have its unique flavour and attract certain types of people. You will start to get a feel for the sort of folk that frequent it and figure out which platform you find more comfortable with.
To name a few. Tinder and Bumble are probably more focused on looks, the profile content is really small etc.
I really like OkCupid as you can write detailed profiles and answer interesting questions that helps the app match you with others. I tend to avoid men who haven't bothered to fill out their profile or put a real picture of themselves up. Reading a profile gives you some sense of their personality. Reading their answers to the compatibility questions also helps with this.
You can set specific criteria for yourself on the profile - looking for long-term monogamous relationships only, no casual sex, has children and doesn't want any more etc. So you can see what others have included and figure out if you're looking for similar things. You can also say in your profile that you aren't looking for someone to be involved in your children's lives.
Only message a guy or reply to a message from a guy if you really like his profile and feel you two might have a number of things in common. There are a lot of irritating douchebags, and you have to sort through lots of profiles but there are some decent blokes out there.
Have you reflected on what criteria you might be willing to be flexible on? Like age, height, location etc. Not saying you have to message guys in their 20s (unless you want to of course!) but, like say would you consider a guy in his thirties who says he does not want to have any children and might be living a bit further away from you... stuff like that. Figure out what you absolutely require in a partner and what you potentially could be flexible on... give someone a bit different a chance etc as you might be surprised.
Saying all that, online dating is tedious and some folk don't even bother to read your profile!
Don't get too heavily invested in it, and take a break from it now and again to focus on other things.
As mentioned by another poster, I'd highly recommend Meetup.com.
It's a low pressure way of meeting new people. You can join walking groups, cycling groups, film groups, foodie groups and so on. Choose ones where a decent number of men attend otherwise it kinda defeats the purpose.
These events allow you to meet a variety of folk and there's no dating pressure, so you get expand your social circle but also get to know people over time to figure out if there's mutual attraction.
Maybe I'm reading too much into you, but the way you talk about yourself not being attractive sounds like your self esteem is a bit low? Sure, not everyone looks like a model or some fresh faced 20 year old.
But people do like a bit of confidence and are attracted to those who feel secure in themselves. Ironically, folk take more of an interest when you project a more independent vibe.
It's natural to feel intimidated and apprehensive when stepping back into dating after a long absence.
Sometimes even a new / different hair cut can make us feel more positive about ourselves. If your life has revolved mostly around your children so far, it might be worth discovering yourself and your passions again. Make new friends, try to travel to new places or try new things. It will fill up your life, give you things to talk about, and distract you from ruminating too much on the dating side of life.
I hope this helps. All the best.
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