I read today a great (albeit old) post on It’s not OK, Cupid. The blog seems to be gone, but there are some good stories in there.
She talks about how some people doing online dating seem to think that everyone there is automatically a loser who could not succeed in meeting people during the course of “real life”, and that includes themselves.
I was wondering if I thought that too at some point, and I realized I didn’t. I grew up on the internet, online dating seems natural. The world is huge, maybe my better half is somewhere I’d never have access to if it wasn’t for the internet. I’ve made so many amazing friends online that I’ll always be the poster girl for meeting people online.
But back to the self-loathing daters. There indeed is a part of the population that thinks they need to state right out of the bat all that’s wrong with them, and let every potential match know they’re broken and aware of that. It’s the defense mechanism: if I let you know right away what I think is wrong, you can’t pin it on my when it affects you, and then I don’t have to change.
How many times have you gone to a person in a social situation and in the course of a 30 minute conversation told them all that you thought was wrong with you? It doesn’t work offline, and won’t work online.
A dating profile is not a marriage proposal. Everyone has many, many flaws and they’ll become apparent through the course of having a relationship. Some will be deal breakers, some won’t. Of course you shouldn’t hide anything that you consider relevant to finding a good match, but you shouldn’t also play against yourself. Lay the cards in your favor, tell people about what’s good in you, and hope for the best. Maybe you think you’re desperate for looking at online dating. It may just be that you’re tired of going to clubs and not being able to even listen to the other person.
And then there’s a category I consider just as worse: the downers. These are the people who would rather tell everyone what they hate, what they’re not into, what they won’t accept, instead of focusing on the positive. Nice way to start a relationship.
I’ve read so many “don’t want any…” or “if you’re into <add any sort of entertainment thing> don’t bother writing” or even worse “If you like <particular thing the guy doesn’t like>, maybe you should reflect on where your life is going”. Seriously? Let’s save the hurtful talk for when we are married and begin to hate each other, shall we?
And then there are the victimizers. The ones that state somewhere in their profile that women must be dumb bitches who probably love to be emotionally abused because he’s such a nice guy and he’s still single. They don’t use these words, but may as well, because there’s nothing short of “poor me” syndrome in there.
It may be that Dublin is different. For a country in such an economical depression, I’d expect to find the saddest types around here. But no. They’re actually very upbeat, forward-looking and positive about life. What I read most is “I’m happy”, “I’m doing something I love”, “I’m looking for someone to share fun times”, and so on. No dramatic life-has-been-harsh-on-me-and-you-should-love-me-because-I’m-one-of-the-few-decent-guys-around. Irish guys are generally happy in my experience, even when things are not going so well. This attitude is what draws me towards them more often than other nationalities.
Dating should always be about having fun and meeting new and interesting people. It’s not a desperation move. If you’re getting into this with a depressing perspective, you won’t go far. You’ll run into abusive types who prey on lack of self-respect, or you’ll end up bitter because you don’t meet anyone. Like so many people have said before, if you don’t love yourself, no one will.
Learn to have fun by yourself, then go looking for someone to share the good times.