This is not news to my facebook friends but I thought I would explain why I recently said no to online dating. Every 3 or 4 years I get desperate and try online dating again. I see friends that it has worked for and think ‘why not?’. Then it always drives me crazy. I just never seem to be able to get any one to look at my profile or chat with me. This is super depressing but I finally realized that I don’t think the system is for me.
Here’s my problem with online dating.
You start out with a huge pool of people creeps, normals, exceptionals and everything in between. Now you can take the approach of one of my friends and just date everyone in her area but I am personally not willing to risk the creeps and idiots.
That aside there has to be some way of winnowing things down to people who might be compatible. How do you do that? Well, online dating would suggest you use a variety of filters to narrow characteristics of the man you want to date. They offer a number of categories such as appearance (height, weight, color hair, ethnicity, race), money, job, activities, religion, hobbies etc.
This is where I have a problem. An online profile is basically just a resume for dating and ask any HR rep, they will tell you resumes show almost nothing about a real worker’s potential. Everything can be right on paper and be completely wrong. Its not until you meet the person in an interview that you get a feel for who they are and if they might work.
The problem is that when looking for a partner in life the qualifications don’t really matter or tell you much. In a job at least the filtering process should guarantee a certain level of skills and abilities. Unfortunately the characteristics of a compatible spouse is pretty hard to pin down. We all think we have ‘must haves’ but when presented with the right person they often are completely unexpected. What matters is that chemistry and spark. Even in just my friendships I can’t put a finger on why I am friends with some and not others. My friends are very different but they all have a chemistry with me and we just work together. Pretty ephemeral concept to put in a search engine.
For instance, my parents have almost nothing in common as far as interests, hobbies, even personality traits. There isn’t an online dating service out there that would match them up. Yet, 35 years have come and gone and they are a good match. They are a good balance to each other. In the world of dating you are trying to find a compatible spirit. Someone who thinks the way you do and wants the same things you do or at least supports your choices and desires. That is pretty hard to work into a search filter…
So instead we are left with stupid differences that don’t matter much at all such as I don’t like heavy metal music, horror movies or fantasy novels. Does that mean I could never love a person who likes these things? Of course not, but they are the only filters I’ve got to use.
Basically online dating forces you to look for someone who is exactly like yourself. Who has the same interests, beliefs, hobbies etc because that’s the only filters you’ve got! I guess you could look at people who are the opposite of what you like but that doesn’t seem good either? What fun is dating someone exactly like you? Who is really married to someone just like themselves and how boring would that marriage be?
The other problem is that everyone ends up being the same, and the different one’s are usually pretty scary. This further dilutes any power of the search filter. How do you sort things out when almost every answer is identical? Every guy likes the outdoors (I’m not a camper) and being active(whatever that means). Every girl likes to read, travel, hang out with friends. How anyone, man or woman, picks a profile and says that person looks worth contacting is beyond me?
In the end, you are forced to focus on superficial things like appearance, education or income. And we all know these are huge determinants of great character and a worthy mate…
I assume that men are forced to do the same thing because I never get any interest in my profile. I think it is because I am honest about being a full figured girl. That removes me from the superficial filters, which in reality is the only one any of us have got. I have tried online dating 4 times in my life (like I said I get desperate) and I have never had a guy contact me that was legit and interested. Never and I really do try. I have never had anyone respond to my inquiries.
So, I’m done. No more. I will just have to meet people another way.
I hope my friends will set me up with their friends and do some of the matchmaking for me! I am also super active in my community whether it be swimming, working out at the gym, volunteering for Mia Love campaign, book club, my 10 year BYU reunion committee, 3 callings at church, and volunteering for festival of trees…There is no more time to do more!
I’m really excited about a company I recently heard about called Utah’s Matchmaking that hosts events for 30+ singles. They have a weekend in October with 4 dates and I hope I get picked! It would be a really fun way to actually get to know people. Plus, it would just be fun anyway.
The right guy will come along, if it is in God’s will, and I just know it is not going to be through online dating for me. Glad it is worked for so many of my readers and friends but it is just not authentic enough experience for me. Even speed dating is better than online because at least you get to look into a date’s face and get an idea for who they might be.
I have to be able to look into someone’s eyes, see their smile, and find out what they really want out of life. If they happen to like music I do or swimming so much the better but it does not matter to me.
So there you have it. No more online dating for Rachel! (Remind of this post in a couple of years when I get desperate)