A few nights ago, I went out for dinner with a friend. We started talking about online dating as a concept. It quickly turned into a heart to heart about whether or not it is an effective way to improve a person’s chances of finding love.
“Oh, I tried online dating a few months ago, and it was so frustrating! I would take the time to write these thoughtful messages based on what she wrote in her profile, and then I just wouldn’t hear anything back. This happened several times, and then I just gave up.”
My friend is 53 year old man. He is attractive, successful and is now longing to find a partner and have family. We shared a bit about our philosophies about love and life. But when we got to the part about online dating, I didn’t have much to say in return. I noticed a feeling of discomfort in the pit of my stomach, and his complaint just hung in the air for most of the night.
When I woke up in the morning, I realized the reason for the ache the night before. It was guilt.
I felt guilty because I am one of those women. I have disregarded several thoughtful messages since I opened my online dating profile. And because I never had to look these men in the eyes, I didn’t feel obligated to respond.
Sitting with someone who I know is great guy, who had this happen to him, put it all in perspective. Not responding to someone’s thoughtful note can be like the digital equivalent of walking away from a guy at a party with no explanation whatsoever.
But the crazy part is, I did this denial without an in person exchange, just based on a picture and a few words on the screen.
From this I derived two challenges:
1) To try to be more open when reading the notes sent by potential suitors and to certainly send a note, even just a short one, encouraging them on their search.
2) To help everyone I know to get good photos for their online profile to hopefully avoid this situation in the future.