Over the past five years I’ve tried online dating on more than one occasion. After initially trying Guardian Soulmates and My Single Friend about five years ago when I was 24, I decided online dating was definitely not for me. In the last couple of months I decided to give Plenty of Fish a try, because being free and available as a phone app, it felt slightly different. I’ve now reached the same conclusion: I really dislike online dating. Here are 8 reasons why.
1. Me – for sale
Having to write a profile that ‘sells’ you feels a bit degrading. Choosing ‘the’ photo to represent yourself is not nice. The part where I have to create my profile is usually the bit where I ask myself – has it really come to this?! I’m a nice, confident girl who’s not unattractive – why am I having to sell myself on the internet?
2. Your eyes won’t meet across a crowded web page
Any meet-up feels awkward and forced, like a job interview or business meeting. From the first moment you meet your potential love interest, you’re on a full-on date and you both know you’re being judged. There’s no magic to it. In the ‘real world’ it’s so exciting to notice someone you like and try to catch their eye and slowly connect with each other. I’ve never felt that kind of mystery on an online date.
3. Chemistry doesn’t happen on email
Dating sites claim to find ‘matches’ for you but it’s impossible to tell from a list of interests if you have chemistry with someone. Chemistry is about voice, body language, confidence and the look in someone’s eye. It’s not about liking the same type of films. Someone could send you a whole series of lovely and interesting messages but it doesn’t mean sparks will fly when you meet them.
4. It makes people boring
It’s time consuming and turns you into a recluse. You can spend a whole evening looking through lists of people and sending messages, which may not get you any results. Instead you could have been out doing something interesting that would make you a more interesting person and give you something to talk about.
5. It makes people lazy
It gives men a reason to sit at home on their sofa with their hand in a bag of crisps, looking through profiles, while the male race slowly loses the art of talking to or chatting up women in any kind of charming way.
6. Different method same old s**t
It’s actually no different from the ‘real world’ – there are a whole load of unappealing guys on the sites and a handful of truly desirable ones. The nice ones rarely show an interest or reply to your messages, while the ones you don’t want message you all the time.
7. It’s demoralising
When a cute guy you meet in the real world doesn’t text you back you can console yourself by thinking – maybe they’re not single, maybe they’re just not interested in dating anyone at the moment, maybe they’re gay. When a guy is so keen to find a girlfriend that he’s signed up to a website for it and he still doesn’t message you back, you’re kind of left thinking – wow, am I really that bad? Even the desperate guys don’t want me.
8. And finally…
The final, excellent reason I don’t like online dating has been put very well by dating coach Matthew Hussey – “You end up meeting up with someone to find out if you have chemistry with them when normally you’d go on date with someone because you already know you have chemistry with them”. In other words, it’s a massive waste of your precious time. Pick someone you know you fancy and find the guts to ask the out!
Having said that…
Online dating obviously works really well for some people so I always say to people that I think they should try it once. I just know that it’s not for me.