DEAR CHARLOTTE: I’ve been on a mission to start online dating to ‘get myself out there’ and start meeting new people. But, after creating a profile and checking regularly in the first week, it’s now been months and I can’t seem to make myself go back online, at least regularly… Now my current online dating subscription is about to expire. I want to start dating again, but I’m not sure if online is right for me. Should I renew my membership and keep trying, even though it feels futile? – LOOKING BUT NOT LOOKING FOR LOVE
DEAR LOOKING BUT NOT LOOKING FOR LOVE: First off, I should congratulate you. It’s not easy to get yourself out there, as you put it, and signing up for an online dating service is a good step to meeting new people.
But, it sounds like you’re unsure whether online dating is right for you, so here are some questions you should ask yourself in deciding:
1. Will you log in online?
You’ve taken the important first step in choosing an online dating website and creating a profile. Hopefully you’ve created one that describes you well, and includes current photos of you. But an important step that follows is actually logging in. Part of online dating is actually being online, and checking out potential matches, responding to messages and sending questions, etc. It’s good to want to start online dating, but you’ll need to be online to do so.
2. Will you go back online again in the near future?
Also important is going back online and logging in to see if any potential matches responded, to review new matches, etc. Despite your wanted feelings to the contrary, creating a profile and logging in once does not count as “doing” online dating.
3. Will you actually make an effort to get to know other people online?
Online dating can be convenient because you can access the site anytime and view personal information within the comfort of your home. But, one of the downfalls is it’s easy to present the image of who you want to be… not who you actually are. Referencing marathons and long-distance running when it’s been more than a year since you put on running shoes is a bit disingenuous, and out of date at best. Saying that you like to go out when your reality is max once or twice a month, when nothing else is going on that weekend, is a bit insincere. And along with the need to be sincere, you will also want to be genuine in wanting to getting to know other people. Going through the motions of sending questions and responding half-heartedly does not do them or you any good.
4. Will your self-worth depend on online dating success?
And finally, despite all of the statistics about online dating and meeting your soul mate, it’s never a guarantee that you’ll meet that special someone online. With online dating comes a bit of “quantity over quality,” and you must be prepared to go through many to find the possible few. And if it doesn’t work out, you should be able to not take it to heart too much. Online dating is just one of many ways to get yourself out there, and meet new people.
You sound like a nice girl, and I have hope for you yet… Maybe you just need a different dating site.
Dear Charlotte is written by Woman at Tastes Like Onion. Write “Dear Charlotte” at firstname.lastname@example.org.