It used to be that the sort of people who used dating agencies (as they were back then) were considered to be socially inept and could not meet potential partners in the traditional venues: workplace, pubs, clubs etc. Or you had too busy a lifestyle to frequent them regularly. There seemed to be the stigma that if you had to “resort” to advertising yourself in this manner, you were desperate for one reason or another.
But with the internet, dating is one of the industries that boomed. People will never stop looking for love so there will always be potential customers. The services are also used by people from all walks of life. The stigma, it seems, is gone.
When my marriage broke down over a year ago, putting my feelings aside that I would be single for the rest of my life, I felt that the best way for me to meet new people and go out on dates was not in bars but through the online dating scene. For me, it represented a controlled environment where you get to specify the sort of attributes you are looking for and search accordingly.
Though I say that I’ve never had a problem making friends, this is really only true when it comes to likeminded people. Friends of friends, other people at shared interest groups or events are no problem. I’ve never been confident enough to talk to random strangers in pubs or on the street – male or female. I am usually self-conscious about talking about my interests because they are not the sort of things you’d talk to random strangers about.
Therefore, in an environment such as online dating you are presented with a large group of people who already match your criteria. You have that personality match, therefore avoiding the awkwardness of small talk. In theory, by the time you get to the first date you should already have lots of interesting things to talk about. Forewarned is forearmed.
This – without exception – has been my experience so far and I feel I have taken to it with a pragmatic attitude and like a duck to water. Partly this has been my pickiness in knowing what I want and ignoring everyone else.
If approached on a dating site, I imagine that most men would’t turn down a date that often. I have in all but one case (Songstress). One woman was out of my age range (at 55, old enough to be my mother), one had no ambition beyond her retail job and could barely string a sentence of English together, two refused to put up photos and the last one because she was pregnant (I don’t want children). Even if she hadn’t been pregnant, I doubt I would have met her for a variety of other reasons.
Online dating has given me an element of control in an environment where I have often felt like a fish out of water (dating) and it is working for me. Give it a go, what have you got to lose?