A couple of weeks ago I was quoted in an article on The Guardian, one of the UK’s largest newspaper websites . I’d been approached by the lovely Bim Adebunwi of Yoruba Girl Dancing blog and was asked to provide her with a quote or two for her article on racism and online dating . Bim did an awesome job and her article stimulated a lot of interesting conversation. However, I noticed the general consensus seemed to be that anyone who uses dating websites is stupid. It was interesting to see that, in 2010, there are still heaps of people who think only “desperate” or “stupid” people use dating sites.
Ok, yes the internet is full of losers and weirdos but hey, the internet is also full of everyday, normal people too. Yes, I accept that online dating sites (especially the free ones) attract more crackpots than not but they also attract sane, rational, not at all desperate people – such as myself. Reading the reactions to online dating in Bim’s article got me thinking… yes, I know online dating sucks, but really, what the hell would I do without it?
I’m not unattractive and I’m not a horrible person. Honestly, I’m not. (You’ll just have to take my word for it, eh?). I have a killer smile (so I’ve been told), I’m fun, I’m friendly and I get along with all types of people. I work in PR, that alone should tell you that I’m a people person. If you add all of these things together it just doesn’t make sense – why is it so hard for me to get dates without the help of dating websites?
Just the other day, my Twitter bud SingleCityGuy published a blog post entitled “Are You Too Dependent on Online Dating?”. I held my hand up and openly admitted, “Errrr, hell yeah I am!”. He then told me “You need to get out more“. Why people assume I’m some sort of hermit who stays home with her laptop every night just because I use dating sites, I’ll never know. Guess what? That’s so-ooo not the case. In fact, I’m actually a very social person. I work in PR. I’m always out. After work drinks, launch parties, movie screenings, concerts, theatre trips, weekend breaks etc. I’m hardly what you’d call a stay at home bore. My response to Single City Guy was “I do get out a lot but I don’t meet guys that way… that’s the problem“.
It’s been approx five years since the last time I dated a guy I didn’t meet through a dating website. My Barbados holiday romances don’t count, yes I did meet them without the use of the internet but my experience with them can hardly be classed as ‘dating’, ahem. What it comes down to is this – I don’t meet guys the regular way anymore. Why is that?
What makes it even difficult is that I have friends who have ended long term relationships since I starting blogging and even though they haven’t joined any dating sites or even been interested in ‘getting themselves out there’, they’ve still seen more action and gotten more attention than I have – WITHOUT the use of dating sites. I always see people break up and get into new relationships, meeting people the ‘normal’ way, all the while I stay single.
It’s a real confidence knocker I tell ya. I know I need to try something other than online dating… but what? And how? Any thoughts or suggestions, please shout.