Online Dating Sucks, But What Would I Do Without It?

14 Nov

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?

Oh Lappy how I love thee. I'd literally be dateless without you...

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.

26 Responses to “Online Dating Sucks, But What Would I Do Without It?”

  1. don'tknowwhoyouare November 14, 2010 at 11:58 AM #

    If a guy is shy or reserved and tries to approach you don’t imediately assume he’s a psycho and call the police- oh and don’t tell guys you’re married if you’re not-oh a-a-and maybe give the nice giuy a chance even if he’s not a bad boy. ha

  2. don'tknowwhoyouare November 14, 2010 at 12:04 PM #

    I really should proofread before I send -immediately, guy

    • TheSingleFilez November 14, 2010 at 12:16 PM #

      Hi ‘Don’tKnowWhoYouAre’ thanks for reading & commenting. My response below –

      – I don’t immediately assume a guy is a psycho if he approaches me in a normal way
      – I’ve never in my life told a guy I’m married (errr, I’m not, so why would I say it???)
      – I don’t DO bad boys and I haven’t done since I was a teenager. No time for that mess!


  3. don'tknowwhoyouare November 14, 2010 at 12:40 PM #

    Then what’s the problem ?- If you’re as attractive as you say and I’ll take your word for it and you’re in PR guys should be buzzing around you. Are you as mystified as I am ?

    • Laura K November 14, 2010 at 1:29 PM #

      don’tknowwhoyouare – it’s not as simple as “guys should be buzzing around you”.

      i work in the same industry as TheSingleFilez. Lots of friends are mystified as to why i’m single but hey ho i am. I have standards but i’m not against dating those that aren’t necessarily my type. Problem is meeting them for that to happen.

      thesinglefilez- i’ve only just started reading your blog so please excuse the ignorance. are many of your friends single or married? I heard about one friend who hosted a dinner party and got each person to bring a single friend. Trust me it wasn’t as desperate as it sounds…really great night and it was a chance to meet other like-minded people. Even if it just leads to you “networking” and getting to know others
      y’know what’s worse? that age old cliché- it’ll happen when you least expect it. gah!

      Plus working in PR- it’s overrun by females unforts. Apart from the beautiful designers and ad agency guys you don’t meet a lot of men. boooooo!

      Great blog by the way 🙂

      • TheSingleFilez November 14, 2010 at 4:28 PM #

        Hey Laura K,

        Thanks for reading and thanks for your response to ‘dontknowwhoyouare’ too. You’re totally right, the PR world is overrun by females. Females, gay men and only very occasionally the odd straight guy. Plus, when I mentioned that I worked in PR in my post, it was just to drive home that despite being a people person, I still find it hard to meet guys. I think ‘dontknowwhoyouare’ totally misunderstood that point.

        Most of my friends are coupled up, with kids and/or married so that does make things extra hard. I love the idea of the dinner party, sounds like fun! The idea of meeting and settling down with a friend of a friend is so appealing…

        “It’ll happen when you least expect it”…. “Mr Right is just around the corner”… “You’ll find him when you’re not looking”… Don’t you just hate all of those age old cliches? Blah. Just blah!

    • TheSingleFilez November 14, 2010 at 4:29 PM #

      If I knew what “the problem” was, I wouldn’t be single!

  4. @MissMegasaurus November 14, 2010 at 3:03 PM #

    I found I’ve become too reliant on online dating sites too and it’s making it very difficult to meet men in person. But recently I attended a networking event and it’s much easier. People approach you because your name tag says your profession and usually their intentions are to network and see if your company is hiring and whatnot but in other cases it’s to get to know you romantically. I found that it’s easier to approach men at those events so try one of those …. maybe it’ll make it easier next time your at a bar and they DON’T have a name tag on 🙂

    • TheSingleFilez November 14, 2010 at 3:56 PM #

      Sounds great! My problem is the industry I’m in tends to be very much female-heavy. Females or gay men. So the only people I tend to meet at professional networking events are people who become great buddies.

  5. Nicole November 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM #

    Girl, I am in the same boat! Perhaps we can join forces and go speed dating or to some singles events in the city!

    • TheSingleFilez November 15, 2010 at 5:55 PM #

      Singles events in NYC sounds a-ma-zing. I wish I knew you when I visited earlier this year. We would’ve had a ball!

  6. Brooke Farmer November 15, 2010 at 9:43 PM #

    I hate the notion that only weirdos and desperate people use those sites (even though I stopped). There are a million reasons to use them. Initially I used them because I was a single mom. I was home a lot and couldn’t pay for a sitter to go out every night in order to maybe, hopefully meet someone. So I used the internet. That way I could “meet” someone first and only pay a sitter if I actually found someone I wanted to spend an evening with.

    Ultimately I stopped because of too many bad experiences. I just kind of gave up. But I wonder (since I also don’t really meet people the normal way very well now) whether I did develope a dependence on online dating during that time. It’s easier. You don’t have to put yourself out there as much.

    • TheSingleFilez November 17, 2010 at 11:54 AM #

      I had bad experiences with guys I met before I started online dating, as well as with guys I’ve met since… so as frustrating as it can be, I’ve not let it put me off.

  7. sparky November 15, 2010 at 9:49 PM #

    Great post, totally relate to what you’re saying, I never meet guys when I’m out either, feels like the only way to meet guys is online dating or else friends of friends (which never happens!!). Did one singles night once and that was enough to turn me off for good!

    • TheSingleFilez November 17, 2010 at 11:50 AM #

      Strange isn’t it? It’s gotten ridiculously hard to meet guys. Even in a huge city full of lots of single people!

  8. The Date Guy November 16, 2010 at 8:37 AM #

    When you see a man in the street that you are curious about do you ever go up and talk to them?

    • TheSingleFilez November 17, 2010 at 11:49 AM #

      No, I don’t. Actually, I did a couple of times in my 20’s but one of those times I was tipsy!

  9. Lindsey November 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM #

    It’s a tosser to be honest. I was single for YEARS…I mean not even a date. And it wasn’t like i was sitting at home, I’d go out…just no luck anywhere. Thought I was doomed to never find someone, then reconnected with an ex and got married to him but he was someone I’d met through friends of a friend. It’s weird how things work out.

  10. Something She Dated December 6, 2010 at 8:49 PM #

    I’m totally in the same boat as you. And no I don’t have any answers lol. Though I do have one question.

    Do you like to flirt? I mean actually enjoy it and not even as a means to an end but the very act of doing it? Are you good at it?

    I don’t really…nor am I great at it…unless it’s someone I like who I know likes me…but flirting with lots of strangers just to flirt…not my thing and I think that’s how a lot of people meet others outside of internet dating…

    • TheSingleFilez December 11, 2010 at 1:55 AM #

      I’m just like you sweetie. I’m not one of those sorts of women who can just go up to a guy, start talking and flirt outrageously. As mentioned in previous posts, I even suck at making eye contact when I see hot guys out and about.

      Like you, unless it’s someone I like and I know the ‘like’ is reciprocated… I’m not much good at flirting, at all.

  11. Calgarytek December 8, 2010 at 6:52 AM #


    Just started reading your blog. I’ve recently entered the dating scene after a breakup. Here is a tip on what to do when internet dating fails. Note that I moved to a new city about 4 years ago and left all my friends and family behind.

    One thing to try is a dance class. You probably have a lot of confidence doing PR but you may not be ‘comfortable’ with people. They may be subconsciously ‘sensing that’. So, try a Latin dance class but remember who always leads in a dance :). For me it was an excellent way of boosting self confidence and meeting new people. Don’t go with the premise of finding a relationship, just basically go to have fun. I was surprised at just how many open people there were. Usually a dance class will have you switching partners as one never knows what the gender ratio will be (sometimes more women, sometimes more men, but very random). Either way you’ll have fun and find yourself much more comfortable with people in your every day life.


    Dude from Calgary

    • TheSingleFilez December 11, 2010 at 1:59 AM #

      Hey Dude from Calgary, thanks for reading!

      You got it right. At work, I can stand up in front of a room of people and make a presentation but to approach a guy and start talking to him? *shudder*

      Funnily enough, I sometimes do dance classes at the gym but they tend to me more aerobic classes such as ‘street dance’ or ‘zumba’. Maybe I should try something different that would require a male partner? Worth a try eh, its not like I have anything to lose!

      Thanks for the heads up 🙂

  12. Jane Doe February 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM #

    Don’t do it!!! You will regret the type of a-holes you will let into your life. I’m not an ugly woman either, and in great shape, but even I tried Internet dating. For some odd reason, the rules of all social etiquette and humanity is out the window with this form of meeting people. The men are often cruel, entitled, and just expect easy sex. I had a guy who seemed so sweet, accomplished, and normal, yell at me and make me feel worthless on the second date. He actually said I was the type to get cheated on, he was an abusive prick who I wasn’t surprised had to resort to the Internet for a date. You will get all excited, thinking you are meeting a nice, normal person, and then they will never call you again or they will verbally abuse you. I’m telling you, meet someone in person naturally!! You’ll thank me for saving you emotional trauma.

    • TheSingleFilez February 27, 2012 at 2:50 PM #

      I don’t think you read the blog post, or indeed any of my blog posts properly? I’ve done a lot of online dating – a bit late to be telling me not to do it?!

  13. This Way or That Way May 31, 2012 at 11:15 PM #

    Your choice, but there was a time when online dating didn’t exist.
    I think that’s when people took out newspaper articles, looking for a dating partner. Haha, anyway I think there are more reliable alternatives.

    I’ll admit that choices are much more limited when we get older. We’re out of the bar scene, college/university days long gone and friends that have long since been married with children and moved on with their lives. Let’s not forget, we also don’t look our buffed self, or have that perfect rump roast like we did when we’re in our 20’s.
    Well, I’m still a good looking man, but I’m not here to honk my own horn! I digress…

    If you can take a moment to put your pride aside, tell all your friends and their spouses that you’re single and looking. Surely there’s a friend of a friend of a friend that has his act together and is single and looking. Tell your family, coworkers (well, maybe) if they could put out a good word on your behalf. We need all the help we can get in the busy world we live in. So why not start with whom you know.
    Of course, there’s the buy a dog and go walking in a park routine. That could work I suppose, if you like dogs.

    That way you’ll avoid the zoo of lying, sorry sacks of dung waiting online for someone to glace their way. There are exceptions of course and yes online dating can be fun, but on the whole I found it more or less a passing phase with no real contenders.

  14. Circular Argument September 20, 2012 at 8:33 PM #

    What would you do without it?

    Wow, what has the younger generation come to. Look, dating sites are full of losers and washed up has beens, not a person you’d actually want to date. Sleep with perhaps? Yes maybe, but draw the line there. Online dating is such a passive approach and the vast majority of people you set up a meet/greet (date) with, are just people you wouldn’t give the slightest glance to in the real world. Pictures are deceptive, most profiles are a glorified mix of hackneyed cliche expressions. It’s a world of bending truths to suit their agenda. Abnormal competition leads to inflated egos from otherwise average to less than average attractive people. You’ll be dealing with that in spades.

    I will say there are exceptions (i.e. normal, well educated/employed people) online, but they are far and few between.

    If you’re out of university/college etc. and full swing into the workforce, time is limited. Yet, you still have weeknights and/or weekends to join clubs (something of interest). Forget the gym, people are there to work out, then get out, not sit there and be picked up.
    Another option is putting the word out to friends, family, coworkers, anyone really that you are single and looking. Someone down the line will know someone who is in the same boat. Put your pride away, you’re not desperate, you’re taking action to live a better life right?

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