My Experiences With Online Dating

In a two recent personal updates, I mentioned online dating. Here is a summary of my experience. Before getting into the details, though, I want to make two things clear: while my experiences with online dating have sometimes been hurtful and sucky–I know they have taught me valuable lessons;I recently began online dating again, because I know I’m going to find the woman I’m seeking. I don’t know if I’ll find her online. I’m certain I’ll find her though. Yeah, there’s one more thing I should make clear: online dating has also shown me areas of personal weakness that needed work. In the interest of transparency, I will address those too. I never claimed perfection. I promised a willingness to keep growing–even if growing means accepting difficult truths and working to fix them. I can’t ask you to confront your stereotypes if I won’t confront mine.

Previously, I had an experience where I messaged several dozen women. Not a single one replied. I also didn’t get a message from anyone who seemed at all real. Sure, I heard from a few people who wanted to be emailed. I heard from one who wanted money. I even heard from one who wanted a green card. I didn’t hear from anyone who was actually interested in me.

Frustrated and hurt, I conducted an experiment. I posted a photo of me waring sunglasses. I removed the paragraph from my profile where I discussed blindness. Over the next few weeks, I got messages from several dozen women. Almost all of whom seemed legitimate.

Thinking I had proven my theory correct, I quit. I wasn’t ready to handle the expected rejection when I let these suddenly-interested women know I was blind. I kept wondering how so many people who claim to be open and/or progressive could be so superficial?

Later, I was back for more. Having realized what would work, I hid my blindness. It didn’t feel right, but I was doing what I thought I had to do. If, after a few messages, there seemed to be mutual interest, I told the women about my blindness. I wound up meeting four of them. Although none of those experiences, obviously, resulted in me finding the woman I am meant to share life with, they taught me a lot:

  • I learned I hate not being totally honest in my profile.
  • My belief that if I met some people, whether it ultimately worked or not, I could have fun and learn was confirmed.
  • Sadly, I had to acknowledge part of the reason I failed so spectacularly was that I expected failure. As long as I expected rejection, I wouldn’t be my most confident. I wouldn’t be my natural self.
  • As long as I couldn’t be myself, I couldn’t expect anyone to want to date me. After all, they didn’t know who the hell I was really capable of being.
  • Over time, I forced myself to admit that, I, too, was being judgmental. If a woman lived in a certain place, I didn’t write. If she had more than a certain number of kids, I didn’t write. If she didn’t graduate from college I didn’t write. If she didn’t have a job that impressed me, I didn’t write.
  • Yup, I was doing to many exactly what hurt me when it was done to me. Admitting that sucked and felt good at the same time. You know what I mean?

When I decided to try again, I did so with the knowledge that I would have to contact many women. Of those, very few would reply. Of that small group, an even smaller group would actually give it an honest try. But I also knew I would put my best foot forward. I truly would show everyone who read my profile who I am as a person. I would address my blindness with the understanding that if someone is turned off–they certainly aren’t right for me. I have fully embraced the idea that I’m only looking for one special woman with whom I can form a magical relationship. And, of course, I’m casting a wider, more honest net. Now, I’m writing to any woman whose profile makes me believe she’s a nice person and we would get along. I hope I’m finally as open and progressive as I long claimed. After all, it’s the heart that truly matters. Yes, I once used that as a tagline while failing to live up to its lofty ideal.

Armed with more confidence, a truer understanding of whom I want to find, and the peace of mind stemming from the harsh lessons my previously judgmental behavior taught–I’m honestly enjoying online dating this time. Obviously, I have no idea if it will work. But I’m certain it will continue helping me become a better person. The better person I become, the better chance I have at finding the magic I seek.

If you promise not to judge me, I’ll do the same for you. Who knows, we could help each other go farther than we could ever go alone.

I'd love to hear from you.

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