The Online Dating Newbie: This Is Why I Was Hesitant to Online Date

I'm only a few weeks in to my online dating experiment, and I'm already running into trouble.
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The Online Dating Newbie: This Is Why I Was Hesitant to Online Date

I’m only a few weeks in to my online dating experiment, and I’m already running into trouble.

-Faye Brennan

 Online Dating Newbie

Betty’s own assistant editor made the brave decision a few weeks ago to lose her online dating virginity and embark on an experiment looking for love (or just a fling) on the Internet. Here, she chronicles the frustrations, surprises, and excitement of shopping for a beau online, and shares her thoughts in an exclusive Betty video! (The online dating veteran’s experiences can be found here.)

It’s been a few weeks since I started my online dating experiment. I went from being an online dating virgin to having a profile on three different sites (Zoosk, DateBritishGuys, and HowAboutWe) overnight. Although I went into the venture feeling very optimistic, I can’t say I feel the same way now. I set out hoping to find cool guys to hang out with – maybe a hottie or two to casually date, or perhaps even something more serious if it got that far – but so far, not so good.

I’m running into some of the same obstacles and downfalls that used to be the reasons why I would “never” try online dating. Here’s what I’m having trouble with:

 1. Defining myself.
When initially setting up my profile on these dating sites, I had a lot of trouble coming up with what to say in the “About Me” box, and I found it equally hard to choose a profile photo. I am so much more than what these profiles could ever project to a potential date – I can have a different look every day of the week, and I can’t sum myself up in 160 words or less. I feel the same way about my Facebook profile. What I post online is only a fraction of me (and for good reason), so if you think you know me just because we’re Facebook friends or because of what you read on my dating profile, think again.

Because of this, a guy who comes across my profile may instantly be turned off by one of the things I reveal about myself – whether it’s my favorite movie, my disdain for cats, or the fact that I don’t smoke. He’s only seeing bits and pieces of me, so that’s all he has to go on. But, if I were to meet this same guy in real life, he’d be finding out things about me more slowly, which might give him the chance to decide, “Yea, it sucks her favorite movie is that stupid chick flick The Girl Next Door, but her laugh totally makes up for it, and I want to find out more about her.”

Read The Online Dating Veteran: The False Advertiser

2. Being shallow.
In the same respect, I am making split-second decisions on guys based solely on their profile pictures. If you don’t closely resemble my dream husband – blond hair, blue eyes, tanned and toned muscles, killer white smile – then sorry! I don’t care if you did “wink” at me, you’re just not my type.

I’m being way more shallow than I would if all of these guys were at a BBQ with me. In person, I’d look each one up and down, take note of how he talked, smiled, and interacted with others before making a final decision. And, even if I decided he wasn’t for me, he’d have the rest of the BBQ to do something that might really impress me – like play with the little kids there, or help out with the cooking. Too bad they don’t have that chance on the Internet!


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0 thoughts on “The Online Dating Newbie: This Is Why I Was Hesitant to Online Date

  1. hope_xo says:

    Sounds like a great experiment, Faye!

  2. kitty says:

    You are too young and pretty to even be concerned with online dating! SO I hope you’re just having fun with it.

  3. uptowngirl says:

    I always thought online dating could be kind of fun, but it sounds like a lot of work, too.

  4. sugarpie says:

    Wow, you are really brave!! But you’re right, there are slim pickings out there.

  5. Trace2011 says:

    Online dating is just another form of commuincation. I tried online dating and at my age (uhum..middle age), it is slim pickings! Most of the guys I have ran across can’t read or write and I am talking about guys my age! First impression is key and the online dating leads to being more shallow than you really are. I agree with the article! You cannot really know someone by reading their profile. It is a waste of time and is not worth the headache! I rather meet my knight and shining armor in person!:)

  6. JulieSpira says:

    I’m enjoying reading about your experiment Faye. Online dating and mobile dating are different experiences for people in different age ranges. It’s truly a numbers game. Keep us posted on your stories and keep you sense of humor alive.

    ~Julie Spira, author, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

  7. esolkneerod says:

    I’ve considered it, I’m older (mid-life), but I just have heard too many stories about people who lie on these sites to even want to give them a try. It’s all so contrived.

  8. robinpeggy says:

    Check out skout — top iphone app for mobile flirting. It was in the NY Times today:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/fashion/22date.html?_r=1

    Their average member is 25, much better than the old dating sites.

  9. dessie81 says:

    Faye, here’s some unsolicited advice.
    The first things you consider should be things that matter, not the profile picture, or (in real life) the way the person looks.
    If you put initial emphasis on looks, you might end up with a handsome boyfriend (or, worse, husband) who is not a good partner. Right now (at barbecues) you think that a person should make up for their not-so-good looks in other departments. It’s the other departments that you should be concerned with first. Looks should be the cherry on the cake. I’d personally rather have a good piece of cake with no cherry than a rotten piece of cake with a cherry.
    I had a teacher who taught me that if you want to fill a jar with rocks, you first place the big rocks in it, then the small rocks, and then sand. If you first pour in sand, you won’t have time for the big rocks. Same goes with dating. Concentrate on looks first, and the chance that you end up with a decent person drops.

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