As far as I can tell, dating is trash for everyone, in this, the year of Oh Lord, not again, two thousand and one less than a score. I took about 9 months off of dating when my last relationship ended, and the last 9 months have been a different kind of loneliness. Choosing to be monastic is lonely, but it’s a choice fully within your control, and you can rest, assured that if you want to switch it up, you can.
Trying to date is a completely different kind of loneliness. It feels extremely futile. The advent of online dating has, at least anecdotally, caused a lot of choice paralysis for women — they literally have hundreds of guys to choose from. That’s why I said trying to date, not dating, because it’s extremely rare that anything goes past a first date. I have gone on some dates with nice women where there just wasn’t any chemistry. No harm, no foul. That’s to be expected. Then there’s the haystack.
A short list of online dating profile types:
- The thirst trap with nothing in their profile but “Need a sugar daddy” and/or “Trying to sell my nudes” and/or their Venmo address.
- The profile where all the photos have Snapchat filters on them. For all I know they could actually be a cat wearing round glasses.
- Women who are just a “Pam looking for her Jim!” Pam & Jim’s relationship in The Office is one of the all time worst.
- Only group photos. I have no idea which one you are. The same people are in all 6 of your photos.
- Boring, obvious shit.
- I love to laugh
- I love Netflix
- Family & friends are very important to me
- I love dogs/cats/food/wine
- Highly specific requirements
- Looking for someone to travel with me (all the photos are from different travel locations)
- Looking for someone to work out with 6 days a week (all the photos are flexing at a gym)
- I’m an extremely long list of labels & adjectives and you need to be an extremely long list of labels & adjectives
Here’s my current profile:
I love being a dad & have my kid every other week. I’m competent, empathetic, respectful, and 100% ready to be a great partner to a great partner.
To paraphrase Chris Rock: I want to meet the real you, not your representative.
Trying to meet someone interesting in person is way better, in my estimation, but it’s becoming increasingly gauche to do that & still comes with one main obstacle — mentioning I have a kid & watching their face go blank and uninterested. I’ve had better luck engaging with single moms, but I’ve yet to meet one where scheduling can be worked out or they live less than 25 miles away.
So it’s a huge hurdle to get a date in the first place. I don’t meet any of the requirements single women have these days. I think I’m a pretty goddamn good partner too. Still, I do manage to get a date here or there. Then that’s a whole other ball of wax.
Here are some of the things that have happened to me on the other dates — the ones that are more frequent than just the nice but not going anywhere ones.
Dates that don’t happen
You arrange a date, and they ghost you or bail on you for shitty reasons.
- “I’m not feeling well” is the most common excuse. I make a lot of women sick.
- “I fell asleep and my alarm didn’t wake me up.” Probably second most common excuse.
- Just straight up no show, and you never hear from them again.
- “I picked up a shift because we are shorthanded at work.” I usually figure this is legitimate, but I bought Indians tickets for a first date, got canceled on 3 hours before the game, and then saw photos of her at the game with someone else.*
*This same gal hit me up about 6 months later to try for a date. I told her to pick a day since I know how quickly her schedule can change and never heard back.
Immaturity Red Flags
- Went on a date with a vegetarian who was unable to identify a red pepper. Turned out she subsists on cereal and ice cream.
- Went on a few dates with a successful business owner. Nice condo, but literally nothing to eat or drink in the place except a tub of Skippy in the fridge and bottled water.
- First date with a woman in her late 20s with no kids. Disagreed with almost all of my parenting decisions and told me what I really needed to do throughout the date.
- Uncounted first dates where I ask questions and keep a conversation going for an hour or two, but never once get asked anything about my life.
- Women dating because they’re bored. “I just wanted a few drinks and a meal.”
- Women dating even though they “don’t know what they’re looking for right now.” 🙄
A great first date with a beautiful woman who said all the right things & seemed awesome. Found her Twitter. Full of thirst trap photos and tweets about running game on guys. Asked if she had a Twitter & she set it to private. Asked about that in a curious, non-confrontational way. Blocked. This happening actually triggered a reaction in me from the last time I dated a woman who said all the right things but lied constantly behind my back. Thankfully this time I figured out what was happening and got my head out of that zone. I don’t need another tattoo reminder.
So, all that bullshit is why actively trying to date feels even lonelier than being monastic. The amount of emotional effort needed for the highly likely chance that you’ll have a trash time is enormous — then I’m out $40-$100 dollars & probably have to wait a couple of weeks to try and line up another one.
The added complexity here is that I now have to fight an additional front of the mental war of dating. I’m actively trying to reduce how jaded all of these terrible dates have made me (see everything above) & remain open to the possibility of meeting another someone I’d like to marry. It’s a lot of emotional labor.