When online dating works, it can be a great way to connect with lots of people you wouldn't have otherwise met. But when it doesn't, the experience can send you down the everyone-is-awful-so-I'm-probably-dying-alone spiral.
Despite its popularity, not everyone's experience with online dating is positive. Plenty of women are opting out of the "efficiency" of the swipping world, instead choosing to find a date the old-fashioned way.
So what exactly is driving these daters to delete their profiles? We asked the members of our Facebook community why they left online dating to find love IRL. Here's what they had to say:
1. "Over time, I began to feel like I was losing my true self in the quest to be the girl with the perfect profile."
"I was constantly overthinking what I had typed in my profile or what I was sending in a message to a guy. When I would see something in a guy's profile that he liked in a woman, I would think ‘Hey! That's me! Maybe? Is it? Yeah!’ I would try to edit my profile to be what I thought guys wanted. I would type, delete, type again, delete, etc., like I didn't know who I was in real life. Over time, I began to feel like I was losing my true self in the quest to be the girl with the perfect profile, and I decided it wasn't worth the stress and sacrifice of losing and/or hiding who I am."
2. "There was no spontaneity or fun or butterflies."
"I was sick of constant disappointment or men that wanted to text forever. Or men that were so self-focused. Everything was scheduled and planned forever. There was no spontaneity or fun or butterflies. What's the point? I'd rather meet a great guy randomly and organically than deal with the constant rejection and exhaustion."
3. "Everything feels forced."
"You just don't get that spark that you do when you know you like someone and it's instant and wonderful. With online dating, everything feels forced. It's like you try to put a face to the person you're talking to, but it just feels like this contrived entity. You really have no idea who they are and what they're about or if you have any chemistry. You're just asking these basic questions wondering when it's cool to really be yourself. But that's the thing -- you can't really be yourself online."
4. "It required a lot more time and energy than I expected."
"Online dating gave me exactly what I wanted: practice going on dates with strangers and trusting my instincts about the men I met. What I did not like was that it felt extremely contrived, as if I was online shopping. There was nothing romantic or spontaneous about it, and it required a lot more time and energy than I expected. I recommend online dating for practice if you haven't dated in a while, but ultimately, I think the chances of meeting someone great are small and require a whole lot of effort."
5. "Some are weird, some are looking for kinky sex partners and some are wacko."
"I'm a Baby Boomer who never thought she’d be single at 60. I've tried online dating sites -- a lot of them! I met one guy from California that I flew out to spend time with only to learn he was looking for a woman to support his lazy behind. Actually, that's what I found most times. Or they are sick and want a woman to be their nurse. No, thank you! Some are weird, some are looking for kinky sex partners and some are wacko. I've decided that I'm better off alone -- eHarmony.com, Match.com and Ourtime.com can get rich off someone else's money, not mine."
6. "I got a stalker."
"I got a stalker. My warning to women: If you have a unique name, do not post your first name or even your last initial on your profile ANYWHERE (even in your user name). Do not post your age, and if you live in a smaller town or city, say you live in the closest big city to you. My stalker situation wasn't as extreme as some, but it irked me enough to get a lawyer which I'm glad I did."
7. "Some immediately began asking about my sexual turn-ons."
"I just got tired of all the annoying messages I was receiving. Some immediately began asking about my sexual turn-ons, fantasies and other weird comments/questions. It got to the point where any message at all would just annoy me."
8. "I would get between 30 to 50 messages daily, and maybe two or three were normal conversations."
"I would get between 30 to 50 messages daily, and maybe two or three were normal conversations from normal-seeming guys. Most were complimenting my appearance and asking for sex. A few dates resulted in attempted rape, a 'stage-5 clinger,' and a bunch of insecure guys who ended up telling me I was a 'teasing whore' when I didn't feel a connection."
9. "Men online are crass and crude."
"Men online are crass and crude. It's worse than being at a bar with the unsolicited dick pictures and sexually charged introductions -- 'You look like you take it up the ass.' Men have become bolder and not in a good way. They are able to hide behind gadgets and feel that they can be completely disrespectful. Also, when you tell men you aren't interested, they respond with, 'Whatever, bitch, you're ugly anyway.' to which I responded, 'I was ugly when you initially sent me a message, prick.'"
10. "You have to be a complete drop-dead gorgeous show-stopper to get anything out of it."
"You have to be a complete drop-dead gorgeous show-stopper to get anything out of it. My friend is a fitness instructor, she was dating someone within a week. I have yet to get a date after trying four options. Guys would chat with me, then disappear, never to ask me out. I even tried starting conversations. I finally had a date set up after my sister secretly signed me up and landed him, and he didn't show. It's too artificial -- you're judging solely on looks."
11. "I was once asked if I was a man or a woman due to a short hair cut."
"I gave up on online dating, because I was once asked if I was a man or a woman due to a short hair cut. I replied with, ‘If you can't tell the difference between a man and woman, there is no hope for you and you should probably delete your profile.’ I then received the response, ‘I'm just saying...there are some he-she's on here and you gotta be careful."
12. "Every time I suggested getting together, he seemed to stop messaging me and/or avoid the question."
"I had been messaging with a very attractive man who said he was a firefighter, which is my weakness. We spoke for a while, but something did not feel right as I was talking to him. Every time I suggested getting together, he seemed to stop messaging me and/or avoid the question. I got the idea to try and figure out how to reverse image through Google, dropped his picture in and bam -- the pictures were linked to an Instagram account in England of a semi-famous personal trainer. Every picture he ever used was from this site, and I immediately felt violated and betrayed. I reported him, blocked his number, deleted any account I could think of that may have my information on it in the online dating world and swore off of it for good."
13. "Most men my age are looking for women that are much younger."
"I'm 47 and I have a 5-year-old, so I’m not your average middle-aged woman. Most men my age are looking for women that are much younger, or if they are my age, they want someone who doesn't have young kids. Being in this age bracket, I tend to get interest from men that are in their 50's and 60's -- generally not what I'm looking for. Also, I found that it was mostly guys looking for hookups or married guys that wanted to fool around. I received one unsolicited dick pic and I was done."
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