Tag: dating

I’m Disappointed With Online Dating

People raved about online dating on a couple of sites that I really trust, Ask Metafilter and Captain Awkward. Five years ago, at age 18, I was excited to try it.

I found OkCupid too confusing to use towards the end of my time there. I couldn’t see who liked my profile or messaged me anymore. I tried following the help instructions and still had no luck.

I also tried Craigslist, Plenty of Fish, and Match. People on Craigslist sent mean emails about my weight. They told me that they were flagging their ads because they didn’t want to see fat people on the site. They were very persistent about booting me off of the personals section.

All of the dating sites I’ve tried share the problem of people writing very sparse, vague profiles. For example, people wrote, “I love to laugh,” “I like to watch movies,” or “I’m looking for someone adventurous.” Their descriptions sounded alike. I had no idea from reading these profiles how these people thought or what it would be like to spend time with them or anything like that.

Very rarely, I’d have a brief relationship with someone I met online. I think all of these relationships fell apart partly because of my poor social skills, and partly because they had no respect for me.

I didn’t just want to date. I wanted to make friends, too. The only site I could find for talking to people as friends was the platonic section of Craigslist. One person I met wanted to start a business with me without a business licence, another associated with people in a violent gang, and so on, so nothing worked out. If there were more sites for people looking for friends, I would’ve tried them.

I’ve been trying so hard for five years to meet people online. I’ve gotten nowhere. It seems to work for other people. The person who runs Captain Awkward married someone she met online. I don’t understand why I have no luck with it. I just spent another $60 on Match the other day. I probably made a mistake doing that, since I’ve been on it for over six months and only gotten one date out of it.

Also, I hardly ever see any people near my size on these sites. I don’t care whether a romantic interest is fat or thin, but I know that other fat people are more likely to be willing to date me, so it’s discouraging to see all of these thin people. However, there are even fat people who aren’t willing to date fat people. Dating while fat sucks. Match allows me to see what body type(s) people selected (Plenty of Fish doesn’t show this) and only a small fraction of people are willing to date a fat person. It’s very intimidating to think of not only my weight, but all of the other factors working against me. I’m currently on disability, I don’t drive (I use public transportation and would not ask a romantic interest to help me get around), I’m Unitarian Universalist and Pagan (everyone seems to want an Atheist or a Christian) and so on.

Maybe it’s time to give up trying to meet people online.

My mom and therapist think that I  should switch to meeting people in person. I’m not confident that I can succeed at that, either, which is why I tried meeting people online in the first place, but I’ll try..

My Thoughts On “How to Be Single and Happy: Science Based Strategies for Keeping Your Sanity While Looking for a Soul Mate,” by Jennifer L. Taitz, Psy.D.

My Thoughts On “How to Be Single and Happy: Science Based Strategies for Keeping Your Sanity While Looking for a Soul Mate,” by Jennifer L. Taitz, Psy.D.

Dr. Taitz’s book helped me get into a better mindset about being single. She validates how hard it is to be single when you want a relationship, but at the same time, encourages you to take responsibility for creating a life that you can feel awesome about with or without a partner. She supports her ideas with specific research studies. For example, she backs up her ideas about self compassion with a study by Jia Zhang and Serena Chen, who asked 400 students to write about their biggest regrets. The group who was told to think about them from a compassionate, understanding perspective accepted themselves more and improved more (46-47).

Love isn’t entirely within our control, so we shouldn’t go overboard strategizing or planning for it (xviii). The healthiest way to increase our chances of finding love is to work on our happiness (5). It’s important to look at the whole pie and not get too focused on one slice, whether it’s love or another one. I admit that I used to daydream a lot throughout the day about romance, but reading stuff like this has been helping me chill out.

The acronym DEARMAN gives us a blueprint for solving conflicts (p.211). I like it enough that I’ll refer to it in the future if conflicts come up.

This book is a good dating guide and, more importantly, a good guide to having a healthy attitude about life and growing as a person.

Works Cited

Taitz, Jennifer L. How To Be Single and Happy: Science Based Strategies for Keeping Your Sanity While Looking for a Soul Mate. Penguin Random House LLC, 2018.

Image Credit: Amazon

My Thoughts on Improve Your Social Skills, by Daniel Wendler (Kindle edition)

I found this book to be comforting. He believes that the reader deserves a place to belong and wants everyone to feel loved and accepted (Wendler, 1). He describes the reader’s life as a gift to those who love them and those who will love them in the future (Wendler, 1). The book makes me more hopeful that I’m worth connections and will be able to find them. I feel calmer. I’ll return to these sentences again and again. I admire Wendler’s gentle compassion and am inspired to be gentler and more compassionate, myself.

Wendler has studied social skills in his free time and gone to school for clinical psychology. At the time that the book was written, he had given hundreds of hours of social skills coaching (Wendler, 4). As a child, he was diagnosed with autism, and it was difficult for him to understand socializing (Wendler, 4). When he was in high school, he realized that his problems weren’t due to a character flaw, but due to the fact that he needed to work on his social skills (Wendler, 4). People have criticized my character and personality before, so it’s a relief to hear that I can learn how to improve at socializing.

Wendler reassures the reader that if they experience a social failure, worst case scenario, they can always try again with someone else (Wendler, 14). He explains how to look for signs of comfort and discomfort in someone’s body language. There’s a chapter with tips for making conversation, such as that asking questions shows interest. The chapter after that covers group conversations.

He writes about empathy, starting with understanding your own emotions. He says, “Your problems matter, because you matter,” and I appreciate his caring (Wendler, 71). He encourages the reader to act on their empathy (Wendler, 78).

The chapter about meeting people is built upon the idea of participating in groups that are related to your interests. I’m uneasy about his suggestion to make conversation with customer service workers, since they may be too busy to talk, but the chapter is otherwise good (Wendler, 90).

Wendler explains what makes someone a good friend, which is helpful both for figuring out who to be friends with, and for being a friend. He says that a good friend likes the person, cares about them, accepts them, and treats them respectfully (Wendler, 97). I love that he devotes an entire chapter to explaining how to support your friends. One of his suggestions is to ask someone if they want advice before offering it (Wendler ,113).

There’s a chapter about dating. His outlook about relationships is very healthy. He says that both partners need to have other relationships, hobbies, and goals outside of the relationship and support each others’ interests in these things (Wendler, 137).

I recommend this book to anyone who wants suggestions about improving their social skills.

Works Cited

Wendler, Daniel. Improve Your Social Skills. 

Recent Dating Mishaps That I Wish I Had Handled Differently

I’ve had dating mishaps with a couple of different people recently that I wish I had handled better.

I was planning a date with a guy I met online. He asked, “What’s your comfort level?” and I said, “I’m fine with having sex on the first date.” He said, “You have to wait for what I got, but I can offer cuddling.” I said, “That’s cool,” and I meant it. I thought that “cool” was well known as a positive word, but he didn’t take it that way. He said, “It sounds like you’re unhappy with that?” I said, “Not unhappy, I’m agreeing with you :),” throwing in a smiley face to reassure him. I learned that I need to be more expressive when people set boundaries like this so that they don’t think I’m unhappy with them for setting boundaries.

Later in our exchange, I said that I’d buy us something to eat, cuz it sounded like he wanted me to pay for both of us, although I’m not sure that’s what he meant. He said, “Are you selfish with your money?” I said, “I’m very angry that you’re accusing me of being selfish with my money.” Accusations that feel unfair are a hot button for me. He said, “This is why I hate text. If you were here, you’d see that I’m smiling.” I jumped from thinking that he was making a false accusation to thinking that he was making fun of me, so I was still fuming, and I stopped replying. Now that I’m calmer, I think that he may have been trying to thank me in an ironic way for paying for the date. I regret that I took him too seriously and blew him off. If I could do this interaction over again, I’d say, “Yeah, I make Scrooge look like an angel,” to play along. I might have really missed out…he shared my interest in psychology. He seemed enthusiastic about meeting me, cuz he said, “I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun. You might wind up liking me a lot.” I let my temper and difficulty reading social cues get in the way of what could’ve been the beginning of something great 😦

There was another guy, Charlie, who I had already gone out with once, but we didn’t recognize each other at first when we started talking again. When we figured it out, he rejected me again, and I was frustrated that I turned to have wasted my time on someone who had already turned out to not be a match for me. I took my frustration out on him, saying, “Than you for saving me the time and energy from dealing with you again.” He didn’t retaliate, but sent a classier reply than I deserved, saying, “Sorry. Good luck.” Looking back, it wasn’t his fault that we crossed wires again. If I could do that interaction differently, I would’ve said, “Yeah, it’s Shae. Sorry for the mix-up.” I would take the blame to smooth out the awkwardness.

A previous therapist said that I need to have insight into the situation earlier in my interactions with people. I wish I could make that happen. I keep failing, and I feel horrible about it. I don’t wanna be an asshole. I wanna be kind to everyone, including the people I date.

My goals from these mishaps for doing better in the future are to:

  • Get someone else’s opinion if someone upsets me again so that I can gauge how appropriate my initial reaction is and if I need to adjust it
  • Send even clearer signals that I’m okay with peoples’ boundaries by saying something like, “I’d be happy to do that (as in, doing x instead of y).”
  • Realize when a situation isn’t the other person’s fault and adjust accordingly.

I’m trying to become a better person, and, under that umbrella, a better dater/partner.

Awkward: Accidentally Reconnecting With People Through Online Dating

I hate a date scheduled on Monday, but the person messaged me again to ask if I’m the Shae he went out with in June who’s into psychology. I was frustrated and humiliated when I realized that he was the same guy and had to go through being rejected again after I confirmed my name and main interest. This is the third time that I’ve accidentally reconnected with a bad match online cuz we didn’t realize who the other person was at first. I’m not sure if I’m gonna quit online dating over this, but it’s making me more sour about it.

I’m Changing My Approach to Online Dating

I’m making some changes to how I do online dating so that it’ll work better for me.

I’ll pare down the dating sites I use to just one. I picked OkCupid to focus on. The way that it structures profiles draws out more information from people than other dating sites do, so I think that I can get the best sense of what someone’s like there. There are lots of optional match questions to answer, as well, which gives me more information about how compatible I might be with someone. For example, one question is, “Do you have a problem with racist jokes?” and if the person answers no, I know not to message them cuz we’re not on the same wavelength about respect for diversity. On another dating site, I might not find out that the person has racist views.

I’ll only go on OkCupid once a day, unless I have an ongoing conversation with someone. Combing through profiles over and over again trying to find someone to message is disappointing and frustrating, so I won’t spend as much time on it anymore.

Every since I started looking for a partner about five years ago (I’m not counting high school), I’ve almost entirely been relying on online dating. Since I still haven’t found a partner, I think that it’s time to rely on it less and instead use it as a supplement to approaching people who I’m attracted to in person. Having a screen as a buffer and having information about the person beforehand makes it easier to strike up a conversation, but I think that I’m motivated enough now to scrounge up some courage.

I hope that making these changes will help me find a connection.

How My Date Turned Out

Content note: feeling of hopelessness

I thought that my date with Ky went well. He asked about my blog, and I appreciated that he showed an interest in it, since it’s such a big part of my life. We laughed a lot. At the end, I asked him if he’d like a hug, and he said yes. I said that I had fun, and he said that he did, too. However, he ignored the message I sent asking him out again. That’s typical for me. After dealing with this yet again, I have little confidence in my ability to read how well a person likes me. Being ignored after a first date is a particularly painful way to get rejected, but it’s how it usually happens for me, which sucks. I’ve made dates with four people since my last relationship, and all of them have rejected me. One even changed his mind about meeting me before our date. I’ve been in ten relationships, and every single time, I’ve been the one who was dumped. The constant rejection is excruciating. This time, my sleep problems (swinging between extremes of not sleeping enough and sleeping way too much) got worse, and I’ve been fidgeting and barely eating anything. It’s so rare that I see anyone who I can message on a dating site, for reasons such as they indicate not wanting to date a fat person or that they’re looking for something casual, that I can’t easily just jump back into dating after a rejection. Coming across another person that I can try with is a painfully slow process. I’m in a horrible mood and don’t feel very hopeful about being able to find a partner, or even local friends (I have one friend, but she lives in Seattle).