It's Not Just You, It's Everyone

  • Tuesday, August 20 2013 @ 07:17 am
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As human beings, we tend to be a little self-absorbed. Not necessarily in a way that’s entirely negative; it’s simply that we tend to assume that our worries are somehow unique. For example, as a teen you might have felt that you were the only one nervous about the first day of school, and thought that everyone else had it all figured out - when, of course, everyone likely felt the same. Even as an adult, it can be tempting to assume that others will pick up on that slightly-windblown hair or that tiny spot on your sleeve, even if we would never notice such a trivial detail on anyone else.

Online dating can be stressful, frustrating, and we don’t tend to share all the gory details with everyone we meet; as such, it’s probably no surprise that many tend to feel like they’re the only ones who aren’t rolling in offers for dates. In reality, it’s incredibly common to go through “dry spells” of answers to your emails. Even during less arid seasons, most probably feel like they aren’t landing as many first dates as they’d like to, or feel like they should be. After all, online dating sites have hundreds or even thousands of members; why does it seem like only incompatible people are interested?

In truth, you’re far from the only person who feels that way. Remember, in online dating you’re not literally playing the numbers, like a slot machine; you’re dealing with unique human beings. As such, you’re dealing with other people, who have their own sets of nerves. It takes a little courage to message anyone in the first place, especially if you are interested. In contrast, some take a “play the numbers” approach and message every profile they’re even vaguely interested in. Perhaps that’s why it always seems like the “incompatible” messages wind up in the inbox; mass mailings aren’t as specific.

So how does this affect the way we approach online dating? First, remember that you’re not the only one who gets frustrated or overwhelmed with dating - far from it! Now, bearing in mind that almost every single profile has a somewhat nervous person on the other end, consider sending even more first-contact emails. Someone has to be the brave one; why not you?

Finally, remember that finding someone compatible can be tricky. Sending more first-contact emails might mean an increase in rejections, too, and that’s okay - you’re also increasing your chances of meeting someone interesting and potentially compatible. And once you do go on first dates, remember - your date is likely nervous too! Reminding yourself that you’re not the only one with these anxieties and woes just might help you get through your dry spell, and on to enjoying the life cycle of the dating pond.