Online Dating: Sometimes You Just Need a Break

(This is cross-posted at BlogHer.)

I’ve been a member of an online dating site since July 2008; I’ve never suspended or canceled the service since it was activated. It’s always there, ready for me to use if I feel like it, but my frequency of use has varied widely. There have been times where I met three new people in one week, and other times where I’ve met the same number of people in a month or more.

In an even more drastic change of pace, I’ve only met one new person through online dating in the past three months. I’ve seen that person about eight times, but getting together has been haphazard. In other words, I’m not dating him exclusively because I don’t want to see other people, I just haven’t met anyone else I want to go out with.

I’ve decided not to see this person anymore, but right now logging into my online dating account doesn’t hold a lot of appeal either. When I log in, it feels like the profiles start to run together — everyone sounds the same, so it’s hard to differentiate one person from the next.

People tend to say the same things over and over. If I have to read “I really don’t do the club scene anymore, but I like going to bars,” or “I’m looking for someone who enjoys going out but also likes to spend a night relaxing with a movie on the couch,” I’ll probably put my fist through the computer screen. (It’s fine if you like those things. It’s just that they’re so common to so many people, it should be assumed.)

Instead of wading through profiles which just end up frustrating me, I’ve been able to remind myself of all the other things out there to do. For instance, it’s nice to hang out with existing friends — people I already know I like — instead of someone I’m probably only going to see once or twice.

I’m not trashing online dating. I was positive about it when I wrote my Online Dating, One Year Later recap post last summer, and I still feel that way. I wouldn’t change anything. I guess, just like with anything else, if you do something long enough you’re going to get bored with it. Or at least need a break once in a while.

I don’t feel like I’m at the point where I want to cancel it completely, though. I’m not bothered by the fee. (Even though I only stay in touch with a few of the guys I’ve met since I started online dating, having them in my life has been worth the money and time I’ve spent with all the others who have come and gone.) So I’ll keep it, at least for a little while longer.

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