As I have mentioned before, I have used dating sites on and off for most of this century. I tried most of the mainstream sites at one point or another but after a bit of experience with them, I realised that spending time on them was usually wasted effort and paying for them a waste of money. I did find one person who was reasonably compatible on Match.com and despite not hitting it off enough to form a relationship, we are still friends and get together once in a while.
There have been a few alternative sites that have come and gone but only one that doesn’t seem like a “lets try to add alternative people to our customer base” site remains. One site that I did like was Gothic Personals which ran during the noughties but has sadly disappeared. It was a dating/penfriend site and I used it for both. From there I had some dates, some very strange, made friends I still keep in contact with and chatted with people with similar interests.
When Myspace came along, it was initially easy to find people with similar interests and as well as meeting people online and sometimes irl. I also made quite a few friends, male and female, mainly through the music side of things. For a while, I did start going down the rabbit hole of cybersex, even making extra accounts for that. However, they changed the way the site worked and it became unusable for finding people for any reason or new bands and musicians to go to watch. Facebook gave similar opportunities for a while but in the end I just found the whole thing depressing and backed away from it. I have tried various dating pages and groups on Facebook without success.
Part of me tells me that I am wasting my time and part of me keeps reminding me that “you have to be in it to win it.” Sometimes one side wins, sometimes the other. A lot of the time, something that looks promising doesn’t turn out that way as many people seem to view online matchmaking without any seriousness – as soon as you want to meet up the excuses come out, they break off contact or they demand money. I know that I have been catfished on some of those occasions, the last time that I know for definite was in 2012, around about the time I started using the image search on Google. Recently I have had younger women swiping right on my Tinder (you can often work out who has as the pics aren’t completely jumbled). Once getting into a conversation, it turns out that they want a sugar daddy or someone to sell pictures or videos to, often claiming to be looking for the former then offering the latter, not that I have money to spare for either, even if I had the inclination. I realise that this will happen and I will often play along for a while to keep myself amused.
The thing is, I know online dating works. I have a few friends and colleagues, male and female, for whom online dating has provided relationships up to and including marriage. Maybe things will change for me. This weekend I had two dates planned (one has had to postpone) and, despite my lack of success so far, my mind has been going “what happens if they both dates work out and I have to choose?” I’m not into the idea of dating two people at once, I don’t want that sort of complication or have to cover things up. I’d like to think that I was the only one that they were going out with too.