January is the busiest month for online dating sites. People join, hoping this is the year they’re finally going to find lasting love, and what better way to do that than online dating? Yet, so many people over 40 despise the whole online dating process. I get it. I’m dating online, too. And there are many reasons why you might want to quit (or never begin), especially if you’re over 40.
As you age, dating can become more challenging. You’re tired of people who post pictures from ten pounds and ten years ago and lie about their age. You’re sick of putting effort into writing thoughtful emails that get no response and first dates that drain the life out of you.
If you’ve ever experienced false starts and frustrations in online dating, you probably feel like online dating sucks. There’s got be a better way to meet people. There are a few—going on meetups, or being super friendly and starting conversations with everyone everywhere you go.
But, if you want to find lasting love and you’re over 40, online dating is still your best option. You’re not socializing with singles on a regular basis. You don’t go to many parties. You don’t get set up often, and when you do, it’s usually just because the main thing you have in common is you’re both single.
People who date online do find love on every site every day. Of course you need to take precautions and stay safe. And it’s not always easy to date online, so let’s just air out the disappointments you’re probably feeling. Next week, I’ll be posting about how to overcome these challenges and stay positive on your journey to find love.
Top 11 Frustrations With Online Dating After 40
I polled my private Facebook group of almost 800 single women over 40 from all over the world about what they find most challenging about online dating. Most are not gender specific. Which have you experienced?
#1. Games and Lies
I dislike the games, especially when people are not truthful. I’m not saying it’s just the men, I’m hearing horror stories about woman. What happened to respect and kindness?
#2. Feeling Judged by the Superficiality of Online Dating
The feeling of being judged, as in a “beauty” contest, because there are so many pictures to scroll through online. You are picked based on a two-dimensional picture, which says nothing about who you are on a substantive level (we all know men do not read profiles). [Note from Sandy: I disagree. Men who are attracted and interested in a real relationship will usually read women’s profiles.]
#3. Confusion About How to Communicate Online
Not knowing if I should call/text or should I WAIT for his call/text? It’s confusing to me to what extent I should take initiative, and to what extent I should just wait…
Sending a thoughtful message and not getting any acknowledgement, even if it’s that they’re not interested.
#4. Lack of Manners and Common Courtesy
It’s frustrating to never hearing from a man again after a date, especially if you’ve made tentative plans to meet again. As a result of this happening, if I know I’m not planning on seeing someone again, I am honest and send a message. I wish men would have same courtesy.
Also, when someone persistently contacts me and there is no interest on my part, I send a kind email wishing him well. I stopped doing this because of ugly emails I received in return. Unfortunately, not everyone on these sites are mentally stable. Even when I try to display good manners, it’s not always kindly received.
I hate going on a first date with a man who has poor manners. I do expect him to help me out of my coat, to be able to hold a conversation, to pay for the date and open the door when we’re leaving. Also, don’t come in jeans or cargo pants or shorts with flip-flops if we’re meeting in a nice restaurant.
#5. Breaking Up and Rejection
I hate the whole process of dating. And going through the process of breaking up when it becomes clear there is not long-term relationship potential takes a toll on your heart.
I dislike the starts and stops, learning about someone new, only to have it crumble because one of you chooses to discontinue. It’s as hard to be the rejecter just as much as it is to be rejected. Meeting people and weeding out is a process that is necessary on the way to finding the one, but maintaining that optimistic attitude while you’re at it definitely takes self-monitoring and vigilance.
#6. False Expectations
I hate the uncomfortable feeling of the first meet. The nervousness, the unknown…I really hate the awkwardness if it isn’t a match and the disappointment that I don’t feel a connection. I used to look for that instant spark and chemistry, but it usually happened with the wrong guys.
#7. Too Time-Consuming
Dating process is very time consuming, almost as a hobby or a job. It is hard, because involves a lot of rejection and also inflicting hurt on others, not intentionally, but as part of the process.
#8. Virtual Infatuation and Not Meeting in Real Life
Feels to me that men have a new addiction—online dating instead of video games. They seek the virtual infatuation instead of reality. So they are just staying online hiding behind the keyboard and will fail to move to a real world.
I feel like there is a tendency to not want to be all in on the entire dating process. In the past, even with online dating, getting offline was much faster and smoother. Now, there is endless texting, the initial meeting might never occur, and when it does, no one wants to waste their time on a real date. Its coffee or drinks, not dinner. I feel like everyone (myself included) has become emotionally unavailable and unwilling to take the time to get to know each other.
#9. Sharing Horror Stories About Past Relationships and Not Healing From Past Pain
I don’t want to hear men’s horror stories about other woman. I am not her, and isn’t everyone innocent until proven guilty?
Women and many men have been very hurt, with egos bruised, from their prior relationships. I feel that what holds them back and is hurting both them and the dating process, is that men do not do their inner work to heal and move forward in positive, healthy ways. The number of female contacts they have in their cellphones seems to be far more important to them and their egos, than that one special woman with whom he could create a lasting, committed relationship. And although they certainly want the physical sex, they do not want the emotional and vulnerability components that are required for a true relationship.
What disappoints me the most is after you have taken a bit of time (for me it was the last six months), and then he disappears. Please guys, just be honest and tell us why you’re leaving. It hurts, but way less then just disappearing. We ALL have feelings, so be considerate.
#11. Getting Intimate Too Soon
I really don’t like when men try to kiss me on my mouth or hold my hand for a long period of time on the first date. I barely know him at that time, so I’m not ready for that.
Yes, online dating after 40 can be frustrating. But it can also be a highly effective tool to help you find lasting love. And it’s not just for finding that one special person. It’s also a great way to network for business or develop wonderful friendships.
Next week, I’ll share ways to make online dating work for you, and how to stay positive when dating gets you down.
For now, I’d love to hear about your online dating experience. What has worked for you, what hasn’t, and have you found love online? Please share your thoughts below.