Something I have done a lot — dwelling on online dating disappointments.
Remembering the matches that didn’t work out, I worry about my chances in love. I also worry that I disappointed everyone else on the dating app.
But I take a pause from my exacerbation. I count the blessings. The affection, thoughtfulness, courtesy, and inspiration that men on the dating site have given me.
If I look, the positives have been plentiful! Many great people have crossed my path, and they left it prettier than they found it.
This gives me hope that maybe, I too have been a small blessing in some of those other people’s lives.
Count with me. As you read my blessings list below, see what positives you recall from your online dating misadventures. You deserve the optimism!
The kindness in opening messages
Countless messages have brought me joy, even ones I thought I was “supposed” to make fun of. Most of them I never replied to.
I wanted to reply, but I didn’t want to lead people on. They may never know that their messages cheered up my day.
“I like you.” — I can’t believe a guy said this to me as the opening message. So humble and direct. Somehow those three words landed softly on my heart.
“If you were a fruit you’d be a fineapple.” — He picked the perfect person for this. Fruit puns are my jam!
“Hey, I really liked what you said in your profile about blah-blah-blah. You seem like a really x, y, z person.” — Thank you for showing me how I am coming across to you. For saying what you like about me and what makes you wish to connect. I don’t expect everyone to do that, but when someone does, it’s beautiful.
“I’d love to do a phone call or hang out at a cafe once you feel comfortable / once quarantine ends.” — When someone is confident enough (in themself, in me, and in dating) to skip ahead to the real connecting, they’ve already won a piece of my soul.
“I love your smile.” — I tell guys about loving their smiles too! I think I like hearing this because it suggests they enjoy both your looks, and how your inner self is expressed through your looks. And they like seeing you happy.
“You gorgeous pretty sexy queen. Please we live good life in my country and you have my babies.” — It just made me laugh. He should’ve gleaned from my profile that I’m a transgender woman and therefore unimpregnable. But for five rapturous seconds, this man’s message fulfilled a fleeting fantasy of being proposed to by a prince and moving to a far-off land to bear children. Probably my favorite dating message of all time to be honest.
My incorrigible awkwardness, saved by chivalry
Sometimes I feel like I’m 50% circus clown, but with 100% less acrobatic skill. Although it sucks to be so easily embarrassed by my dating setbacks, it does make me appreciate people’s generous gestures all the more!
I drove 2 hours to meet this guy. When things didn’t work out, he felt bad and gave me more than enough cash to cover the gas.
I’m still in touch with another guy who knows I love animals. He sends me selfies whenever he meets a new horse or goat at one of his farmland gigs.
When guys have had me over, and they’ve let me sleep over — that was a gesture of trust. I am honored to be a guest in anyone’s home.
More fond memories of different guys:
- He ate a vegan meal at a restaurant for me.
- He talked with me on the phone for nearly 3 hours before we met. It was a long, patient, suspenseful, exciting conversation!
- He acted out a Harry Potter roleplay with me on Snapchat. Can I ask for more?
- He listened to me unload my political angst, and we had more in common than I’d thought. He became my first conservative friend who I could talk with about politics.
- They made me a bracelet with my name in beads, and gifted it to me during our second meeting. They entrusted me with their life stories and their true gender identity (hence the they/them).
- He was late for our hike/picnic date and it got dark. He made up for it by having a spontaneous guess-which-orange-variety-you’re-tasting gameshow & strategy boardgame tailgate party with me on the trunk of my dented Toyota Corolla! And he brought dragon fruit. Unforgettable.
We’ve experienced more true love than we think
I sometimes lament that all I’ve done so far is one-off dated… and made a few amazing friends.
But if you wove together each online dating correspondent’s genuine gestures of kindness, the whole tapestry would look like a good, lasting, healthy relationship.
Because I already have a relationship — with men as a gender, with each unique person I meet, with dating, and with myself.
Commemorating what went well is helping me keep those relationships positive.
May this sappy snapshot of my experiences have some relevance to your own. I hope this helps you celebrate the good times you have in online dating! I hope everything keeps getting better!
Sweetest of luck, and much love.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love and is republished here with permission from the author.
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