And you have to be willing to wade through some shit. Every so often, a guy in a dark place will be feeling shitty and will email me. It goes something like this: No dates, what few responses I get lead nowhere, or I have to do all the work and they contribute little to the conversation. I hear your frustration. And I agree with you: Dating in general is wrought with high emotion and low logic. That's why it's so critical that we: Attraction is emotional and primal.
But we can control our ability to enjoy our lives and find people we want to enjoy it with — and those are the people who do not think we are only "ugly" or only "attractive. Sure, online dating is centered on the superficial, but it can also be a tool to help us find more of the good people we want in our lives — who want to be in our lives.
It can be a fun way to meet new people. If online dating is not fun for you, or if it makes you feel "less than" in any way, please do not spend your time there! If you are frustrated that you are spending time on something that's not "paying off" — take a break! Don't spend time online if it feels like hitting your head against a brick wall. Sometimes the best way forward is to back off.
Give yourself permission to focus on building a life that you enjoy in the mean time. If you are already making an effort to live your life offline and get yourself out there — joining MeetUps, making new friends, caring for old friends, pursuing your hobbies and interests, being involved in your church or local associations and community groups — keep doing these things.
These are all the things that make you who you are, that make you happy even when you don't have a relationship, or when things get tough in other areas of life. Remember that you and online dating are not monogamous.
There are other ways to meet women. Go to happy hours, mixers, bars, and meet-ups. Practice talking to strangers in the checkout line at the grocery store. Smile at a cute girl at a conference. If you feel anxiety or extremely uncomfortable in social situations, take a look at this. You can develop skills to cope with and improve your social experiences.
Find someone you trust to talk to about this — a mentor, your pastor, a therapist, a friend — anyone who will be supportive, who will help you look at ways you can practice, grow, and overcome these challenges. The work you do now to feel good about yourself and create a life you enjoy is what sets you up to build strong relationships with the right people that will last a lifetime.
Patience is a pain in the ass, and hard work is difficult — but I think that's the prescription. That, and get offline when you need to! You are an intelligent, funny, considerate person with a lot to offer. There are many people who are so thankful that you have those qualities myself being one of them.
I have no doubt you will meet someone wonderful, whether it's online or off. Additional Resources from MenAskEm: