One month. That’s how long it took me to decide.
It was a month when my insomnia came back full-force, when my anxiety moved from threat level yellow (where it stays most of the time) to red-orange or orange-red or whatever that crayon color is.
It was a month when I had paid $35 and all I was getting for my money was added stress. And that’s something I definitely don’t need.
Also, do you know how many drinks you can buy at the bar for that much? Like 6, if you tip a buck or so on each one. More if you’re buying beer.
So yeah, so I quit Match.
When my month I paid for runs out at the end of this week, I’m dunzo.
I cancelled my subscription last night and afterwards? Got the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a month.
It’s not for money reasons. It’s not because I got too impatient trying to find the “love of my life.” It’s because I didn’t like how it made me feel.
Now. I’m not knocking the process. I think there are some people that do well with that option when it comes to dating. And obviously, it works for them, because I know people that have met good people and have great relationships that started with an online dating site. But it’s just not for me.
In this past month, I have cared more about what strangers think of me than I have in a long, long, long, long time. And I let it determine how I felt about myself.
When I was in high school, and silly about relationships as high schoolers can sometimes be, I cared so much about what other people thought. My mood was often determined by one specific boy’s feelings – or lack thereof – about me. I worried about everything I said or did when it came to him because one wrong word, one wrong action would mean the end. It would mean something was wrong with me, never him. (When in reality, looking back, it was SO him. Always. Weirdo.)
That’s when I was 17. And here we are, 11 years later, and I’m back in that mindset. I was letting what was happening – or not happening, actually – on that site determine how I felt about myself.
“Oh, I sent him a message and he hit the ‘no thanks’ button. Something must be seriously wrong with me. Bet he thinks my picture is bad and I’m not pretty.”
I’m not proud of these thoughts, people, but they’re there. They’d been down to a very dull roar for such a long time, but within the last few weeks, there they were, clear as day.
And I debated all day about writing those thoughts above. Because I’m not looking for reassurance or to be built back up. I know the good things about myself. I know the bad things about myself. I know that I more than likely think there are many, many more bad things than others do. But this online dating thing brought all of these feelings back up.
It’s a different world on there. The regular way of meeting people, if there is one – through a friend, through a group you’re in, through work, at a bar – is taken away. This method is strictly based on looks and how well you sell yourself in a profile with limited words and pre-determined questions.
By looking at my profile, guys aren’t going to get that I’m funny. That I am a great friend, that I take care of those I love, that I have pretty eyes when you get up close and what I’m like in a relationship.
Instead they’ll get a few pictures of me I think actually turned out well and answers to questions like “Do you smoke? How often do you drink? What sports do you enjoy? Which of these five animals do you like?”
And then they determine if they want to email me more or cut me off completely? And I’m paying people to help me with this?
My shrink said if I decided to quit Match I should write about being an Online Dating Survivor. And I guess that’s what I’m doing right now.
Because I survived the experience. I got out before the anxiety and frustration and depression it brought on swallowed me whole.