In so many ways, I am the perfect candidate for online dating. The first and most convincing piece of evidence is the obsession I had with online dating before it really existed. I watched You’ve Got Mail religiously and, similar to how Meg Ryan’s character describes the anticipation that came with logging in and seeing if her virtual admirer had left another message (on AOL’s chat rooms, hilariously enough), I experienced the same heart palpitations and goofy smile on my face as I watched Kathleen Kelly (Ryan) and Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) fall in love with the help of an amazing soundtrack and impeccable ’90s wardrobe. I was smitten with the idea of finding my true love online.
4 Reasons I Quit Online Dating
Fifteen years later the dream of living my life filled with witty banter and pop-culture references is within my reach through the grand universe of online dating. Over the course of three months I dove in, using three different dating sites and communicating with a variety of guys. After all these years, did I finally find my Joe Fox? No. Absolutely not. In fact, I hated nearly every minute of online dating and I can tell you four reasons why.
1. Online dating turned into a part-time job. I’m a person who highly values my time. Whether I decided to engage in a full conversation or I just received a message or smiley face from someone, it interrupted whatever I was doing. I sometimes chose to ignore those messages, but even just the thought of logging back on and sifting through a number of notifications was tiring. Once I moved from messaging boys online to exchanging numbers with them, I really felt pressure to communicate back to them in a timely manner. I had trouble finding the balance between being committed to the process but also living my real life as I normally did. Initially, it was exciting to receive notifications and get to know someone new, but soon afterward I found myself feeling pressured to talk to someone who, frankly, I just didn’t care that much about. It seems the older I get, the more I desire to invest my time and emotion into people who truly matter to me.1