What an eye opening experience this online dating experiment turned out to be. According to Pew Research in 2019, more than 1 of every 3 relationships initiated through an online platform. This is shocking to me, as there was nothing genuine in the conversations I had.
I did some research and stayed away from the services that appeared to be primarily for one night stands or casual hook-ups. I selected a couple photos and did not use filters or pictures from over a decade ago. My introduction was brief and accurate, stating I was a business professional and single mom; I listed where I was from as well as some hobbies and interests.
Next came an absolute barrage of interested parties. I took my time reading through profiles, I eliminated anyone more than twelve years younger (and older) as I'm pretty certain we are not in the same place in our lives. I looked for common interest points, where they went to college, their occupation, places they lived, and their hobbies/interests. Of course, I would be lying if I didn't say I also reviewed their profile pics to determine if there was a physical attraction.
I communicated with less than ten individuals, and while you may say I did not give it chance enough to work for me, you will better understand why I exited stage left once I continue with these interactions. Interested party number one sent a message through the app which started very charming saying something to the effect that I had a beautiful smile. Okay, I thought, good start. So I responded by thanking him for the compliment, and said nice to meet you. This conversation took an immediate plummet when he followed up by asking when I could come over to "wrap my lips" around a specific body part of his. Delete, Block, Move On!
Interested party number two and three didn't waste any time asking if I was interested in threesomes, swapping partners or engaging in sexual activities with all their buddies on a football Sunday while they watched. Nope, not for me... delete, block, press on.
The next one was a bit sneakier in that he presented himself as looking for a someone special. His profile indicated he was a businessman and educated so when he asked if he could text my phone outside of the app, I gave him a SwitchUp number to communicate (no way I was giving anyone my personal number). That was a mistake as the first message was requesting I send naked pics and the second was the receipt of unrequested same from him. Delete, delete, delete.
After that was someone who I am certain must have been a child posing as an adult or did not have a proper grasp of the English language. Not only was he emoji happy, but once I was confident I was not going to receive anything x-rated, I handed the phone over to my daughter, with whom he seemed to communicate with on an equal playing field. By now, I am convinced this is a complete waste of time but another message arrives.
The last inquirer was the scariest of all. He presented himself as an investor. We texted back and forth a bit initially about what we did for a living, how long I lived in the area and if we had pets. I excused myself from the conversation indicating I was taking my daughter to dinner. Based on generally where I said I lived, he forwarded me a restaurant recommendation. This seemed slightly strange, but I thought perhaps he was just trying to be kind and different. The next day he texted and we discussed some overall values. I mentioned living debt free except the mortgage on my home and he had the audacity to ask how much I owed. I politely explained that I do not share my financial information with anyone. I decided to completely remove my profile when he indicated he had researched the company I worked for, as by now I was entirely creeped out. I had visions of a computer genius hacking into my bank accounts, finding where I live and stalking me, or somehow jeopardizing my employment. No thank you, I'm O-U-T!
I am happy for the many successful relationships that have come from on-line platforms but I am pretty certain this method is not for me. I will stick to hoping for a chance encounter, a casual conversation sparked up at the gym or even an introduction made by a caring friend.