Online dating may work for some, but not for me.

Susann Mitton

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.

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Lifestyle insights on work, parenting, and relationship balance from the perspective of a business professional and solo parent to an adopted teen.


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