I recently decided to let one of my online dating memberships lapse. I’ve been on and off this particular site for many years, and after my last 6-month subscription, with no exciting prospects to show for it, I decided not to renew. A few weeks before my subscription expired, I went onto the site to disable my profile but decided instead to leave it there until it expired. As an interim move, I deleted my personal summary and replaced it with the following:
“This is my last few weeks here. Hasn’t been much of a productive place for me to meet anyone interesting so I’m not going to keep flushing my $$ down the can. Good luck to all of you!!”
I did not expect to receive any responses to this, but I was quite mistaken! Overnight, I received about twenty times the number of messages I usually receive. To date, this onslaught of messages continues unabated. Still, no exciting prospects to report, but hey, it’s a numbers game, so it was an improvement!
Another interesting development was that I began to receive a large quantity of unsolicited advice from men who somehow now felt free to let me know what was wrong with me — and how I could fix myself to get more dates.
My favorite of these helpful hints came from a man we will call Matt.
Matt wanted to let me know the reason I wasn’t getting any dates was that I was too tall and too pretty. He also let me know that my profile was too intimidating.
I checked my profile after receiving his feedback and found that, in addition to the above statement, it contained my interests (coffee, conversation, dining out, hiking, kayaking, movies, museums and art, shopping, skiing, travel, volunteering and wine tasting), and two photographs. Nothing else.
He also informed me, since he saw I was a skier, that he was sure guys would ask me out all the time on the ski lift, so maybe I should rethink my skiing outfits. He concluded his slew of messages with a final post imploring me to “suck it up” and go on a date with him already!
Typically, I do not respond to these types of messages, but after pondering this feedback, I decided to compose a response to him and to send it. After all, I won’t have the opportunity to have this much fun for very much longer!
“Hi Matt. Thanks for your messages. I appreciate you sending them. You have provided me some valuable feedback, and I thank you for that as well. So, let’s see if I can answer some of your questions.
No, men do not ask me out all the time. About once or twice per year, over the past few years, I have received an offer for a date from someone on this site. Some of these offers came from people who were potentially interesting to me, and others came from people who were not interesting for various reasons. Of the few who seemed possibly interesting, and with whom I made plans for a date, two of these people did not show up for the date.
In one of these instances I got a sitter for my kids (at $15/hr), and (of course) said ‘no’ to other plans for the evening. I showed up at the appointed place and time (chosen by the other person and confirmed via text earlier that day) and my “date” never showed. He texted me three months later to explain that his wife had found our messages (he said he was single in his profile) and had divorced him over it. He was wondering if we could go on that date now.
The second no-show canceled with this text message: ‘oops, I forgot I had other plans. can’t make it.’ I received this message as I was telling the sitter when I would be back and was ready to walk out the door.
In another notable instance, the man who showed up for our date was 15 years older than the age posted on his profile. I could go on, but I am sure you are getting the picture.
Yes, you are correct, I do enjoy skiing. On my trips to the mountains, I normally have my kids with me and often ski with my son. He is tall, and I guess that people could assume he is my partner since we’re all bundled up and they can’t see his 13-year-old acne and orthodontia. Or I might be skiing with my 6-year old daughter. I have noticed that quality men typically don’t proposition women who are with little kids; this is understandable and, frankly, appreciated.
As to the problem you have identified that men find me too intimidating, I honestly think that is their problem and not mine. I am who I am: A reasonably well-maintained, self-possessed woman who chooses to live and experience life passionately and can afford to do so on her terms. I am certainly not about to apologize for my success or my genetics. In fact, some of the things I have already removed from my profile are that I have an MBA from an East Coast University, and for my regular job I fly a big-ass jet all over the world as a Captain.
So, you see Matt, I have already removed a few pertinent details in an attempt to appear less intimidating and yet, as you have so clearly confirmed, even without those tidbits men still find me intimidating. It doesn’t feel sincere or authentic to me to present myself as less than I am. I will not continue to whittle myself away to allow others to feel more comfortable. Many women choose to perform this minimizing act to appease the men in their lives, but it is no longer compulsory for women to do so, nor is it healthy in my opinion.
I accept the fact that this site is not the right place for me. Nor, apparently, is it the place for the caliber of person with whom I desire to share some trips around the sun. The person I search for resides elsewhere. He is someone who is comfortable enough with himself that he isn’t intimidated by anyone else’s success or looks but rather chooses to celebrate and honor that person’s individuality. From this relationship, he draws the inspiration to be and become his best self.
Again, I thank you for contacting me and for your feedback on my profile. It has confirmed that my decision to leave this site is the correct one for me. I wish you the best of luck in your search for happiness.”