The Difference Between Online Dating And Old School Dating

Girl going on dates
Unsplash / Usama

I am 35-years-old and recently single again after a relationship that lasted a little less than a decade. I wasn’t quite sure how to reinsert myself back into the dating world considering my age and that most dating is now done online.

I met my most recent ex on a dating website so I felt fairly confident navigating them even though this is not the way that I learned to date, but that’s another story for another day.

I made a profile and put my best wit into coming up with something catchy. I must have been fairly successful because my inbox blew up. What it blew up with, well, that is completely foreign to me.

At first I thought all of the attention I was getting was great. I knew I’d have to weed out some creepers because that’s just what happens online, so I was prepared for that.

What I was not prepared for was week after week of men expressing interest and very few of them actually willing to make time for a real date.  

Is that not a thing anymore? Do people not chat a little bit to see if the other person is someone they feel they can have a semi-normal conversation with and then want to meet for coffee or ice cream or heaven forbid dinner?

I don’t want to just have a texting relationship with you. I want to get to know you.

I want to see your body language and gage whether or not you are nervous by the tone of your voice. I want to see how you treat other human beings, myself included. Do you stand up straight? Do you make eye contact with whomever you are speaking with? Do you have normal personal hygiene?

These are all important things that I need to know before I can decide whether or not you can hold a significant position in my life.

So in 6 months of online dating I have managed to land myself 2 actual dates. After approximately 2-3 weeks of texting and 1 actual phone call, I’m on date number one.

Actually I thought it went fairly well — we ate, we laughed, we shared stories, we had a couple drinks. All was good, I thought. But the following week the “good morning” and the “good night” texts became fewer and fewer.

I absolutely got the hint but I did not understand why he felt the need to just fade away and not just say, “Hey. Thanks for seeing me but I’m just not that interested.”  

It’s really not that hard, especially since nobody even expects you to meet face-to-face for that kind of conversation. A text message is perfectly acceptable. But apparently there is this new trend called ghosting that I knew nothing about. I know now.

Date number two happened in about the same manner. A couple of weeks of texting… no actual phone calls with this guy… and then an official date.

Again, dinner and drinks were on the menu. This guy I actually felt a connection with. He was a couple of years younger than me but we had an absolute blast!

For a few weeks after, we were still chatting several times a week, talking about getting together in the near future, but our schedules just didn’t line up. And then, just all of a sudden, my texts went unanswered. Ghosted again.

Since all of this nonsense was unsuccessful for me I decided to take a break from it for a while. I deactivated my profile and kept going out to local pubs and bars with friends. Not really expecting to meet anyone, just having fun with the little spare time that I actually do have with people I enjoy spending time with.

Well, to my surprise, a man approached me one night and struck up a conversation. He seemed very polite, well-spoken, handsome, and someone that I would like to get to know.

We exchanged numbers and he asked if he could text me the following day. I said sure! Why not?

Four weeks of chatting it up via text message and one impromptu face-to-face hang out for about an hour. He suggested us getting together to go for drinks some night.

I have a rather busy schedule so we planned for a Friday night. All week long, every single day, text messages about how he is looking forward to it and how he can’t wait to see me. Awesome, right?

Wrong. Friday rolls around and I don’t receive the typical “good morning” text that he had been so on point with for the previous two weeks… so I send him a good morning text instead.

He replies with a “good morning to you too.” Excellent. Now I know that he is at work and I don’t like to be bothered when I’m at work so that was the only text I sent during the day.

At about 6:30 that evening I still had not heard from him when usually he gets off work around 4. So I send out another text: “Hey! How was your day?”

He responds with some grumbling about how his day sucked and he just got off work not too long ago. Ok, I can respect that, so I ask if he still wants to hang out of if he needs to reschedule.

He says, “I’m working on it.”

What the hell does that even mean? But alright, I get it, shit happens. So I send the response of “Ok, well just let me know.”

Nothing. Not one more text for the rest of the night and none since either.

What is wrong with people? There is absolutely no reason in the world, short of a natural disaster, that you can’t take 5 seconds away from whatever it is that you are doing to send a text that says, “Hey, I can’t make it.”

That is the mature way to handle a situation where you have distinctively made plans with someone and they have touched base with you to confirm said plans and then you just blow them off? Not cool, dude. Not cool.

As I mentioned before, I have a fairly busy life. I have a 40 hour per week job and a part time job where I work about 20 hours per week. I also have 4 children.

So when I carve time out of my life and make room for you I definitely do not appreciate being blown off.

If something came up, that’s fine. Believe me, I know that life happens and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it, but I really don’t get the vibe that this is the case here. Ghosted. For a third time.

So far, I really don’t see a difference between the online dating world and the old school method of meeting somebody in a random place, making a connection, and pursuing a date that way.  

Apparently there is no discrimination when it comes to getting ghosted! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog