…I was a bit of a shy and introverted kid. Quiet. For a long time I was too shy to talk to girls. I wanted a girlfriend, but I was very unsure of myself and believed that girls didn’t like me. I’m not entirely sure where that belief originated. I was overweight as a kid and I suspect this as a contributing factor.
On the sporadic occasions when I’d finally worked up the courage to talk to a girl (heart pounding, face glowing red, hands and voice shaking), she’d tell me she wasn’t single. Then the fear would wash away and I’d feel embarrassed and depressed and wouldn’t have the courage to talk to another girl for about another few months.
Not long after I was old enough to drive, I signed up to my first dating site. I figured…hey, why not? I’d tried everything else that I could think of then. When I told a friend of mine that I signed up to one of the big free online dating websites, he recommended another that I’d never heard of at that time. I signed up on the second site as well. I found using these sites to try to meet women didn’t make my pulse race with the crippling terror of rejection quite like talking to a romantic interest in person did.
I’ve been using dating sites for years and I’ve had some crazy experiences and varying degrees of luck with them. In the beginning, I didn’t put much effort into it. I filled out my profile and I’d message a woman or two now and then. Once in a while they’d respond. After at least a year or more had passed, I was traveling out of state and met up for lunch with a woman from one of the two sites I used. It was the first time I’d ever met a woman from a dating site. We ate Thai. She was nice. We’re still friends on Facebook. After that, my luck started getting better. I started making a few friends and going on a few dates with women I’d met on the dating sites. Over the years, I’ve met made friends, lovers, and relationships thanks to these websites and I’m grateful for that. I also made many mistakes. I rarely learned from my mistakes, either, and so they persisted. I was also facing serious insecurities that I wouldn’t be able to identify or understand for years to come. Nothing ultimately worked out with any of these women. So I had to keep coming back to the dating sites. Over and over again. Eleven years messaging women on dating sites. During this time I was also sporadically meeting women in person and even asking out female friends. I wasn’t a player, I was lonely and looking for a relationship and trying to force romantic feelings between us instead of letting things develop organically.
Eventually I found a girlfriend…that I met on one of these websites, and we were together for a year. The relationship was rocky, however, due to our insecurities and a general incompatibility. We liked each other enough but we were seemingly too different to make the relationship work. When we broke up, I was sad but knew it was for the best. I still hadn’t learned my lesson regarding dating and romance nor had I found the right woman for me. I gave myself a couple months afterward to reflect on the relationship and to get over missing her. After more than two months, I started trying to meet women again. No success.
For the next two years I was single, I got two phone numbers and met ZERO women from dating sites. I met no women at all, in fact. And I was trying. A full two years without any sort of romantic action. Two years since I’d been touched. Two years since I’d been kissed. Two years since I’d really even had a woman to talk to beside my mother or my friend Stephanie. I was trying to approach and meet women in person, too, but with no success. Either I wouldn’t be able to work up the balls to ask my target woman out or she had a boyfriend. Rejection and fear of rejection. Dating sites yielded a different kind of rejection. No more trembling hands, cold sweats, or 180 BPM heart rate…that was replaced with the “WOMEN NEVER RESPOND!” rejection. Less painful but seemingly infinite. As I’m writing this, I’ve been a member of and have been actively using dating websites on and off for more than eleven years. In that time I’d estimate that I’ve probably messaged an average of five hundred women per year. Five hundred women a year for eleven years is about five thousand. I’d say during this time, I’ve likely messaged at least that number of women. The majority of the time, I’d simply copy and paste the same message over and over again, changing perhaps one or two things, if any. I’d once counted as I messaged 100 women in a day. I received eleven responses, and in less than three days, all had fizzled into nothing and I had no one to talk to.
I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere and I took it personally. Why don’t any of these women want to talk to me? They won’t even say hi? I could be the raddest freakin’ dude alive and they’re gonna miss out like this? My formulaic approach wasn’t working and I was losing heart. It got to the point where I started truly feeling that 95% of all women are rude. At least on dating sites they were. I knew it was bad when I’d gotten to the point of yelling obscenities at my laptop screen when a woman I was superficially into “ignored” me. It was a pretty horrible downward spiral to a very unhealthy place. Exacerbating other emotional issues I was facing at the time, I would often become very depressed over this. At times I felt desperate for someone to talk to. I felt women wouldn’t even give me the time of day. I grew rather bitter and angry. I had the idea for years to create a fake dating site profile under the guise of being a beautiful woman. I wanted to see the world through the eyes of a woman but I didn’t know how…so I settled on seeing dating sites though the eyes of a woman. That seemed doable. So there I was. Catfishing. Not to fight boredom, but to find answers. Catfishing to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I was never able to actually do this before as it just seemed too dishonest. I learned a valuable lesson in my life…that dishonesty doesn’t exist only in the form of telling lies, it also exists in how you present yourself, the life you are living, lies you might be telling yourself inside, and countless other ways you may not be living true to yourself. Simply, it seemed too deceitful for me to do, so for years, I put it out of my mind. When the idea occasionally resurfaced, I’d again talk myself out of it.