Dear Readers: Do social media and online-dating make finding a mate more difficult instead of easier?
A young woman’s May 3 question about how long working hours leave little time/energy for meeting new people, leads to mostly-disappointing online dating efforts, prompted responses:
Reader – “I’m a 23-year-old male. It’s always hard to find someone to date seriously due to how social media affects people when it comes to socializing.
“It hinders conversations, connections and most importantly, growth. I gave up social media for two years and just stepped outside and did what I wanted to do.
“You can do it, too. No matter if someone doesn't agree with it or your friends think you are crazy.
“I'm back on social media and to be honest I see where you’re coming from. Just step back and do something new, as Ellie suggested.
“Meet new people and don't be scared to talk to someone on the bus, subway, supermarket. It's fun and exciting to talk to people who don't mind carrying a conversation for the next 30 seconds.
“We’re social creatures by nature and you might end up finding the right guy. You aren't doing anything wrong. This is how life is now, you need to adjust.
“Also, it’s nice to have a friend of the opposite sex to talk to, not just look for dates.”
Ellie – I agree with being friendly, but discretion is also important when meeting strangers. That’s why I advise going into situations where there are people with a similar interest, e.g. a weekend walking group, a tennis clinic, a community event etc.
Reader #2 – “She is young, so she is going after looks over substance. It’s the main reason why more people are single today than ever before.”
Ellie – One of the main inhibitors of online dating is its reliance on “looks over substance.” It’s hard to know much about someone from a profile photo, and hard to believe typical self-descriptions unless there’s substance that turns out to be true.
I divorced when I was 22 and remarried at 43. I believed it would be forever. I took sick during our seventh year of marriage.
I told my husband that I could no longer do my job and needed to take some time off to get better.
His response was "Now we'll have to sell the house."
He is still living in it and I could never get past those words. Where were our vows, “in sickness and in health, till death do us part”?
Two years later, I left. I felt that if he truly loved me, he would have never said that.
Was I wrong to leave?
Where Was True Love?
Ill, and facing a major change of leaving work, his cold, abrupt response was a shock.
Apparently, the next two years together didn’t reveal that he was actually more understanding and caring about your well-being than his initial reaction.
Yet you now wonder if you were wrong to leave. Do you miss him and something good that once existed in the relationship? Are you doubting yourself out of loneliness (natural, after so much change)?
It’s an ideal time for you to get counselling. Perhaps there’s still an adjustment needed to your health condition.
Also, if your ex-husband has reached out to you, it may be worthwhile to discuss all that’s happened, and even have him come to counselling with you.
But if he’s moved on, this is likely part of what’s causing you to question yourself.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who told his wife he wanted a “foursome” (April 8 and May 2):
Reader – “My ex-husband pushed for a threesome… and now I’m divorced. That was the last straw in his showing disrespect for me.
“This guy who wanted to have sex with his wife along with two other women, doesn't have long in the marriage.”
Reader #2 – “I knew two married couples, all good friends for several years, who decided to try "swinging," as they put it. Actually, it was a spousal exchange.
“One year later, both marriages were over. Their friendships didn't survive either. All four went their separate ways.
“Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.”
Ellie – Group sex isn’t in the same category as Polyamory, defined as having or desiring intimate relationships with more than one partner, with consent of all. Usually, “rules of engagement” are needed for this to work over time.
Tip of the day:
Boost online dating efforts by also meeting people and talking in person.