I’m a single female, 31, who’s been dating online since my mid-20s and had a lot of fun. I also had one serious relationship with someone I met on a dating website, that lasted two years off and on till we split up.
Since then, there’s been the pandemic which has made online dating much tougher and riskier because some guys want to meet immediately even when we’re in a lockdown.
I find the choices of possible dates much more limited now. Not only do I have to trust someone new about masks and social distancing, but I also find there are so many males online who just don’t appeal to my taste.
My friend said I should talk to a therapist about why I’m so “picky.” But I find that extreme, as if I have a serious problem when it’s just that times have changed, and the popular dating apps are attracting all types.
What do you think I should do to get back into the dating scene?
It’s only natural that online dating, with the first website launched by Match.com in 1995, and in its global heyday prior to the pandemic, has undergone many changes.
Meanwhile, a new stream of relationship guides has entered the scene as “coaches” - some with more training and certification than others - who’ve become so popular they have their own YouTube channel and clients who, like you, are stuck at some point in their dating life.
What’s unique among the coaching approach from more traditional counselling methods, is that it’s a more casual approach that’s also sometimes tougher in responses than clients expect to hear.
Example: “He’s not my type,” was what one client told her dating coach, Tennessee-based Lee Wilson, about a man she met online, dated once, but never again.
She admitted that he was fun, interesting, made her laugh and was “good people.” But she explained that she wasn’t interested in seeing him again because he had a beard and drove a truck.
Wilson, who’s been in the relationship counselling field for 20 years, responded, “Those are shallow reasons to not give someone a chance.”
Coaching, he says, allows for pushing back at the client to get them thinking harder about their choices.
Also known as The “Ex” Coach, he advises people post break-up with instructions such as, “Stop texting the other person. Let them miss you.”
Covid, he says, has had an effect on dating selection. People now associate staying safe with clinging to stereotypes of what and who they’ve known before.
A recent British study shows that while the way people date may have changed, some traditional gender stereotypes e.g., men seeking younger women, still remain. (Cognitive psychologists from the Universities of Lincoln and Swansea had studied 120,000 dating profiles in partnership with dating site eHarmony for their report).
It backs up the point that being “picky,” like the client mentioned, means not having the confidence to give a “good” man who interested her and made her laugh, a second date despite his beard and truck (both of which aren’t necessarily permanent).
If talking to a coach appeals to you, check out credentials and approaches online. Go to Google, and/or use social media.
My advice? Ask the coach or other adviser you choose why you’re stuck with old stereotypes as your “type.” Give interesting, fun, seeming trustworthy people at least a second chance.
Reader’s Commentary - A different perspective regarding the wife who refuses to put on stockings and high heels for her husband when lovemaking (February 13):
“When my second wife and I started dating 20 years ago, she became aware that I was turned on by high heels and stockings. Although the concept was new to her, she was receptive to incorporating them into our play time in the bedroom. We’ve never looked back.
“I’m mid-sixties, and she’s nearing 70. Our lovemaking is absolutely beyond anything either of us ever imagined. The intensity and passion are off the dial. It definitely brings us closer together as loving partners. We glow for days after we make love.
“Being open-minded to your partner’s desires and fantasies can bring you so much closer together as a couple. I can vouch from experience. I consider myself extremely fortunate, and I tell my wife that every day.”
Tip of the day:
If you’re already open to online dating, then be open enough to getting to know (safely, and over time) interesting, likeable new “types” of people.