I’m almost 19 and just under a year ago I decided to start online dating where I suddenly had access to men aged 25-35 and found that I became more emotionally invested in them than in boys my own age.
At first I was naive and joined Tinder in hopes of finding a relationship. But after a few dates and, let’s be honest, hook-ups, I learned that no one was interested in starting a relationship, and I suddenly became disinterested in the whole concept. I was attracted to men physically, but I also felt like I could have an actual intellectual connection with them rather than the immature guys my age whose mental ages matched their shoe sizes.
Around 6 months into my online dating experience, rather than fall too deep in love (or lust) with men I didn’t know properly, I would just pick a select few who I seemed to get along with and keep them as phone distance friends. This of course landed me in a predicament: if I ever did find someone I was willing to commit to, then I would probably have to lose these older male friends. This idea troubled me.
— OpinionPanel (@OpinionPanelC) November 14, 2018
However, I suddenly found myself attached to one man in particular who wasn’t interested in a long-term, purely-sexual fling. I carried on talking to him normally, but found it upsetting when he’d post a Snapchat story with another woman or ignore my texts for hours. I was going mad thinking that he’d finally found someone else, and that I was in the discarded pile without even a ‘goodbye’ text. Every morning I’d find myself searching frantically for my phone in fear that he’d texted me in the early hours to say we couldn’t speak anymore.
I was hurt, but couldn’t express my feelings – I thought it’d freak him out. I finally decided I’d had enough. It was hard at first, but then I realised I wasn’t in love with this guy; I barely even knew him! We’d been speaking less and less and I’d built a perfect picture of him in my head which didn’t match up to the truth. In the end I had to tell myself that he wasn’t what I wanted or needed.
I changed my number, so I could avoid my mind going into ‘feels’ mode. He could have sent a ‘What’ve you been doing?’ text and I’d probably have built my hopes up too high. This man clearly wasn’t interested in me but was simply playing games of ignorance to keep up the chase. I then realised that this was essentially karma; what he had done to me (ignoring me when I’d fallen in love)- is exactly what I had done throughout my high school life and although I’d pulled myself out of it, looking back, I think it’s exactly the lesson I deserved.
Here are my top tips for internet dating:
1. Unless someone contacts you as much as you contact them, cut loose. They might have a busy life, but a text message takes 2 minutes. If they don’t have 2 minutes, then they surely don’t have time for you.
2. Don’t pursue somebody just because you think you could have a chance. If somebody is showing no interest, leave them be, for your own good.
3. If you’re getting the vibe that a person isn’t that into you, leave it.