wolfcub wrote:It's just, before these feelings were tolerable, because at least I was going to clubs. At least there were opportunities for me to get out of the house and meet people. But now I'm constantly hit with no one responding to any of my messages in the one hope that I have left.
0PT1M15T1C covered the 'insane asylum' thing, so I'll mostly leave that, other than to say that demonising mental illness when we feel at risk of it can be a way of adding extra negative sentiment to our self-image, and none of us benefit from doing that to ourselves.
With the dating apps issue: I have some suggestions, and lots of thoughts on my own experiences which, I hope some of which could be helpful:
1. I am primarily thinking that it could actually
be best just to leave the dating sites for now. The other suggestions are options, but this feels like the best one to me.
Knocking on hundreds of doors with nobody answering is a very unpleasant experience (trust me - I have canvased for political candidates!). Feeling wanted and attractive is a big thing and interacting with an online environment in a way that makes you feel awful in those areas? Why be there?
There are a multitude of ways of spending our time that show our immediate value and worth. Writing, making art, making music, or building websites - if you're a dork like me, are all ways of showing that our own thoughts, intelligence and creativity are valuable to us; it's incredible that our minds can do these things. These are also in-roads to connecting with other people online where every interest has a community, not just for dating but for friendship or even just passing appreciation and connection.
2. If you do get back into online dating, try to be very discerning. Finding good connections is really difficult. It's however a lot easier when you have only messaged one new person per month, based on feeling like you really could connect, and not to hear back from one person (maybe they were busy, maybe they met someone) than to put in lots of time into many many messages and receive nothing back.
Dating isn't a numbers game... or even a game at all. A pleasant connection with a potential date feels more like you're stepping out
of the game that dating apps are marketing than 'winning'. It also is part of their marketing to remind us how much awesome fun everyone else is having using their app... I don't fully believe them!
I don't mind saying I have few to zero matches on a dating app, especially since I added more detail about being queer and non-binary, and that's o.k. because it means it's clearer than it was before that potential swipers aren't interested... and when I do have a connection it'll be more genuine, but for the most part, these apps just aren't going to fulfil our need to be wanted and desired.
This was when my profile is only open to women (other apps have much more inclusive gender options, but not this one, only 3: men, women, all) which leads me to...
3. You could try changing your preferences just to get a better idea of how it feels. It might demystify some of this for you. Gender plays a big part because of how many men are
treating dating as a numbers game and that changes how dating sites feel for the people they want to date.
I switched my visibility to include 'men' and I started getting lots more responses, I didn't become instantly more attractive over night, but probably many of the men using the app are just saying 'yes' to as many options as possible, I did quickly become overwhelmed by reading the profiles, and having to make the decision to say no to people who had
expressed an interest and it all just felt bad.
bad, there were some nice interactions, and superficial attention can be pleasant, but the unpleasantness was there, just different)
This can hint to why someone (who might have been a great match for you) might not feel able to take the time to read your profile or reply to your messages, can't always happen.
In summary: Give dating apps a break, invest less energy in multiple attempts, try switching your preferences to see how things work. And generally acknowledge that dating apps are not a great environment to be in and you might be happier quitting seeking romance altogether.
As you acknowledge, right now we also need to stay isolated and prevent the spread of a deadly global virus. There is potential for lots of loneliness right now, there's no need to make ourselves feel worse by sending lots of messages that don't get replies.
"In between two tall mountains there's a place they call lonesome.
Don't see why they call it lonesome.
I'm never lonesome when I go there." Connie Converse - Talkin' Like You