Online dating sucks. I just want to put that out there straight off the bat.
I’ve tried a number of online dating websites like Plenty of Fish, tinder, Zoosk, bumble, and even some weird ones aimed at disabled people, all without luck.
I send people messages but 99.9% don’t reply.
And even if they do it’s only to say “sorry not interested.” It’s nice that they’ve taken the trouble to actually reply but it’s a bit disappointing at the same time.
I’ve tried a number of different tactics to try and get a response. Ye olde English didn’t work. Neither did pretending to be posh and employing a myriad of discombobulating vocabulary.
I’ve even tried using Johnny Bravo quotes on tinder. I mean, if Johnny Bravo doesn’t work nothing will.
“Why don’t they reply?” I hear you cry.
I’m far from being a supermodel but I like to think I am reasonably attractive – judging by the fact that people don’t run away screaming whenever they see me.
No, I think there is another reason. Call me cynical but I think it is because most people don’t want to date someone in a wheelchair.
Online dating is incredibly superficial and relies primarily on people’s photos. Obviously, the best looking people get more messages and the ones that are less blessed in the looks department miss out.
People take one look at a photo and instantly decide whether to accept or reject it. Most people probably don’t even bother reading their profile, and a lot of people don’t even bother to write one.
Here’s what Friedrich Nietzsche has to say on the matter:
“In the eyes of people who are seeing us for the first time we are nothing more than a single individual trait which leaps to the eye and determines the whole impression we make.”
Obviously Nietzsche wasn’t talking about online dating. In his days the only thing that was online was the dirty washing. But nevertheless, I think this quote is very applicable to online dating.
On an app like tinder people get instantly judged on certain characteristics. In my case the trait which leaps to the eye is probably my wheelchair, and I am given no further consideration. For one reason or another the wheelchair is a dealbreaker.
Disabled people like myself are not considered “dating material”. That’s why a lot of disabled people are reluctant to share their disability on their dating profiles. And I’ve heard a lot of stories where a disabled person would be talking to someone, sometimes for a number of weeks, but as soon as the disability is mentioned they cut it off.
Of course, I can’t speak for EVERY disabled person. There are some disabled people who have found partners from online dating. One of my friends has for example. But he seems to be one of the lucky ones. From what I can see it definitely doesn’t seem to be common.
Everyone finds dating a struggle sometimes but disabled people can find it especially hard. All we need is more people to be willing to have conversations rather than making instant decisions based solely on a person’s appearance.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the superficial nature of online dating will change any time soon. So, as terrifying a prospect as it may be, maybe it’s best to just do things the old-fashioned way and try to talk to people face-to-face instead.
What are your experiences with online dating? Let me know in the comments!