Online Dating Sucks…

7 Mar

dating sucks

I just finished reading Online Dating Sucks…But It’s How I Fell in Love by John P. Gavin.  Given my long and sordid history with online dating I thought this book would be good for a few laughs, and it is, but it is really so much more than that.

As I read, I was struck by Gavin’s honesty. He addresses his own marriage and subsequent divorce, the fact that after his divorce he was a “player”, and of course, his experiences with online dating.  Besides all of that though, Gavin gives insight on the very differences between how men and women think, and of course there are exceptions to everything, but on the whole, I found myself nodding in agreement.

Perhaps my favorite thing about reading this book was the vindication I felt about some of the things I always suspected to be true.   I always had a sneaky suspicion that men tended to write their profiles sort of as the men they hoped to be.  Again, not every man does this, but I have no doubt some do. Just as I am sure some women do.

Gavin gives excellent advice to anyone who is thinking about entering the world of online dating. Advice that includes first and foremost deciding what you’re looking for. This is very important because if you don’t know then you are likely to be manipulated by someone who DOES know what they are looking for. It’s okay to want to casually date, if that is what you want. It’s okay to NOT want to just casually date if you are hoping to settle down and get married.  Just keep your goals in mind and don’t be afraid to stand your ground.

Also, something I could not do without ever, the importance of keeping a sense of humor when online dating. Like I said in my iReport, you have to have a thick skin and you have to let things roll off your back. I am a big proponent in realizing that you cannot control what others think of you. This is something I still struggle with and is not my default state, but I am getting there.  It is imperative when online dating, or dating in general really, that you not obsess over that guy who didn’t answer your email, or the woman who didn’t return your wink.  Gavin says it best so I will quote him, “worrying about what’s beyond one’s control is a recipe for disaster – let him think what he wants and move on – there are plenty more guys out there.”

This brings me to my next favorite part of the book. I found it to be almost spiritual in some ways. Gavin talks about the book The Four Agreements, and I had heard of this book, but I had not thought to apply it to online dating, but it makes sense as the Agreements are meant to be lived by, and if online dating is in your life, The Four Agreements should be as well.  I highlighted so much of this book and the last time I had done that was when I read a book about getting over a broken heart.  This book spoke to me like that one did.

My ONLY problem with the book is the whole age thing in regards to online dating but only because I did my own experiment and it really is true that after the age of 40, women seem to drop off the face of the earth on dating sites.  For a while I had my actual age on my profile, 43 (42 before this past January) and I got very few messages.  Very few.  I changed my age to 39 and Chuck Woolery bar the door, I was getting a TON of messages. Young men, middle aged men, old men, one woman (seriously), I was the most popular gal on all of OKCupid! Then, January came along and my age switched from 39 to 40, and it all stopped.  I went from being a hot commodity to feeling like I needed to invest in Depends undergarments.  While I agree with what Gavin says about not wanting to build a relationship on a lie I don’t know what my other options could be except to wait for 7 more years to join the  “Our Time” dating site.  They look like they’re having a lot of fun in those commercials.

In all seriousness, I recommend this book to anyone who is currently on the dating sites, thinking about joining dating sites, or even if you are not online and are just dating. There is so much good insight into relationships and doing the hard work necessary to make one work, if that’s your thing.

19 Responses to “Online Dating Sucks…”

  1. donofalltrades March 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    There must be more people using this online dating stuff than I imagined. I’m thankful to be hitched and I’ve wondered where in the world I’d meet another woman, if my wife ever wised up and left me or something. I guess for many people, it’s online!

    • Amy March 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      OH there are a LOT of people using it, all to varying degrees of success apparently.

  2. Lucky Wreck March 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Wow. That’s really interesting about the age thing! I met my boyfriend on OK Cupid, and I swear, before I met him, it was so frustrating! I felt like I was going to scream if I read one more profile from a guy who liked to “live life to the fullest”. ACK!!

    • Amy March 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

      Yep, a lot of men must have their cut-offs set at 39 as far as whose profile they even want to see.

      OH everybody is living their life to the fullest. EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON.

      I’m on OKCupid and just about ready to deactivate again for a while. It’s wearing me down. Blah. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. Peter March 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    You’ve piqued my interest in this guy’s book. I’d like to take a look at it. And “The Four Agreements” too. One of the main pieces of advice I’d give someone considering online dating is, don’t pay for it. Use a free site. And look around and familiarize yourself first…with what people are writing, and where all the buttons are. And what the buttons do, in case you click on one accidentally, or out of curiosity. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you see a co-worker on there. Or if they see you. Happened to me more than once.

    • Amy March 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      All good advice. I have virtually bumped into the 1 of 3 male co-workers I have more than once on OKCupid and it was weird the first time, but after that we have laughed about it.

      I recommend both this book and “The Four Agreements” highly.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Grace March 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Great review Amy!

    I have to say, John and I had many, many conversations about the age thing. I too was of a certain age that was above the ‘cut-off’. When I posted my age within the accepted age range, I received numerous emails, including one from John. There were so many that it was hard to keep up with them.

    After meeting John and talking about the little age lie – btw, it’s my opinion that you don’t ask a lady how old she is!! – I decided to put my ‘real’ age on OKCupid. The emails dropped to maybe one or two a week!! (hmmm, maybe that’s why he told me to put my real age on there?)

    Maybe there should be an ‘age-range’ on the sites? I’m between 35 and 55…make them work a little harder to find the younger girls.

    So glad you liked the book! John is a wonderful story teller who writes from his heart (and is always entertaining 🙂

    Loretta (Grace)

    • Amy March 8, 2013 at 4:27 am #

      Thanks Loretta (Grace). I don’t know what to call you!

      I think we discovered why he suggested you put your real age on the site!

      I think having an age range is an excellent idea. I will put in a call to Mr. Cupid first thing in the morning. If ONLY. Oh well, have to work with what we can so I think if I make a profile anywhere else, and I am thinking about it rather than my age magically changing back and forth on OKCupid, I will start out at 39.

      I really did like the book and he is a wonderful story teller and I am a sucker for a happy ending 🙂

      • Grace March 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

        My real name is Loretta, however my nickname (from John) is Grace…soon to be Grace Gavin 🙂

        Good luck on the online dating game – it really is worth the ‘trouble’ – I wouldn’t have met John if not for OKC!


  5. John P. Gavin - Author March 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Okay, okay – I’m rethinking the age thing…

    • Amy March 8, 2013 at 4:29 am #

      HA! Sorry to gang up on you. You are right…in theory. It is not a good idea to start on a lie, BUT, if your profile is not being seen because of age then there won’t be a relationship anyway.

      Thanks again for a great book!

      • John P. Gavin - Author March 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

        Grace has a point – we used to not ask a lady her age.

        Perhaps we should bring that back?

        You’re welcome on the book Amy – and thank you,


  6. datinginvegas March 8, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    I don’t agree with free dating sites versus pay. At least not in my city. I can say I’ve tested both pretty exclusively and while there are crazies everywhere, the amount of crazies increases dramatically on the free sites…its just not the same. I also think the age thing depends on the dating site. I know some people say they are all the same but there is a BIG difference between the men I meet on POF versus Eharmony…Once again, it may be a regional thing. The book sounds great..I want to check it out too!

  7. bensbitterblog March 11, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    So what he is saying is that men and women are different? That can’t be true.

    • Amy March 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

      I know Ben, I didn’t believe it either at first. Smarty pants 😛

      • bensbitterblog March 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

        It is insight like this that makes me want to read that book.

  8. MissFourEyes March 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    I like the title of the book, really makes you want to buy it. Great review, Amy!

  9. John P. Gavin - Author March 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Hi Amy,

    Thought you might like a look at my latest column – and my modified position on the ‘age thing’…

    • Amy March 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      John, LOVE IT! Much love to both you and Loretta and I follow your column now and I look forward to reading more of your fantastic writing.

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