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I use a local dating site (East Europe). I live in a metropolitan area with a bit over 2000 active female website users in the age range ( 30-45) that I'm looking for (I'm 37 myself and straight). Should I filter out Christians, there's some 112 female users left - Just to give you an idea of the demographics. I get a roughly 28% reply rate for the messages I send out, though most of these end after a very short exchange.
The most common "closure" I receive is a: "No thanks, I don't want to meet an atheist". Some women messaged me first (not counting scams), but those conversations never lead anywhere at all and fizzle out after 3-4 messages at best.
I don't think I have an excessive "attractiveness filter", I'm more than happy to reach out to below-average looking or overweight women if I'm impressed with their profile and feel like they are intelligent, sensible and accomplished. Attempts that end in an actual meeting in real life are below 2% of my total contact attempts. Unfortunately, the "sensible, intelligent and accomplished" are the ones that don't respond (or end up the "please no atheists" Christian types).
Those that do want to meet are the ones I reached out to with a "let's find out more" altitude. And those that end up meeting me, always fall into one of two categories: 1. A small group of: "I'm unemployed, broke and desperately need you to pay my rent" types. 2. A much larger "bland&boring" group. They will spend time talking about the cake their sister baked last week, or walk me through their whole recent experience with buying a car or talk about a game show they watched yesterday. They never engage in any deeper conversation, never ask any questions about me, never relate to my passions or beliefs – even those I openly mentioned on my profile. Same thing happens on the 2nd or 3rd date. Even when there's a lot of physical attraction, there's never an intellectual or emotional connection that would make me want to turn this into a relationship.
Is there something I'm doing wrong? Why is it so hard to find any woman to connect with on a deeper level? Some additional details about me: I've been skinny all my life, never been overweight. I have a masters degree and a stable well paid job at a financial institution. Education, looks and financial stability are not the most important things in life. I mention them only to illustrate why I don't think these areas are where my problem is. Since I haven’t seen your profile or had the opportunity to see how you interact with these women, I can’t say whether or not you’re doing anything wrong. I can say that everything you describe is almost word for word what most of my clients tell me is their online dating experience.
You’re not “failing” at online dating. Your response rate is on par with most of your peers. The experience you’re having is pretty universal. All of this is to say you’re not necessarily doing anything wrong, per se.
However, there’s some room for improvement.
What I hear throughout your letter is that women aren’t doing enough to impress you fast enough. Profiles are bland. Email conversations are fizzling. Topics of conversation on dates bore you.
They will spend time talking about the cake their sister baked last week, or walk me through their whole recent experience with buying a car or talk about a game show they watched yesterday. They never engage in any deeper conversation, never ask any questions about me, never relate to my passions or beliefs – even those I openly mentioned on my profile. You mean they talk about things that interest them? I hate to break this to you, but every conversation you have with your partner is not going to have your full attention. It sounds like you want to be dazzled right from the jump. I’m not sure that’s realistic. What might lead to more success is if you were willing to invest a little more time in the process and lower your expectations. (But not your standards!) Allow people some time to warm up to you and get comfortable. That’s when they’re more likely to lower their guard a bit.
I'm more than happy to reach out to below-average looking or overweight women if I'm impressed with their profile and feel like they are intelligent, sensible and accomplished.
That’s…nice of you, I guess? You talk like you’re making some great concession here. Being willing to get to know someone character and personality is what we should all be doing. Please understand that women are filled with so much misinformation about how to act on a first date. Don’t be too serious! Be breezy! Don’t give out too much personal information! It could be these women aren’t talking about anything too serious to avoid building a false sense of intimacy or don’t wish to scare you off. They’re likely playing it safe for a reason.
Why is it so hard to find any woman to connect with on a deeper level? It likely seems that way because you’re expecting more intimacy and familiarity than most people are comfortable giving after just a few messages or couple of dates. You want it all and you want it now. I understand that. But you have to take into consideration that we don’t all arrive at the same emotional place at the same time. You’re there now. You want a relationship. You’re ready. That’s awesome! All you have to do is allow for women to feel safe enough with you to let you get to know them. You don’t have to invest months. I’m suggesting a handful of dates. The truth is a lot of men are unkind. Give these women time to discern if you’re a good guy or not. I think that’s going to make the difference.