Hi Dr. NerdLove,
I’m a 29 year old woman who is really struggling to get into a relationship. I have tried so many things, and I just don’t know where to go from here. I have a good job, a few great relatives, and some fantastic friends. I’m not unhappy, but I would really like a partner.
I have asked multiple people if they know any single guys, only to hear they don’t. You can only ask someone so many times if they know anyone single, before it becomes desperate. If they say they don’t know anyone, there’s nothing you can do with that.
I have gone to tons of Meetup events, but those don’t seem to ever have single guys around my age, and for the past year or so, Meetup has been dead due to COVID. Heck, I’ve tried all kinds of things in the past, from a running club, to indoor rock climbing, to volleyball. I’ve also done volunteer work for a local wildlife conservation group. I’m not sure why, but men in their 20s and 30s don’t seem to join these things. Either it’s a lot of women, or it’s men in their 50s and up.
Thankfully, things have started to open back up some, and I have joined a Dungeons and Dragons group, run by a couple. The couple is pretty introverted, and they have young kids, so they don’t know a lot of people. There are two other guys in the group. One is married, the other I am not attracted to. Please know that there is nothing wrong the guy I’m not attracted to, and he’s a great person, but I want to be with someone that I also like physically.
Everyone tells me to try online dating, and in fairness, I do know multiple people that have met their partner online. I have tried multiple dating sites/apps over the years, including Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Match.com, and, most recently, OkCupid.
Match.com was probably the worst site. I was on there for a year, and didn’t even go on one second date, which has not been the case on the other sites. It was a horrible experience that really lowered my self esteem. Not only was the site filled with bots, but when I would meet someone, a lot of the people I met were really rude. I can’t tell you how many people from Match could barely say hello, or make eye contact. One person had a chart of dates they had been on, which made me feel like I was part of some survey I’d never signed up for. Another person tried to take my picture without my consent, and was just genuinely creepy.
OkCupid has been the best site, in that the people I’ve met from there have mostly been polite, and fun to talk with, but aside from a few second dates, nothing goes anywhere. I was ghosted by someone who seemed like a great person, and I have no idea why. Online dating makes me feel really bad about myself in ways no other social event does. Like I have friends, and I can get along well with others, but online dating makes me feel like a reject. I often get the impression a lot of guys just use dating apps because they are bored, not because they want to genuinely meet someone. Maybe that’s not true for older guys, but I think it is for guys in their 20s.
The best option I think I have right now is a game shop I found last month, that just opened back up to holding in person game nights. The shop holds a weekly Dungeons and Dragons game for new players, and it’s been really fun, and tends to attract a variety of people. Heck, the store itself seems to have a lot of guys around my age, so I’m hopeful it might be a way to meet someone.
I have read multiple dating advice books, along with tons of articles, listened to podcasts, and watched videos. At this point, I just don’t know what to do anymore.
Thank you for reading this. I’ll leave you with my three questions:
1. Have your other readers had bad experiences with Match.com? I really can’t stress how horrible that site was, from the clunky layout, to the bots, to the downright rude people. Like I said, no other site was that bad.
2. Is there a way to succeed at online dating? Should I try more than one app? I’ve only been using OkCupid. Should I try POF, or Hinge? Is there an app geared towards serious guys who want a relationship? I just turned 29….would someone in their 30s be more mature/relationship minded?
3. Are there any places that you think would be good to meet guys? The game shop seems good so far. Any other ideas?
Any help is appreciated. Thank you!
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