Off the Couch

Thoughts about the therapeutic process, and the dynamics of client-therapist interactions.

It's Not About You: Dealing With Internet Date Rejections

If you’ve ever signed up for an online dating service, you’ve most likely heard or said – or both – something like this at some point or another. You’ve also probably had people disappear altogether. Silence. Missing in action. No phone calls, texts, or emails. Nothing. Read More

ONLINE DATING AT 65

I REALLY WISH IT WAS THAT EASY-DONT'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. I GET LIMITED RESPONSES FROM MY ONLINE PROFILE. I HAVE ABILITIES AS A WRITER, AND I DO NOT LOOK LIKE GODZILLA'S AFTERMATH. I ACTUALLY THINK I DO WELL IN PERSON ON DATES, I HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR, AND I CAN BE A GOOD LISTENER. SOMETIMES I THINK IT ALL JUST COMES DOWN TO LUCK. ONE OF MY DATES IS A WIDOW, WHO LOST HER HUSBAND A FEW MONTHS AGO. WE TALK FOR HOURS ON THE PHONE, HAD A REALLY NICE TIME, BUT SHE CAN FALL APART FROM WEEPING IN SECONDS FLAT. I WENT FOR A DATE TODAY WITH AN ARTIST, AND LET HER TALK ABOUT WHAT KIND OF ART SHE DOES, SHE SHOWED ME SOME OF HER WORK ON HER PHONE. I THINK IT WENT WELL, BUT I JUST ALWAYS EXPECT TO BE REJECTED, I THINK I AM GOOD AT MASKING MY SELF ESTEEM ISSUES, WHICH STEM FROM A CHILHOOD WHERE MY MOTHER CONSTANTLY REFERRED TO ME AS "STUPID." I MAY BE WRONG ABOUT THE MASKING PART, I DON'T KNOW. BUT I HAVE A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR, AND I AM DOING MY BEST. WHY SHOULD I CARE WHAT ONE WOMEN THINKS WHO DOSEN'T EVEN KNOW ME? BUT I DO, BECAUSE I HATE FEELING REJECTED. I HATE IT, I FEEL LIKE ALL THE AIR GOES OUT OF MY BALOON WHEN IT HAPPENS. WHAT IS A BOY TO DO?

Not easy!

Hi John,
I know. One of the problems with internet dating -- with the internet in general -- is that people forget that they're actually dealing with real people on the other end. Sounds like you're doing a great job, but I know it's not easy. Are there other ways you can get your self-esteem restored? I think that's really important when you're in this process. Most dates can't do this for us, nor, in truth, should they. But when you find a real companion, that should be self-esteem inducing just in and of itself. Meantime, try to find some other activities that will make you feel better about yourself and your life. And remember, dating really isn't all there is to finding happiness.
Good luck!
Diane

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F. Diane Barth, L.C.S.W., is a psychotherapist, teacher, and author in private practice in New York City.

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