When you start online dating, it’s more or less a free for all with who you talk to. At least for me it was, and I from mine and my friends experiences, I assume that it more or less works this way with everyone. You hop online, you start talking to all the single ladies that respond to your first message, and you go from there. Although this is a great way to meet new people, it eventually has to end, and it’s not always easy.
Let’s take a trip down memory road, shall we?
I first started online dating when I moved out of country for a photography job. It was the first time I’ve moved to a country where I didn’t know anyone, and I thought the best way to meet people was online. It was difficult at first since I was moving to Paris and my french was minimal at best, but there were a lot of english-speaking dating websites for the area, so I stuck to those for the first few months. In my first weeks on the site, I was talking to dozens of people just to get a hang of the kinds of conversations people had on sites like that. After that, I narrowed my time to four women. I was getting busy at work and I didn’t have time to speak to too many people, but I felt like I had a connection with these four and wanted to continue talking to them.
After about four months of this, I slowly dipped my toes into the ‘let’s meet’ waters. It was great. I met three of the four within a week of each other, and met the fourth shortly after. I still didn’t have many friends at this point because, like I said, I was busy with work, but meeting with the people I had been talking with online changed my outlook on Paris. They took me to places that I would have never been to on my own and gave me a real natives perspective on the city.
After a back and forth game of this for almost half a year, they each expressed that they wanted to take things to the next level. Seeing each other more, becoming exclusive, meeting the parents, the works. But what was I suppose to do? These all started off as internet friends and now I was basically carrying on four full-fledge relationships at the same time.
It was time to end it with three. THREE! I have a hard enough time ending it with one girl at a time, let alone three.
I took a little time to think about things and stayed with a girl named Valentine (Val-en-teen, not Valentine like the hearts-and-candy holiday). I did the first break up in person and told her what had been going on. I wanted to meet people, ended up talking to great people, started friendships with them, and now had to pick one, who wasn’t her. It didn’t go over well. She wasn’t so much offended that I was ending things with her as she was mad that I had been in somewhat-getting-serious relationships with people that weren’t her. I guess I saw where she was coming from. Even though we hadn’t discussed it, if I found out she was doing this with other guys, I wouldn’t have been too happy.
So lesson learned there, I didn’t want to tell the whole truth to dumpee #2. Instead I simply told her that I had found someone else and I couldn’t see her anymore. This went over just as bad as #1. She cried, she yelled a little, and eventually she stormed out. I wasn’t so much thinking about how bad that sucked as I was thinking about the fact that I still had to do this one more time.
And how did I end #3? Just stopped talking to her. I didn’t call her anymore, I didn’t answer her e-mails anymore, and I didn’t see her again. But France is a small place, and we ended up having mutual friends after a while who told me that ending things the way I did sent her into a downwards spiral for a good two months. I felt like a dick! I did that? I made her feel that bad, all because I didn’t want to man up and tell her what had happened? I felt terrible.
My point is, finding tones of women to date online is great, but there comes a point when you have to consciously end it with people in order to strengthen what you have with someone else. It’s a you can’t have your cake and eat it too situation. By all means, when you start online dating, explore your options, but be smart enough to know when you have something good enough to dedicate your time to. But please, whatever you do, don’t pull a paris.