So I’m having a really hard time meeting anyone. I’m not even talking about the pandemic even though it has made me nervous to meet up with anyone or go anywhere, despite the fact I’m vaccinated, but I actually have never had a date in my entire life. I don’t even have luck talking with people. I keep going back to online dating sites and apps and just don’t have any luck. I’ve even considered joining a dating site to meet men and I’m a lesbian who has no interest in men but I’m so lonely and desperate for companionship it just seems like my only option.
Online I start talking to women and then I’m ghosted and I’m not sure why. I don’t think I reveal too much in my profile and I don’t overly share. At the same time I’m also not ready to share my past so I’m a closed book there, mainly because people have left me when they find out. I also don’t have any friends or anyone I can ask to review my profile. If I am boring, how does one become less boring? I’m just wondering what to do so that I’m not continually ghosted or feel like my only option is to date men?
Oh, babe. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this. Before I get started on offering some concrete suggestions, I want to be very clear: There is nothing wrong with you, you do not have to date men if you’re not interested in dating men, and other people have felt like this before. You are not alone. Now, let’s talk about meeting people.
I’m not sure how old you are, but I did a quick informal survey of a few friends and here is an age range of when three different dykes went on their first dates: age 15, age 27, age 36. Which is to say — it’s very likely that many other people your age have also not been on a date yet. I don’t mean to belittle your feelings or to invalidate the idea that you are lonely, but I do wish to introduce the reasonable suggestion that this might not really be a “you problem” but rather a circumstantial situation that will shift over time. That said, there is one very specific thing you can do differently right now (based on the details you’ve shared in the question): you can look elsewhere to make connections. Your whole question revolves around the idea of finding companionship on the internet (not having luck on dating apps, considering a straight dating app, talking to women online, not having friends to review your profile, etc) — but you do not have to find companionship on a dating app!
I really understand feeling hesitant about doing things out in the real world because of the pandemic, but (in my opinion) at this point if you are vaccinated and able to wear a mask, there are options you can explore for spending time around people. You will have to do your own risk calculus and this may not apply if you are high risk or immunocompromised, but in general I think it would be useful to come up with a list of things that you think could be safe for you to do right now. For example I haven’t been eating indoors at restaurants because I still don’t want to take my mask off around strangers, but I do go to small gatherings inside my vaccinated friends’ homes and I do go to public events where I can keep my mask on. I have been teaching at a high school and my students and I are always fully masked around each other, and that feels safe too. It’s frustrating that the pandemic adds a layer of stress to the (already somewhat stressful) task of getting out there and meeting people in person, but I think it will be a really high reward rate to take on this challenge, and I encourage you to do so.
If you’re wondering what some IRL activities might look like that would encourage companionship, I’m thinking of recreational sports teams, reading groups at your local library, craft classes in a medium you enjoy, game nights at an arcade or local comic book shop, zine swaps or festivals, stitch and bitch knitting groups, group hiking or other outdoor activities… I’m not sure what your specific interests are, but I’d make a list of those too (along with your list of activities and actions that feel worth the risk for you right now re: going a little bit outside your pandemic comfort zone in a safe and measured way) and then pick some corresponding activities that sound exciting or fun to you. The thing is, I wouldn’t plan to go to these activities with the intention of Finding A Date!!! I would just go because they will naturally introduce you to new people, they will help you feel less lonely, and they will enrich your life.
Which gets us to the part of your question that I really wanted to spend a minute on, because it made me sad to think of you blaming yourself for your loneliness. You say, “If I am boring, how does one become less boring?” This tells me you think there is something wrong with you, and that your state of loneliness and lack of companionship is a punishment for something you are doing wrong. That is likely not true. One of my best friends once told me, “Loneliness is the human condition,” and unfortunately I think she’s right. So many of us are lonely. So many of us struggle to connect. I do not think it is because you are more reserved with new people, and I do not think it’s because you are boring. But — let’s just say, for the sake of this thought — you were boring? Well, one becomes less boring by investing deeply in oneself. It is oft-repeated advice but it is oft-repeated for a reason: if you are lonely, you have to find a way to make your life less lonely with or without romantic partnership. I am not saying this will fill the void you are hoping to fill with love and romance and sex and dates and flirtations (although it might, and although it is possible to do those things with friends, depending on how you wish to live). But I am saying that pouring time and energy into yourself and making your life as full as possible whether or not you connect with someone on a dating app is the only way you have control of how you’re currently feeling.
The answer to loneliness is not necessarily found on dating apps, and it’s definitely not found in trying to date a person or a whole group of people who you are not interested in. In fact, dating someone you’d rather not be dating is the quickest way to feel deeply lonely and alone even when you’re sharing a bed with another person. No, the only answer here is to find a way to actively bring more people into your life that you may connect with on a platonic or a romantic level, and see how your inner loneliness compass shifts from there. You can’t control people ghosting you (sadly a pretty common dating experience) but you can control what you do with your day to day life. So make some lists and see what happens when you put yourself out there. I’m rooting for you!
You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.