My question is: Is it really just a numbers game? Do you really have to sift through a bunch of frogs online to find the right guy? Who has time for this? I’m just on the sidelines thinking I will bump into Mr. Right soon, but also know I’m wasting time. In the past year, I thought back to all the guys who showed an interest in me but I backed off. I found plenty of excuses. There was one who was like a magnet for me, but he was into “dating” and not looking for commitment. It seems so easy for some and yet I find it such a chore. Your advice is welcome, even if it’s just some motivation. And really, if I read “drinks @7, insert place here,” I may just show up!
— Snowed in and staying positive
A. Do you really have to sift through a bunch of frogs online to find the right guy?
First, let’s not say frogs. I know you don’t mean to be rude by using that fairy tale word, but it actually helps if you think of these suitors as real people with many layers, as opposed to Mr. Rights and Wrongs. They’re humans who seek connection. First piece of advice: Reconsider the apps, and know that most people don’t show their magnet qualities immediately, especially during a pandemic walk or a FaceTime call. Have some patience.
Second, you ask who has time to sift through a bunch of people online. It’s interesting how many hours some people (myself included) are willing to spend on work, volunteering, making new friends, reading, cleaning, mastering a game on their phone, binge-watching shows, etc. . . . but when it comes to dating, they’re like, “You want me to spend time . . . on this? Why isn’t it arriving on my doorstep, on demand?” I know app dating can be depressing — sometimes overwhelming — but it’s like looking at a bunch of people on the T. Most are random strangers on their way to a place. A few might be cute. Maybe one is worth talking to. But it takes a lot of looking in a crowd. Yes, some friends might make this process look easy, but they’re working, too. Anything great takes effort.
I see your letter as a list of things you won’t or don’t want to do. It is important to have boundaries, but maybe it would help to make a list of things you would do, questions you could ask people to get to know them better, experiences you’d like to try. IRL is coming, and you want to be open. Instead of excuses, think about how you can make the most of every possibility.
Yes, it’s a numbers game. And you should change your mind about online dating to increase those odds. If you used one in the past that didn’t offer up what you want, find other sites. You want a prize, you’ve got to play the game. LUPELOVE
If dating seems like a chore, you might need a break. It’s not supposed to be painful. SURFERROSA
I just got vaccinated, letter writer. Can we do 8 p.m.? Wheel of Fortune is on at 7. BZZNLIKE-CRAZYMAN
Meredith Goldstein writes Love Letters for The Boston Globe. Her new novel is Things That Grow. Join her Thursday at 7 p.m. for a free live online conversation from The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home. Register at edithwharton.org/event.