The Downtime of Dating

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Written by @hopelsingle

Is there anything worse than logging into your online dating account to find no one has winked at or messaged you? Even worse, if you muster up the courage to message some attractive guy or gal whose profile you really liked, it’s almost feels like a kick in the gut if they ignore you and don’t respond. Sure, it’s a part of online dating, but knowing this doesn’t lessen the rejection any.  Rejection is difficult, and we open ourselves up to it daily while searching for love online.

Last night, I logged into my online dating account after a nine day absence to find it absolutely empty.

Welcome back, Hope!  You have 0 winks and 0 messages in your inbox! Even better, here’s a list of the 154 men that viewed your profile and weren’t interested in getting to know you!

Geez, were the exclamation points necessary?  Is my dating site of choice really that excited to tell me I’m going to die alone?

My name is Hope Leslie Single, which, obviously, means the past decade has given me more opportunity to not date than date.  In between the few dates I am lucky enough to procure throughout the year, I’ve had to learn to place my attention on personal projects that pass the time and keep my life interesting and exciting.  This helps me from delving too deeply into the “single sadness,” of which I’m sure quite a lot of us suffer from every now and again.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather go Bridget Jones, hibernate on my sofa for a month in pajamas, sing” All By Myself” over-and-over at the top of my lungs, eat gluten-free cupcakes and drink wine, but, really… how’s that going to help me? Who’s going to want to date that girl? Who would enjoy a date with the drunken girl wearing pajama bottoms and cupcake crumbs on her face?

So, I create lists filled with projects that keep me busy during the dating down times.

Instead of giving in to the urge of putting on my pjs and striking up the stereo, I pull out my list, pick a project and dedicate my time to fulfilling the goal. I find I’m a happier and more productive person when I have a goal in sight.  I also find I’m much more pleasant to be around when I’m focused on bettering myself and improving my chances in the dating world rather than cursing them.

Not only will the projects in which I engross myself make time fly by, but help increase the amount of men on dating sites interested in contacting, conversing with and dating me.

At least, I hope they will.  My list includes:

A Workout Regimen

I fully intend to exercise my way through Power 90, P90X and INSANITY… painfully. Changing my physical stats from “A little extra” to “Athletic and Toned” will allow me the opportunity to get to know, literally, HUNDREDS more single men who do not currently see me as a preferred match. Lose weight, gain dates!

Music Lessons

I’m a huge music fan and, for me, music is healing and helps cure my blues. I decided several months ago to learn to play an instrument. So, when I feel down about the difficulties of finding a mate online or off, I spend an hour on my keyboard studying lessons, of which I partake weekly with a professional instructor. I can now play “When the Saints Go Marching In” like a champ!


It’s no secret I write about the difficulties of being long-time single and searching for a mate.  It’s a cathartic, introspective and self-affirming task that teaches me about who I was, who I am and who I’m becoming. I’m hoping my potential mate will appreciate having a partner who is aware of who she is what I’m capable of bringing to a relationship.

So, what’s on your list?  Nothing you say?  Trust me, it’s hard to really put yourself out there and be rejected or deal with a quiet inbox for weeks at a time. But, if you do your research, search profiles and determine your ideal partner, you will discover a bunch of personal projects to involve yourself in that can help you attract your that partner.

Itching to wink at the French hottie who mentioned he had a degree in culinary arts on his profile? Start learning a new language. Did that tall 37-year-old who has a profile photo of them at the beach get your attention?  Learn how to surf.  Is the tall blonde who loves your favorite band, plays guitar and lives less than two miles away the favorite single in your favorites list? Take guitar lessons. Better yet, take a stab at writing some songs and send them a cute message letting them know you’re searching for the Simon to your Garfunkel, the Lennon to your McCartney, or the Andrew Ridgeley to your George Michael. Ok, perhaps don’t mention George Michael.  Or Andrew Ridgeley, for that matter.  What did he do in the band anyway?

It’s easy to sit and mope about the difficulties of online dating. Trust me, I do it all the time. But there comes a moment when I have to stop myself from moping, take off those pjs (and, put on pants, obviously) go outside and do something that will improve my life and improve my chances of attracting men online.    It’s rough, for all of us, but taking time for yourself, to improve the person you already are, can increase your dating options and the winks or messages that find their way to your inbox.

@hopelsingle is a writer, blogger and has been a hopelessly single woman for nearly a decade. She’s single as HELL and she’s not going to take it anymore! Read her blog here

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