When I look back on the days when I was active on dating sites, there are so many moments that leave me wondering, "What was I thinking?" I know what I was thinking: I really wanted something to work out, so I was willing to overlook a lot. And even more than that, I wanted someone to want me. I latched on to anyone with the potential to validate my attractiveness. As a result, I put up with some real characters, to say the least.
I first joined OkCupid at age 20, and it opened up a whole new world for me. On a campus dominated by hookup culture, it used to feel like I had to fight to get a guy to date me. Suddenly, my inbox was filled with messages from guys who wanted to date me. Within a month, I was in a relationship. Within nine months, that had ended and I was in another one. A few months after that, another. And so on.
I stayed on this carousel for nearly six years until I felt burnt out from online dating. None of my dates were going anywhere, and while my self-esteem was occasionally uplifted, it also frequently suffered when dates ghosted me or declined further dates. “Dating burnout is a lot like job burnout. What was once fun and exhilarating has become exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming,” Esther Boykin, licensed love and relationship therapist, tells Bustle. “Over the course of normal dating, people will experience moments of frustration or exhaustion but when those feelings become the primary response to even the idea of a date, burnout has definitely set in.”
Of course, just a few months after going off dating sites and apps, I met my significant other. Now that I know what it's like to be in a healthy relationship with someone who treats you like you're worthy, it's hard to believe I let so many people treat me like crap. Here are a few common online daters I regret putting up with.