Dear Nina: I have dated a good amount of women in the past 9 months - online dating. There have been a few who I would have liked to pursue more, but I have been rejected. I usually get rejected on date 4 (I guess the sex date). Women often say they simply “aren’t feeling it”…I am so confused because they act really interested, tell me I am a great guy but then …boom…”I am not feeling it”…there must be something I am doing wrong - but is there a chance that online dating is a breeding ground for real relationship phobes - or should I just accept that if it isn’t right it isn’t right. -Josh
First of all, hats off to you for being persistent despite the pain of rejection! It takes real courage to keep stepping up to the plate when you’re not yet winning.
No one likes being told that the object of your desire doesn’t “feel it.” That said, the good news is that they are telling you. This is far better than spinning your wheels for weeks or months with women who have no intention of pursuing a relationship.
You have already detected the answer - yes, if it isn’t right, it isn’t right. No amount of wishing and hoping can change that reality. Here’s what is likely behind it - chemistry is a fluke of nature. It is either there with someone or it is not. I don’t think you are doing anything wrong. If you were, you wouldn’t get past the first date. I don’t think it has anything to do with online dating. That is simply one medium through which you can meet women.
For clarification - a relationship phobe is a person who is afraid of intimacy or potential intimacy. A true relationship phobe would not even go on the first date. Relationship phobes typically have made a decision in their lives to avoid any scenario in which they might become attached to another person. In the extreme, it is social phobia - fear of any kind of contact with people. Commitment phobia is different, and you may encounter women with this issue out there. For more about this relationship dynamic, click here.
Personal growth challenge exercise. If you want to check your reality, you might ask a couple of the women who bailed at the 4th date to write you an email explaining what, if anything, you did to turn her off. Don’t insist on that feedback - many people are not comfortable giving negative feedback. Let it go if she doesn’t respond. If you get feedback and see a consistent theme, that gives you something to work on. If you don’t see a consistent theme, chalk it up to a lack of chemistry.
Meanwhile, I want to encourage you to hang in there, keep playing the game, and keep going for it. Don’t let the lack of chemistry with a couple of women stop you from continuing to look for your soul mate. She’s out there - you just have to keep looking. So for now, just declare “Next!” and keep going!