Online dating is a skill: you need to learn the language, master the etiquette and know what red flags to look out for.
Everyone encounters the odd hiccup on their pathway to finding true love, but the hurdles are amplified in the online sphere, where ambiguity is rife and identities are emoji-embellished constructs.
Now, single women have opened the can of worms by sharing their biggest online dating grievances in a Reddit thread.
Garnering more than 230 comments, the thread reveals a startling number of women regularly encounter married men on dating apps and websites, with one describing the amount as “sickening”.
“Most of the men I encounter are married,” wrote one person, “it is a game to them.”
Other users highlighted the number of explicit messages they receive when communicating with people they’ve met on dating sites.
“I usually get the explicit ones from younger guys hitting up and older lady,” wrote one user.
“Sometimes I banter back and forth with them but ultimately it ends in delete.”
Many women also complained about the fact that men they match can be inconsiderate and often don’t pay attention to specifics outlined on their profiles; some even try to manipulate their preferences in order to suit them.
“When I did online dating I very politely said I wasn’t interested in dating people with kids,” explained one user.
“The amount of messages I got trying to change my mind about that or telling me what a bad person I am was astonishing. I just assumed all of those people were awful parents.”
Another agreed, citing the fact that her preferences often get dismissed as one of her biggest gripes: “Dudes either not reading my profile, or choosing to ignore stuff in it.
“Or reading it and then mentioning things in it that I say I’m not looking for and then asking me if it’s actually a dealbreaker.”
Others argued that the men they’ve encountered online use dating apps primarily to vindicate themselves and consequently don’t take the interactions seriously, treating them like a game.
“A lot of guys seem to be using [dating apps] as a socialization, validation video game and an easy-hookup search tool,” wrote one person.
“Not actually to date or make a friend. And when it IS for dating, they treat it like speed dating of some sort. You will have one conversation, maybe not even that, then go on a date or they’re out.”
Another added that the sheer volume of people using apps makes monogamy seem like an idealistic goal:
“It’s honestly just like a game to most people. There are so many people available to you at any given time that most people end up dating/seeing multiple people at the same time.
“With that, the idea of eventually committing to one person is difficult because you still have so many ‘options’ at your disposal.”
Of course, these are not issues exclusively affecting women.
Finding love at first swipe is no mean feat, regardless of your gender.