Is It Me?

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Dear Hoopers,
I am 20 years old and single. I’ve been at the online dating thing for about a year now because I live in a small town and have a hard time meeting people when I’m out and about. It seems that every time I think I have met someone great they ghost “disappear without word” on me all of a sudden. I started thinking it was me and I’m not exactly sure what to do. I’ve definitely changed since I first started online dating because I realized I had come off too clingy, so now I’m not sure what to do. Please help.
-Is It Me?

Dear Is It Me,
You’ve identified that it may be hard finding a relationship in your small town and you’ve allowed more possibility of meeting someone through online dating. Way to get out there! So let’s talk a little bit more about this “clingy” behavior that you feel may be diverting some of these dates from a second round.

Whether male or female, confidence and emotional stability are attractive. Lack of self-esteem, being “too available” and constantly needing to check-in, can be a turn off. Are you finding that you are demonstrating more of the latter? If you can relate to some of these behaviors or if the people in your life have asked you to give them space, then it may be time to work on some self-improvement skills and your approach to relationships. Improving confidence, managing anxiety, and enjoying the relationship at a healthy distance are just a few areas that can help.  

The dating game is a game for a reason.


The dating game is a game for a reason. It’s confusing and thrilling, but many times hard to understand. Partly because you are trying to figure out the emotions and behaviors of a complete stranger. So cut yourself some slack. The most important part is that you feel comfortable in your own skin. Keep having fun and learning from these dates.

Dear Is It Me,
It might be you, but it doesn’t matter. You are you and if someone doesn’t accept you for who you are then they weren’t the right fit for you anyway. Dating is all about fit with the other person. Some people can fit with many people and some people can only fit with a few. Just as you are your own unique person, there will also be a set of unique people who would be a great fit with you. It will take time, energy, and patience to find the right person for you. At only 20 years old, you have ample time to experiment in your dating life.

Perhaps be open to new ways to find a date and new types of people to date. You never know when someone in the Starbucks line just might be the person for you. If you have been overly restrictive in the types of people you are seeking, it may be worthwhile to step back and ask yourself what you are really looking for in a partner. Sometimes we cut ourselves off from certain people just because of looks or other stats, when it’s really what’s underneath that really matters. Look for other things that bring you together with other people like a shared hobby or interest.

Sometimes when dates don’t work out it can be a lesson.

-Dr. Ryan

If these dates are ghosting without a word, it is their fault for being a jerk. It isn’t difficult to be honest with someone if they aren’t enjoying the experience and don’t see the relationship going somewhere. I would 1000% prefer someone being honest with me. It may hurt in the moment but it is the genuine, honest thing to do. Remind yourself that there is no rush to find love.

Good job of figuring out that you might have been too clingy. Sometimes when relationships/dates don’t work out it can be a lesson. Perhaps that relationship happened in order to teach you a lesson. I’m curious what was driving you to “cling” to the other person. Was it a fear that they might not be able to tell that you were interested? If so, know that they will figure it out if you are yourself and you are patient with the relationship. When the time and person is right, it will happen for you.  
-Dr. Ryan