World

Woman “exhausted” by online dating finds genius way to vet potential dates


A Los Angeles woman found a way to breathe fresh life into her online dating experience after becoming disillusioned with the throwaway nature of the process.

Natalia Page, 30, from Venice, told Newsweek: “I was honestly exhausted about the online dating culture and people treating it as if it was a game.”

Page is not alone in having a negative experience with online dating. While there are plenty of examples of women meeting that special someone online, many have expressed dissatisfaction with the experience. A Pew Research Center survey found female users firmly divided when it came to their experience of online dating with 48 percent describing it as positive while 51 percent said it was a negative one.

In 2023, Page had just gotten out of a seven-year relationship and signed up to the dating app Hinge not looking for anything too serious straight away. “I dated quite a lot casually to really figure out what I was looking for in my next partner while learning a ton about myself as a newly single woman,” she said. ” I was adamant about not jumping into another relationship too quickly.”

However, as time went on, she began to tire of the fickle approach many prospective dates had on Hinge. “It felt like everyone was so dispensable because you have an endless amount of options so it felt like the men didn’t necessarily need to put in as much effort to ‘court’ a potential date,” she said.

So Page came up with the idea to update her Hinge profile with a prompt explaining that anyone wishing to take her out needed to submit a “date proposal” to a special email inbox.

“I tend to sway more traditionally in how I like to date,” Page explained. “I thought the email thing was a good way to vet out the men who were serious about dating and could go that extra mile if they saw things that they liked on my profile.”

Natalia Page took a different dating approach.
Natalia Page took a different approach to online dating. It was one she would definitely recommend.

sweetlifeofnatalia

Page said the move breathed some much needed “new life into the dating experience” and made it fun again. “It was a lightness and a silliness that I think I needed at the time. I was dating a couple of guys for a month or so and things would just fizzle out because it felt like they were half in and half out,” she said. “It helped to shift my perspective from thinking of dating as a lost cause to really being able to have fun with it all again and take some pressure off to find ‘the one.'”

Page said the experience had her feeling like Meg Ryan in the movie You’ve Got Mail and, as a millennial, it was like she was “living in the AOL days again.”

“I’m a hopeless romantic and have had this dream that I would meet my future husband while browsing the lit fit section at Barnes & Noble instead of a dating app but since I wasn’t finding any luck there I decided to try something completely new while still using apps.”

Page said she received six emailed proposals from prospective dates and was blown away by the creativity behind them. “One was so good, that he created a whole PowerPoint presentation of a little background about who he was and included pics of him living his life with his dog, a sibling pic and a whole page dedicated to memes that he thought were funny,” she said. “He also had a pie chart in there that categorized visually how he fills his time away from work. He then had four slides with different date options on each slide with a photo of the location and things we could do, it was amazing.”

Page was blown away by the thought that had gone into it. “I found myself looking through it smiling and laughing,” she said. “I remember writing back to that email feeling literally 15 years old again talking to her crush. That feeling was what I was searching for when I put the email prompt up.”

Page said she ended up going on “four really great dates” off the back of the email prompt and while none of them blossomed into full-blown relationships, the experience was just what she needed. “It all helped shift my mindset from being annoyed to feeling more hopeful that I’d meet my future husband,” she said.

Since then, Page has shut down the email account after meeting someone. She would encourage others to try similar initiatives, albeit with one slight caveat. “I would definitely recommend it to women my age who have their age ranges set at least 30 and over,” Page said. “I don’t think this would get the same reaction out of younger men.”

If you have a personal dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice on relationships, family, friends, money and work and your story could be featured on Newsweek‘s “What Should I Do? section.