My personal ad is an energy sinkhole

I’ve already talked about how I’m an introvert and what that means for me.

Funnily, online interactions don’t sap my energy in the same way that real life ones do. I assume it’s related to the fact that I have total control over them. I get to choose who I interact with, how, when, the duration, and about what. This makes me happy because I get personal, social and community interaction on my terms and that works great for me.

Here’s a strange thing though.

I have found the process of talking to respondents to my personal ad utterly exhausting.

I’ve found it really hard work, not to mention emotionally draining and totally energy sapping.

This is strange to me, because for the most part, it’s just email. It should be no big deal. But somehow it is.

I think the difference is in the focus and intent in the ‘personal ad process’.

Normally my online interactions are easy, fun, and light, and if I start a conversation with someone new, it’s because something somewhere sparked a topic that one of us wanted to delve into a little further. Once that topic’s done, the conversation either continues with a natural segue into something else, or it doesn’t. If it goes elsewhere it’s due to mutual interest in ‘whatever we are talking about’, and if it goes nowhere it just dies a natural death due to lack of interest. Either way, there’s no expectation there on either side.

With the personal ad respondents, it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like it’s my ‘job’ to figure out compatibility, to do a bunch of work to get to the point where I either tell them ‘no, I don’t think we’re compatible’ as quickly as possible so as not to waste either of our time, or to try and tease out commonalities if I think there might be something there.

I’ve been finding the entire process oddly unnatural, and really emotionally and socially draining. It could be argued that if I’m talking to someone I really like, it shouldn’t feel like that, but the feeling isn’t about a particular individual, it’s about the entire process as a whole.

I deactivated my CM profile to avoid having to politely reply to any more emails. I was finding myself sending cranky responses to perfectly polite and nice emails from perfectly polite and nice men. I recognised that feeling as *exactly the same feeling* as I get when I’ve just had enough of people out in the real world, and need time to myself. I get irritable and everyone pisses me off and if I have to make nice with *one more person* my head will explode!!

I’m really not cut out for this.

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28 Comments

  1. I consider myself more of an extrovert and I have trouble with dating sites and personal ads as well. I agree it feels unnatural. I don’t mind looking online but I’m more comfortable in an environment where I can have fun and make conversations without too much expectation. I suppose more like meeting people at the library or the grocery store instead of trying to find someone at the bar.

    1. I *prefer* online, but I’ve never done an actual ad before. It’s usually just been ‘hey, you said a thing, I liked the thing, let’s talk about the thing!’ and off we go.

      I guess in real life, you might compare it to ‘casual conversation at the library’ vs ‘going on a blind date’. They are essentially ‘just having a chat to someone’, but they really *really* aren’t the same thing at all!

      Ferns

      1. hmm I wrote that wrong. I actually prefer online myself I just don’t do well with the ads or dating sites.

        I actually met my current partners in chat rooms.

  2. “Funnily, online interactions don’t sap my energy in the same way that real life ones do. I assume it’s related to the fact that I have total control over them…Either way, there’s no expectation there on either side.”

    See I have always found this interesting with your introversion because online emails don’t work that way with mine. Online interactions do sap my energy if I am not careful almost as much as socializing offline does. Online there is a small difference because I can always walk away but still it zaps me with the wrong people. I believe possibly the reason for this is because I email very few people and that means if that person is in my email I have chosen them to be closer to me than some random person on the internet.

    “I’ve been finding the entire process oddly unnatural, and really emotionally and socially draining.”

    This is most likely because the conversations have gone from hey I found that thing you said interesting to more of like a job interview style.

    Respectfully,
    mysticlez

    1. “Online interactions do sap my energy if I am not careful almost as much as socializing offline does.”

      Huh. Interesting. Maybe you just have the wrong people in your inbox *smile*.

      “This is most likely because the conversations have gone from hey I found that thing you said interesting to more of like a job interview style.”

      Yep, it feels like I have a ‘job’ to do with each interaction because I don’t want to waste anyone’s time.

      Ferns

  3. I have found that both online and face to face interactions can be equally taxing, but for different reasons.

    Like you, I’m an introvert and so just the mere being in the company of others saps my strength.

    With online socializing, I find it difficult to organize my thoughts and put them across in a timely and accurate manner. This is especially true with online chat, or things such as twitter, where time and space are both of the essence. In addition, my 2 fingered slam-typing means that I backspace as much as I go forward. Even online posts and email can call for a major effort in time and thought. (I tend to re-write and change things around a lot)

    Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE interacting with my online friends and would be lost without you all. I enjoy checking my inbox and see lovely messages from people I care very much for, and I LOVE it when that twitter alert comes in and I get to respond directly to someone. The online flirting I do, every now and then is lots of fun, and a lot easier than trying it in real life.

    It’s just that every now and again, I get overwhelmed by the effort of it and need to drop off for a short time to re-energize.

    1. “It’s just that every now and again, I get overwhelmed by the effort of it and need to drop off for a short time to re-energize.”

      Yep.

      Unlike you, I think that’s a reason *why* I don’t find it draining: I have complete control over ‘when’ and ‘how much’ I interact, so I can just not pay attention to it if I don’t feel like it (compared with going around to a friend’s house or being with a group of people where you have to engage until you can leave).

      Ferns

  4. @Miss Ferns

    Well, what do you expect? You shouldn’t be showing your sinkhole in your profile photographs. You’ll only attract vulgar men that way.

  5. Ferns Dahliiing One simply passes the details to ones servants and lets them present a suitable folio of applicants in due course * languid hand wave *

    Coug

  6. *big hug*

    I’ve learned I’m not really cut out for it either. I’m not cut out for the new energy and excitement. It wears me out and I harness it in completely different ways than the people piquing my interest lately, which typically means I exhaust them. I’m more cut out for the calm that comes after.

    I’m crossing my fingers that you find someone who excites you, doesn’t wear you out, and knows when to leave you alone instinctively. Plus, you know, who is pretty. Like me.

    1. *smile* Thanks for the hug.

      Ahhh… your dilemma is tricky, but it doesn’t apply to the seeking process as much as the ‘building new relationship’ stage, right? Fraught! Fraught I tell you!!

      “I’m crossing my fingers that you find someone who excites you, doesn’t wear you out, and knows when to leave you alone instinctively. Plus, you know, who is pretty. Like me.”

      *smile* Yes please!

      Ferns

      1. A lot of it does have to do with the seeking though. It’s exhausting to keep putting myself out there to mainly only get responses from people I only think are marginally interesting and end up not having any chemistry with.

        Meanwhile, the people I have chemistry with (on a mutual level, if they’re being honest with me) seem to have compatibility issues when it comes to time and energy. We never get to the “building a new relationship.”

        BUT, it’s a totally different seeking issue than yours. I hope yours is better for your self esteem.

      2. Ahh okay. Yes, it’s quite a different issue, but still sucks.

        I think it’s hard for pretty much everyone and if there’s anyone for whom it’s easy and fun, they probably just STFU in case they get stoned to death.

        Ferns

    1. *laugh* Nope.

      Obviously if there had only been one respondent, this post wouldn’t exist because my experience would have been different, but observing my response is not the same as complaining about respondents.

      I’m delighted to have had some interest from lovely men, even if they weren’t a match for me.

      Ferns

    1. Yep, *except* I tried the ad because I felt like I wasn’t having those casual conversations as much any more for some reason (I think I have wondered aloud previously whether I am just scary-unapproachable now).

      Maybe I need to do some more active prowling… *smile*

      Ferns

  7. Well having a lot of respondents is a good problem to have I suppose. Even if it’s taxing to you. I’ve never done a particular personal ad, but when I do find an influx in my inbox…

    I always feel free to ignore or take my time. I don’t generally feel very obligated to respond and tease out compatibility. But when I have started feeling overwhelmed by the process (I do relate to that! I’m also an introvert) I just remind myself I’m under no obligation not to “waste their time.” They are free to move on any time they think I’m taking too long. (Which frequently happens since I move slowly.) And I consider that taking the time I need is probably not a waste of my time either since it will weed out the ones who want to move at a pace not compatible with following my lead on how fast we will move. So I give myself full permission to ignore or take a while to respond or to respond immediately and frequently as the mood strikes me. :)

    1. “I’ve never done a particular personal ad, but when I do find an influx in my inbox…”

      Ahh, but it’s the AD that makes the difference (well, it does for me).

      If I haven’t *invited* someone to talk to me with a personal ad, then it’s just unsolicited email. That doesn’t impact me in any way at all.

      But you are right in that I DO feel an obligation when a perfectly nice man reads my ad and responds to it politely. I feel like I invited him, so I have a sense of obligation and fairness that I wouldn’t otherwise have. He’s responded in good faith and I feel an obligation to do the same promptly.

      That sense of obligation, along with the ‘right, let’s see what we have here and sort it out’ job-like focus is probably in part (or even mostly) where the feeling of energy suckage is coming from.

      I could try harder to treat them like unsolicited emails, but because of the ‘inviting’ thing, that feels incredibly rude to me. It feels like I invited someone to my party, they get all dressed up, knock on the door, and then I leave them waiting on the porch for ages… heh.

      Ferns

      1. I’ve felt that way just a bit since I technically have profiles that say I’m seeking a submissive or slave. I’m basically not seeking right now, but I’ve been a tad lazy on editing the profiles! So when I get the influx in my inbox, I think I might be being rude to ignore them or take forever to reply. After all… I did specifically say in my profile that I’m seeking.

        But then my lazy and selfish (and possibly rude) side kicks in and I just ignore or take my time. I think I’m probably not likely to post an *actual* ad though. So who knows? Maybe that would make me feel much more obligated.

        1. Actually, now that I think about it, probably more people do exactly what you’ve done (that is, have an ‘ad’ in their profile, but they don’t really think of it as ‘posting an ad’ as much as ‘something I have in my profile’).

          I suspect that because I’ve never done that before EVER, I’m a bit like “I POSTED AN AD!!!” *flails wildly*.

          Sheesh, newbies eh?

          Ferns

  8. Yess, this ;-)

    I too find that posting a personal ad as a Domme was somewhat draining. As I knew it would be. That is why I tried to be as to the point and picky about the whole process as possible. I left the application process much more up to applicants, meaning that they would have to seek me out, more than the other way around. I just referred them to my profile, my posts and my notes. It was like “you’re a grown man, you want to submit to me? You figure it out”. And then gave them very clear and simple “tasks” to complete.

    I found that this approach was the best way of getting rid of the “do me” applicants as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

    As I expected I received too many “do me” replies, and all but very few expected ME to do all the work, and somehow lull and lure them into submission and service. Or, they just wanted someone to jerk them off, virtually.

    I think the latter is true for 90 % of the so called “submissives” that a respond to such ads.

    THAT is why this whole process is so draining.

    You can see how I did my whole process on my Fetlife profile if you are at all interested.

    Miss K

    1. ” I received too many “do me” replies…I think the latter is true for 90 % of the so called “submissives” that a respond to such ads.”

      I hear this a lot from women, so I think your experience is really common, unfortunately.

      However, that hasn’t been the case for me: I actually have no complaints about the quality of responses I got, so my ad worked well from the perspective of not attracting ‘do-me’ types. I have (surprisingly!) no complaints about that.

      I found it draining *despite* most of the men who contacted me being perfectly nice. So it’s not a fault in *them* that’s been making me feel this way about the process. It’s all on me.

      Ferns

  9. I just wanted to throw out there that this is me to a tee. I thought that perhaps as an introvert it would be easier to correspond with someone online, but I think in some ways it’s even more exhausting. So much energy put into choosing words and responses, bah. It’s socializing on a hyper-level sometimes.

    1. I hear you.

      I think the absolute control of online interactions is generally perfect for my introversion, but the *obligation* I’ve felt over the ad respondents has replaced that control.

      I mean I *could* just treat it more like anonymouskinky suggested, but I know that I will still feel the weight of their expectation hanging over my head.

      I don’t think I’ll be running an ad again now that I’ve had the experience.

      Good luck with your dating!

      Ferns

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