After working with loads of singles, here are three of the most common faulty mindsets I see when it comes to doing online dating.
1) “If I don’t find the love of my life in 6 months, then forget the whole thing”
I know, I know: Your brother’s painter’s lawyer’s doctor’s chiropractor went online and the first person who emailed her ended up becoming her husband. We’ve all heard the magical stories of people who get online and find their life partner within weeks. For the vast majority of online daters, however, it doesn’t work that way.
Online dating takes time, resilience, and persistence. Heck, I was on and off dating sites for years before meeting my husband. I also know plenty of other women who kept going despite numerous online setbacks and frustrating dates with fellow online daters. The end result of their efforts? A happy relationship.
It amazes me how many people who, for years, have tried other avenues to meet people – bars, parties, church, friends, set-ups, singles events – suddenly look to online dating as the final frontier that will produce The One instantaneously. It’s almost as if they’ve said to themselves: “I’m gracing this dating website with my presence and therefore it should happen immediately.” That attitude won’t get you far. Go into online dating with the mindset that this is an exciting adventure, one that requires your time, commitment, and effort.
Think about how many years of focus and dedication you’ve given to your studies, to your career, to your hobbies, to your athletic pursuits. You never would have assumed that any of those aspects of your life would or should fall into place right away. The same mindset should apply to your online dating experience.
2) “I don’t need to give online dating my full effort”
If you were trying to land a business deal, would you half-ass it? Or would you do everything you could to land that deal? If you were giving a presentation for your work colleagues or for fellow graduate students, would you half-ass it? Or would you put together the best damn presentation you possibly could?
When it comes to online dating it’s either “go big or go home.” If you put up a lazy, generic, boring profile and mediocre pictures, you’re going to get lazy, generic emails from people with mediocre profiles. In order to attract great people online, you need to create a great profile. That’s where people like me come in, helping you to construct a profile that draws the reader in and getting you set up with knock-out photos. If you’re skeptical of online dating to begin with and put up a lame profile, you’ll most likely find yourself spiraling into a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’ll no doubt have poor results, allowing you to proclaim to yourself and to the world: “See I knew this online dating thing would suck.” So you get to be right, but you still haven’t put yourself a step closer to finding love.
Finally, you need to be logging in to your profile every couple of days (if not every day!), spending time searching through profiles, and proactively emailing people. You can’t expect to log in once every other week and have people knocking down your door. Think about owning a business. If you don’t engage in outreach, if you are never proactive, if you don’t dedicate time to your venture, well, do you think you’d be in business for very long?
The same idea goes for online dating. You get what you put into it.
3) “If she/he is not everything I dreamed of, I’m not going to even consider him or her”
Another dating coach and I recently sat on a dating panel, and we were commenting that many of our clients who do online dating have had the most success going out with people whose profiles they were initially unsure about. Do not look at profiles as though they are shopping checklists. Instead, look for people who are at the midpoint of your attraction spectrum. He many not make as much money as you or have as many degrees, but you know what, he has a great smile and a really thoughtful profile that made you giggle.
The point of online dating is to get out on offline dates, meet new people, expand your network, practice dating, and, of course, to meet someone special. You’ll never know if that guy who you were “so-so” about is actually a really great match for you, if you’re too quick to judge and nitpick (and the same goes for men!).
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