Online dating is challenging, and even more so, with COVID and social distancing. My advice to being successful with online dating is to change your perspective on what’s considered success. You may think you’re unsuccessful because you’re not meeting people.
However, not meeting people can be a success. Ask yourself this question: “If I meet someone who I’m incompatible with for a friendship or relationship, was I successful at online dating?”
I’ve heard and read stories of people who’ve been online for months, even years, and haven’t met their desired person. My perception is if you’re being your authentic self, your profile accurately represents you as a person and the type of person you’re looking for, the things you’re interested in, and the type of relationship you desire … you’re successful because you’re being honest. You not meeting people who don’t fit what you desire, or who have different interests than you do, leaves room in your life for the right person to fill that space.
Change your thinking of it being a negative if you’re without a significant other to it being a positive thing because it means you’re still available to meet someone compatible. It frees you to have time and energy to focus on the right person when they come along. I see a lot of people settling for what they don’t want in a person because they want companionship and will accept it from almost anyone.
Social distancing and lack of physical touch cause some people to make choices they otherwise wouldn’t make. It’s not a win for them because they end up discontented with the person they’ve chosen to give their time and energy to. If you enter into a relationship with someone who’s unable to meet your desires and needs, you’re setting yourself up for frustration and failure.
It’s okay to want human contact, physical touch, sexual intimacy, a warm body to cuddle with, and a person to talk face-to-face with. Be honest about your desires. Don’t say you want a relationship and then settle for a cuddle buddy or friend with benefits. If you want someone who’s situated in life, don’t settle for someone who’s constantly in-between jobs or doesn’t have secured housing.
Online dating profiles say a lot about a person. Pay attention to what’s written and what’s not written. Don’t fill your life with people who aren’t well-suited for you. A blank profile says something about a person as well as a filled out one.
Think about why a person doesn’t put any information in their profile. If they‘re not putting effort into sharing information about themselves or what they’re looking for, will they put effort into learning about you? Do they want you to know them? Or if they put something like “hmu.” If you’re a mature person and desire substance in someone, text acronyms in profiles may indicate they’re not compatible with your desires.
There are exceptions, of course. For example, if you’re young and enjoy quick messages with acronyms then it likely won’t bother you. However, for someone middle-aged, spelling out words may be an indicator of laziness or an inability to effectively communicate. What they write shows if thought was put into their profile, clarity on what they want from a friendship or relationship, and if they’re putting effort into actually meeting someone of substance.
A lot of people seem to focus on physical attraction. What’s pleasing to your eye does help, but are looks more important to you than someone’s personality or character traits? If you’re swiping right because you like their picture and their profile says they’re looking for chatting, casual dating, or hookups, and you’re looking for someone to build a relationship with you, you two aren’t compatible. You’ll have someone to see and spend time with, but you won’t have the type of relationship you want. Is this success?
I’ve heard stories of people accepting a casual dating situation when they really wanted a relationship. As time went on, they developed feelings for the other person and became irritated, confused, and insecure when those feelings were reciprocated. They’d forgotten the other person never wanted a relationship or thought the other person would change their mind. They then had to decide whether or not to stay in an unsatisfying relationship or disengage so they’d be free to pursue the types of relationships they want. It’s never a good idea to allow your immediate desire for physical comfort and companionship to overshadow your heart’s desire for a loving relationship.
I talk, in the video, about a discussion thread on reddit. I replied to a question about whether online dating has always been challenging. I commented something like, “Be honest with who you are and what you’re looking for.” A person replied to my comment saying, “People don’t know what they want until they know what they can have.” I imagined they were young or didn’t have much dating experience. I wrote don’t advertise a Jaguar, if that’s not what it is. If I want a Jaguar, see an ad (profile) for a Jaguar, and set up a day and time to see it, I expect to see a Jaguar. I get there and it’s a Pinto. When I get there and see a Pinto, I won’t be excited and think, “Wow, a Pinto, I can have it. Therefore, I want it.” No, I want a Jaguar and will not settle for a Pinto.
The person replied back that my example was extreme. I thought it was a realistic example in a broad sense. I could walk into a shelter or announce to a group of homeless men that I’m looking for a relationship, have an apartment, an SUV, and stable finances. I can only imagine how many of them would come talk to me. This person on reddit was saying I want them just because I found out I could have them. That line of thinking is unhealthy and it’s how many people end up in unfulfilling, and even abusive, relationships.
Personal preferences, sometimes, change with age. If you’re self-sufficient, it’s likely you’ll desire someone who is. It may be beneficial to seek potential partners who in the same season of like you’re in, have a similar lifestyle as you do, or are as emotionally mature as you are. Don’t think your expectations are unrealistic if you have your life together and think others in your age range should as well.
Being unpartnered doesn’t mean you’re unsuccessful at dating. It means you haven’t found, or been found by, the person (or persons) who’re right for you.
Be yourself, be honest about what you want and what you have to offer, take your time, and stay encouraged. Have a positive mindset because positivity usually breeds positivity. Think of it this way, would you want to talk to someone who’s always sad or having a bad day, especially when first meeting them?
A lot of people become disheartened when someone they’re messaging back and forth with suddenly un-matches or blocks them. Consider that a success because they’ve weeded themselves out. View the accompanying YouTube video I did for this article to hear a funny story about this. It’s near the end around the 11-minute mark.
I’d love to hear your comments on this article. Does it resonate with you? Did it challenge your thinking on what successful online dating looks like?
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