It can be difficult being single, especially if most of your friends are in relationships. Between work, volunteering and social activities, you may not have many opportunities to meet a good match. Online dating is an effective way to get to know other single people who are looking for their special someone, but it can also start to feel like you are wasting your time, especially when you encounter certain pitfalls. Whether you are newly single or finally ready to find the right person, there are several behaviors to avoid when you want to meet someone online.
Imposing Unnecessary Limits
The benefit of online dating is that you have the opportunity to get to know potential partners before deciding to meet them. While it's good to know your own preferences and deal breakers, it's also important to keep an open mind. If the people you're talking to get the impression that you're just looking for a way to disqualify them, they can lose interest quickly.
There are several ways in which people significantly limit their online choices:
- Registering on only one dating site - Activating an online dating account is like going to a party. Few people meet the love of their lives at the first party they ever attend. Having profiles on multiple dating sites may seem like a lot to keep up with, but it can greatly expand your pool of prospects.
- Becoming exclusive too early - The intense conversations that tend to happen in online dating may make you feel like you are close to the other person. Rushing into a committed relationship, however, will often reveal that you don't know as much about him or her as you thought. Take just as much time with those you meet online as you would if you met someone in person.
- Focusing on physical attraction - For many people, chemistry is an important aspect of a romantic relationship. It's hard to gauge true attraction through a screen, though. If you only chat with those whose looks capture your attention, you're likely to miss out on others with whom you may have great chemistry in person.
Most online dating sites have mechanisms in place to make it as easy as possible to strike up a conversation with someone who interests you. For example, on Tinder, if you both swipe right, the app lets you know so that you can enter a private chat with the person with whom you match. Someone still has to be the first to engage, though. If you are always waiting on the other person to do it, you may unknowingly miss out.
Making the first move with potential matches doesn't have to be a big deal, but put a little effort into it. Try to branch out beyond saying, "Hello. How are you?" Look at the profile and ask a question about something you find interesting. This helps you learn more about others while showing them that you were interested enough to pay attention to what they have already said.
Ignoring Disrespectful Behavior
As with any interaction, you are not obligated to let people treat you rudely on dating sites. Intentions are harder to read online, though. If matches ghost you, for example, it is easy to assign any number of good reasons they could have had for doing so. Why they did it is not really relevant, though. There's no excuse for disrespect. If this is the way they act from the beginning, recognize it as the red flag it is and move on.
Being single when you don't want to be is not easy, and sometimes dating can seem like a chore. Avoiding common mistakes can make online dating more productive and fun.