Online Dating: Why it Doesn’t Work & How to Use it to Your Advantage

After breaking up with my ex-girlfriend this year, everything lost its meaning to me. Suddenly, I found myself alone, with no one to talk to, no one to cheer me up after a rough day at work. I felt like the ground fell out from beneath my feet.

A couple of months went by, and I started getting back to normal life. And that’s where I began thinking about filling the void my ex left when she broke up with me. Besides, living alone gets boring at some point, and TV shows and MMORPG’s just didn’t cut it anymore. But at the same time, the idea of dating someone again frightened me a bit. Despite that my relationships ended for good and all, I had a feeling that I would betray them if I find someone new.

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” – Joseph F. Newton

But that feeling didn’t last long, and I joined a couple of dating websites but then switched apps, like OkCupid and Tinder. The number of my potential matches grew with every swipe, but none of them were good enough for me to ask ‘em out on a date. After a month of online dating, I ended up with nothing but a thought: “Why the hell didn’t this thing work?”

So, after thinking it over for a while, I came up with three reasons why online dating didn’t work for me, and why it may not work for you. Here they are:

You don’t meet your matches in person

On the one hand, the opportunity to browse hundreds of profiles without putting any effort is an obvious advantage. But the thing is that we can’t evaluate a profile as thoroughly as we evaluate a person met in real life. And we risk passing by people who can become truly close to us while chatting with those who doesn’t deserve our attention. Too often we treat our matches not as potential romantic partners, but as products in a virtual supermarket, which we can put back on a shelf and pick new ones if desired. Thus, we’re not ready to get closer to someone, because deep down we’re sure that there are thousands of new opportunities out there, and one day, we’ll definitely find the only one who will meet our expectations. But this search may last forever.

“You are strong when you know your weaknesses. You are beautiful when you appreciate your flaws. You are wise when you learn from your mistakes.” –Unknown

Online communication

Many of us get involved in online communication so much that a meeting with our match drags on for weeks, and sometimes even months. When we eventually go on a date with the potential partner from a dating website and get disappointed ‘cause she/he wasn’t like we expected (which happens in most of the times), it feels a lot more painful than disappointment from going on a date with the person we met in real life. Often, our unjustified hopes can be explained by the tendency of people to lie about their age, work, education, and family status online. If we meet someone who’s not completely honest with us in person, we still can find out the truth from non-verbal cues and make a complete picture based on emotions and intuition.

Mismatches of personalities

Dating sites offer a series of complex algorithms that can easily pick the most suitable partner in a couple of seconds. And this feature is probably the weakest link of online dating services. No website with the most advanced psychological tests can ensure that two people, who have a lot in common, will love each other.

The idea of choosing a match according to certain similarities is also doubtful. Which common aspects can be considered the most important: a place of residence, similar professions or interests? Many couples are married, but they never had common interests, they never worked together or lived near each other. Of course, we shouldn’t deny the vast opportunities of online dating. We just need to know how to use them correctly.

If you decided to try online dating

Scope the best websites

Start with sites for people whose interests are similar to yours. This will also help you feel more confident if you’re just taking the first steps on the field of online dating. Major sites, like Yes Dates, offer a large number of potential matches, but most of them are people from very different spheres of life who are unlikely to share your interests.

Meet in person

Try to meet the person you like as soon as possible or at least offer a video chat (though it won’t replace live communication). Otherwise, you’ll become the hostage to an image, which may be completely different from what you expected it to be.

Be realistic

Give each candidate who interests you equal chances. People, who believe that a perfect life partner is waiting for them out there, and the only thing they need is to keep looking for her/him, risk missing their true love.

Don’t rely on psychological tests

The probability of finding a partner on one of the dating website is exactly the same as doing it in real life. Therefore, don’t rely on the profiles of possible matches that the site selected for you as the most suitable ones. Define your own search criteria and rely on them as well as your intuition.

Avoid wishful thinking

There are a lot of people on the web who distort information about themselves. I came across a couple of them. One of the signs that someone is not completely honest with you is her/him refusing to meet you in person or via Skype or video chat, on which you need to insist as soon as possible. Anyway, if you feel that your companion is interesting to you, try to meet as soon as possible.

Don’t let negative thoughts affect your self-confidence

When chatting on online dating websites, some people may suddenly turn out to be rude. You can meet someone in real life and get disappointed or, conversely, your potential partner may not want to stay in touch with you anymore. All these are completely natural and partly inevitable elements of online dating. This should neither undermine your self-confidence nor interrupt your search for a perfect life partner.

Let your profile be interesting & honest

Sooner or later, your companion will find out that you weren’t honest with him, and this will only damage the confidence of the person you wanted to get to know better. However, the profile should clearly characterize your qualities and interests that you want to emphasize. At the same time, it’s important that people who might be interested in you didn’t miss your profile.

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