Ever wonder if you “could do better” with online dating?

As much as we extol the virtues of online dating, we have to hold our hands up and say: ‘it’s not for everyone’. Or rather, it’s perhaps not for everyone who expects the world of dating online to be like the old way, which was meeting someone at work or in a bar or that a relationship exactly like their last one is right there waiting for them online.

There are a couple of popular misconceptions about meeting someone on a dating site:
1. You have to be crazy to do it – if that’s the case, then there’s a whole load of crazy people out there doing online dating, and doing it well
2. Online dating is easy – it’s not as simple as pop a few pieces of information into a questionnaire and your perfect partner’s name will pop out on a little laminated card that you can put in your purse or wallet allowing you to then just skip along the pavement until the nuptials.

For one thing, no one has ever actually proven that their scientific algorithms work – not that any one of the top mainstream dating sites will share the exact calculations they use to perform the matchmaking process or how they pair singles together.  And secondly, the most worthwhile relationships are those that take time to nurture, that hold back in anticipation and certainly do not try to compare their expectations with their past experiences.  A little piece of paradise exists for us all here on this tawdry planet, but we’ve got to find that yellow brick road before we can head off into the sunset along it, hand in hand with our perfect partner and that takes time, patience and bein open to new experiences.

What is very obvious, and this has been absolutely personified in a blog I’ve read this evening, and that is: if you sign up for your dating site expecting the worst, that’s what you’ll get.

If your dating site profile screams:
1. ‘I’m only doing this because I’m desperate’, or
2. ‘I was three sheets to the wind when my mate suggested I do this and I probably won’t remember speaking to you in the morning’, or
3. ‘my mates have got me to try this out and I’m only doing this to shut them up’,
you’ll get the responses that those sentiments deserve.

Now, you’re not telling me that, if you were browsing through the myriad expectant faces and plethora of prospective partners on your dating site that, if you came across a profile that even suggested any of those things that you’d bookmark it or waste a ‘token’ on getting in touch; well, unless you were actually desparate yourself. Not exactly the basis of beautiful relationship though, perhaps you’ll forgive me for suggesting.

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The right time or wrong time to sign up for online dating?

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Where dating sites and bars are alike is that if you expressed any of those traits whilst you were in a bar, namely either utter desperation, being off your face or dismissive and in denial (as outlined in the preceding article) the only individuals you would possibly attract would be, in the cold light of day, classed as undesirable. Harsh, and I’m sorry, but that’s the truth of it. If you were exhibiting any of the above mentioned attitudes down your local, you may end up pulling only because the person you end up with had no better offer. In a bar, yes, you may get that opportunity.

On dating sites, however, the chances of anyone returning with so many other thousands or millions of members in the dating site community to choose from are remote. If any of those descriptions sound like the circumstances under which you signed up for your dating site and you’re not doing as well as you’d hoped or you’re ready to give up because you’re only attracting losers, take a fresh look at your profile. Read between the lines of what you’ve actually written and ask yourself – or better still, ask a friend who’ll be honest with you – what do those words say about me?

The person who wrote the blog I read this evening, although I’ve not read their dating site profile, I know would scream at least one (if not all) of the above traits without those words actually appearing on the screen before me. With the addition of the killer line, that punctuated everything they wrote – not directly, but with references in the opening paragraph and comparisons throughout the blog – which I guess would have gone along the lines of: “okay, I’m gonna give you a try, but don’t expect too much coz you’re just not my ex!”

There are good reasons for joining dating sites and not so advisable ones; if you’re looking for someone who’s just like your ex, well, you’ve got their number already. Either make the decision to move on or be prepared for a whole load of unfulfilling dates before you realise you have to.

Online dating can seem like a massive place with so many members, but you’ll be surprised how quick the reputation of time-waster or even scammer can be picked up.  It may not be up to you to call the shots regarding who you do and don’t date if that type of reputation precedes you.