Being a male in my 20’s I have used online dating to meet new women since I don’t get out to that many social events where there are a lot of available or worthwhile ladies. However after being in and out of the online dating pool over the last 6 years there are a lot of issues with it. I want to say this before I go any further. This is NOT meant to be a scientific or completely factual article but more or less my thoughts on online dating based on my personal and my friends experience with it. And while I will be writing from the standpoint of a man pursuing a woman this goes BOTH ways.
There are a few key issues that I want to cover here and they are as follows:
- “The Options Illusion”
- Communication Game
This is one that is sure to stir the pot so to speak, but the truth hurts. This is the first issue that I want to cover since it is probably the most frustrating one that I have encountered along with friends of mine (male and female) that have used online dating.
Take this scenario for example. You see a really attractive person and they seem like they would be a good fit. Now when you’re flipping through most of these sites you are usually going by a matching percentage or scale, then you have their age, distance, and a picture. Typically you want to have your most appealing picture as your first one so it catches the eye of a potential match. After reading this person’s profile, you decide you would be a good match and want to get to know them. After a varying amount of time (we will get to this on the 3rd point) you exchange numbers and setup a time to meet up in person.
Now since it is 2015 and most of us have Facebook I typically want to see their Facebook profile for a few reasons. One, they will usually always have recent photos of them that are true to how they are on a day to day basis. Two, to see if they are actually a real person/who they say they are.
The issue here is that I have had NUMEROUS women put up pictures that are older (2+ years) and from when they were in better shape. Now before everyone jumps down my throat and I get flamed to hell and back for being “shallow” let me say this. If I can’t trust that you won’t do the courtesy of accurately portraying yourself with recent and truthful pictures what else are you lying about or stretching the truth on? The problem is that I have gone on too many 1st dates where the girl easily put on 50+lbs from the pictures that they were using on their profile. Now I don’t mind a little extra on my women but at least let me know what I am getting myself into. I have called people out on this and they always try to play it off like I am just being an asshole, I’m not (for that reason anyway) I am just calling you out on your bullshit – get over it and update your photos.
I will say that there are women with updated photos/ones that look like they do now and for that I thank you (my current girlfriend being one of them).
TLDR; Don’t use outdated photos if you don’t look like you do now. They will find out the real you.
“The Options Illusion”
This is not something along the lines of the illusion of options (aka Hobson’s choice) but the overwhelming amount of “options” that you are bombarded with in online dating and what it can do to you.
What are you talking about you’re probably asking? Let me elaborate. As you sit there scrolling or swiping through all these matches you are getting this false sense of options due to the sheer amount of people that are seemingly available to you. The problem that I have found with this is that it creates a “fuck this” mentality when you meet someone that may be VERY compatible with you but you find one flaw with them and decide to move on because of this feeling that there are so many other “options”. I can say that I have been guilty of this and if it wasn’t for people talking some sense to me and realizing that there is no “perfect” person out there for me it helped put a new perspective on dating. Have a watch of the video by Dan Savage called “The Price of Admission”. This perfectly conveys what I am saying here.
However do NOT take this as me telling you to settle for the first person that is kinda compatible with you, don’t just be with someone for the sake of not being single. Just be open-minded and you may find that what you are looking for may have been there all along instead of them becoming the “one that got away”. But like Dan said make sure their “price of admission” is one that you will be willing to pay if it is going to work.
TLDR; Don’t settle but don’t be quick to dismiss someone just because they have a quirk or annoying trait that bothers you. The good will probably outweigh the “bad”.
Now this section is going to be all over the place and more of a brain dump than anything else. This is really annoying to figure out because every person is different. I have had people that will chat up a storm online then when you get them in person they have nothing to say. I have also had people that will not talk very much online and in person they won’t stop talking! The problem is trying to get an accurate picture of the person from text and it just doesn’t work well at all. My suggestion is a little old fashioned and talk to them on the phone! Chances are that if you can have a natural flow on the phone you will be pretty good in person. There is nothing more awkward than being on a date and not being able to hold a conversation with another person.
I addition to all that I have to say that you should always try to exchange numbers as quickly as possible so you can move the conversation to a phone call or at the least swap Snapchat names! I also will say that if someone is going to take more than 2 weeks or so to actually set up a date to meet then they probably will never meet up with you, it’s best to just cut them loose and find someone that will actually meet up.
TLDR; Pickup the phone and talk to them before you meet up. Don’t wait too long to ask for their number or meet up.
In closing, these are just some things I wanted to get out there that were on my mind and felt that someone could benefit from. If you have any thoughts on them let me know! You can reach me at Me@TimothyHoogland.com or through the contact form on this site. Thanks for reading and happy dating!