Every week, I hear people complain that they attract the wrong people on online dating sites like Match.com or eHarmony. The opportunity is there to specify who you are and what kind of partner you would like, but most people go through tons of unappealing dates before finding someone suitable. So, what goes wrong?
Well, let's start with how your describe yourself. Most people describe themselves inaccurately. They lie about their age, attractiveness, weight or physical health.
eHarmony has a lengthy questionnaire that asks for ratings on personality traits, likes and dislikes, interests and skills. How likely are you to describe yourself as "bossy," "irritable," "cold," or "quarrelsome?" Would you answer positively to feeling "plotted against," "misunderstood," or "out of control?"
Better indicators of compatibility are those that ask for your preferred leisure activities, although, even those can be misleading since you are more likely to say what you would like to do than what you actually do. For instance, when I filled out the questionnaire, I said I enjoy kayaking in my free time. In reality, although I do enjoy kayaking, it is not something I do on a regular basis. But since that's what I wrote, I am likely to attract someone who is really into kayaking and who will be disappointed to learn that I don't spend my weekends on the water.
Next, what do you say you want in a partner? Sometimes we set the bar so high that no one can meet our expectations. Conversely, sometimes we try to be so open-minded that we don't weed out the dealbreakers. For instance, if you don't want to appear racially biased, you may put down that ethnicity doesn't matter when, in reality, you have no interest in dating outside your own race.
The same applies to religion. Are you open to dating someone from another faith? And if you describe yourself as a Christian, will you miss out on someone like Jon Stewart? Likewise, if you insist on a graduate degree, you may miss out on the self-made millionaire who didn't finish high school.
So, what are we to do? I truly believe that energy attracts like energy. You get what you give. If you are honest, you will attract honesty. Yes, you may not get the number of responses you want, but remember: it only takes one.
More dating advice from YourTango:
- The Secret To Successful Online Dating
- Ladies, You Need To Watch Out For These Online Dating Red Flags
- What Is Mobile Dating? Should I Try It?