Fed up with the online dating game? Here's what to do:
Online dating isn't easy. It requires dealing with a certain amount of challenges and annoyances, and often requires sustained effort before you meet someone promising. However, when you're faced with too many annoyances and what seems like endless sustained effort, you may come down with a good case of online dating burnout. And when you do, your dating success will decrease.
Here are some signs you suffer from online dating burnout:
- You’ve been on the same site for over 6 months and haven’t met anyone worthwhile.
- You’ve sent tons of emails and haven’t gotten any replies.
- You complain to your friends (and even dates) about the people you meet when dating online.
- You assume everyone is full of shit online and expect every date to go badly.
- You dread the idea of going on yet another meet-and-greet.
- You’ve stopped making an effort on meet-and-greets, knowing the date will probably go nowhere.
The realities of online dating – weeding through the wrong people to find the right ones, meeting so many strangers, dealing with weird or flakey people – can wear on anyone. Statistics show that many people give up online dating after only a couple of months. They encounter a few challenges and don’t know how to deal with them, so they quit.
As you know, unless you have another way to meet other singles, quitting the online game solves nothing. At the same time, pressing on when you’re fed up doesn’t work either, as you won’t have the right mindset to meet people.
Once you begin experiencing the signs of online dating burnout, it’s time to make some changes. Here are a few things to try:
Adjust your expectations. Most online dating burnout stems from unrealistic expectations, and most people go in expecting more than online dating can deliver. As I discuss in Find The Love Of Your Life Online and in other articles, people don’t always turn out like their profiles and match-based online dating sites don’t always match you with perfect people. Instead, know what to expect, lower your expectations, and treat online dating like an adventure. You’ll enjoy the process much more.
Change your criteria. As I always say, it’s hard to meet people when you have restrictive criteria. Remember, when online dating, preferences become requirements. You may prefer tall men, but if you specify you want men over 6 feet tall, you effectively eliminate 85% of your pool of men. You may prefer men with masters degrees, but if you require them, you've ruled out a lot of smart, successful men. Keep your criteria broad, and see what comes your way.
Switch sites. Every online dating site offers something a little different. However, no matter how good an online dating site is, if you’ve been on it long enough (over a year), you’ve probably exhausted many of your options on there and must wait for new subscribers to show up. Most people only belong to one or two sites, so it can’t hurt to try a new site and check out a new pool of options.
Take a break. I’m a big advocate of taking online dating vacations. After a string of bad dates, bad emails, or other crappy experiences, it’s okay to hide your profile and blow off the site for a few weeks. Or, if your online dating burnout is more severe, let your subscription lapse. Spend some time with friends or try offline dating for a while, just to mix it up.
Remember, dating when you’re burned out or have a bad attitude won’t get you what you want. Take the medicine I discuss here and call us in the morning.