Online dating is still the second most common way couples meet in the U.S. But, for many singles, online dating has hit a point of diminishing returns. Many of our matchmaking clients turn to us after having been burned from online disaster. Is it still a good option for you?
1. Are You Constantly Feeling Rejected?
You find that one needle-in-the-haystack profile that seems promising (we love the same authors! Prince is my all-time favorite artist, too! No grammatical errors!), and so you send a thoughtful, witty email, only to be met with…nada? Everyone does in internet dating. It's one of its pitfalls. But if you're getting no response, not as many hits on your profile as you'd like, or only hits by people you would never consider dating leaves you feeling down, it might be time for you to reject your dating site. There's no sense in letting a disappointing online dating experience taint your real life interactions, and with many people, that's what happens. If you find yourself starting to dwell on what is "wrong" with you because SurfLover983 didn't wink back at you, it's time to take a break.
2. Do You Never Meet Anyone In Person?
There is an emailing back-and-forth epidemic online. Some people feel they need to try to "get to know" someone before agreeing to a face-to-face meeting. Newsflash—the only way to actually get to know someone is in person. If you are dating online, I recommend scheduling a coffee or drink date in a public place as soon as possible. At worst, you realize you have zero chemistry and you don't waste any more of your time emailing or talking on the phone. But there are some people who enjoy the back-and-forth more than the face-to-face. If these are the only people you're encountering online, time to re-evaluate if it's worth your time and money to continue.
3. Have You Been Online For More Than A Year?
Even if online dating has been a boon to your dating life, it's a good idea to take time off every now and again. If you are seeing the same faces over and over again, they're seeing yours, too. Overexposure online is not a good idea. You know that air of mystery or intrigue that makes some people so attractive? It doesn't come from being a staple on match.com. It's the online equivalent of that one guy who is reliably at the same bar every Saturday night, trying out the same pickup lines. Don't be that guy. Besides, the way the dating sites’ algorithms work, new profiles come up higher in search results. So take a break, refresh your photos, and try again in six months.
4. Is It Making You Cynical About Dating?
It's all about your attitude. Two people can see the same obnoxious profiles and receive the same inappropriate sexual messages. One person might laugh it off, but, for the other, it might chip away at any dating optimism he or she has left. Maybe you find yourself feeling insulted at only being contacted by singles 20 years older than you, or who are the exact opposite of who you see yourself with ultimately. If you find that your online dating experience is leaving you feeling depressed, hopeless, or downright angry, it's time to jump ship! There is a lot of pressure on singles these days to "put yourself out there" online. If you've given it a try with no good result, it could be that all you need is a hiatus to bring you back to a better mindset.
What do you think? Have you ditched online dating? If so, why?
More dating websites advice from YourTango: