The Hard-To-Hear Reason You Haven't Been Successful At Online Dating

Avoid finding mismatches when dating online.

Last updated on Jun 21, 2024

Frustrated person with online dating RgStudio | Canva

Every week, I hear people complain they attract the wrong people on online dating sites like 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?

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Well, let's start with how you 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?"

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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 do. For instance, when I filled out the questionnaire, I said I enjoy kayaking in my free time. In reality, I enjoy kayaking though it is not something I do regularly. But, since that's what I wrote, I am likely to attract someone who is really into kayaking and will be disappointed to learn 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 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 race.

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The same applies to religion. Are you open to dating someone from another faith? 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 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.

Young couple found love online dating Tint Media via Shutterstock


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Dr. Carol Clark is an author, educator, and therapist. Her book, Addict America: The Lost Connection, has helped change the lives of all who have read it and has been an invaluable resource for therapists who use it with their clients.