To Date or Not To Date: How to Navigate Online Dating

As we are approaching to the Valentine’s Day, I thoughts we can talk about dating. What are your thoughts on dating, especially online dating? No, seriously… How many of you swiped left or right lately? The statistics show that 3 in 10 adult tried online dating at least once*. The percentage goes up (close to 50%) for younger adults between the ages of 18–29. It is clear that online dating is becoming more popular, especially amongst young adults. It makes perfect sense considering how the pandemic affected every aspect of our lives, including the way we find our “partner”.

Online dating is super convenient. You set up a profile, pick couple of nice photos, write what you like, do not like and boom! You are ready to find “the one”. Ahhh I wish. It is convenient for sure. But is it easy? No! It is like a jungle out there… You are faced with an influx of “I only want sex but I will pretend to care” types or “I actually do not know how to initiate and maintain any human connection so I thought I will try this.” types. My favorite quote for online dating is: “You may need to kiss a lot of frogs until you find you prince/s.”.

Since I scared you enough, let’s talk about how to avoid the frogs.

Here are some red flags that you need to pay attention to (and if they exist… run, just run and don’t look back) so that you can enjoy the perks of online dating… and who knows, maybe find your soulmate 🙂

1) The Newly divorced/ Newly separated

I can hear you getting angry with me. What is wrong with being newly divorced? Nothing. However, it is highly likely that they are still grieving and or super angry with their ex-partner and are probably on the rebound. I’d say, let’s give them some space and time to process their resentment and be fully ready to commit to a new relationship.

2) The closed books

I am not talking about introverted people. I am taking about the ones who seem to hide things. At first, they may seem mysterious, exciting and even fun to solve but the chances are they are keeping secrets because you will not like the truth once you hear them. They may be married (a very common one), new in their recovery (aka possibly fragile and still not very emotionally stable), or still struggling with addiction (again, don’t be mad at me. I am not saying that people who have addiction should not date, I am saying that their relationship cannot be a healthy one until they get help and get their addiction under control).

3) The needy

So, let’s say you started texting/messaging this person. Maybe even had your first phone conversation and things seem to be going good so far. Then, your date starts questioning why you are not responding them right away, if they can see you more often (like every day) or they pressure you with the questions that are too early to ask (i.e.: what do you think about us?). Sounds familiar? If so, you are likely dating a person who has lots of insecurities and has a need for constant validation and affection.

4) The controlling

Can be confused with the needy but they are not the same. The “needy” is annoying and exhausting but the “controlling” is dangerous. They start very subtle and at first make you think as though they care about you. They love you… But then, they gradually start criticizing you and your friends. They tell you whom you should be friends with or not. They find excuses to put you down and isolate you from your friends and family. I don’t have much to say about this group other than remind you that you are worthy, you can (and will) find someone who genuinely cares about you, so you don’t need this person. Walk away and thank me later.

5) The friends

If you are only looking for friendship, then you should not be on a dating site. Same rule applies to your potential dates. If they put in their profile that they are only looking for friendship, that is far from truth. This is a statement that comes from a person who is terrified of commitment but also does not want to end up alone, so they are semi-committing themselves to the process with a get out of jail card (I just want to be friends). Are you sure you want to contact someone who is literally on matching/dating sites but claim to be looking for friendship?
If you have read this far, you deserve some good news. There are also so many great people on those sites, just like you, because they do not have the social connections or opportunity to meet potential dates, so they turn to these sites. May the odds be in your favor and find your prince/s in 2021.

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