Online dating is a blessing and a curse. It’s a great way to sum a potential partner up at a glance. It’s also a great way to misjudge a potential partner at a glance. Don’t get me wrong, everyone who is swimming in the dating pool needs to have standards. But there is a fine line between standards and unrealistic expectations. These are some of the biggest examples I’ve seen of people shooting themselves, and their love lives, in the foot.
1. Money isn’t everything
Financial stability is an attractive quality to both sexes. Women like knowing that a man can provide if need be and men find it attractive when a women can be independent and not rely solely upon him for support. But there needs to be some wiggle room here… If you go around weeding people out based on what kind of 401K they have, you’re going to be missing out on a large group of people who may just operate a little bit differently than you. The question you should be asking is, “do they have their shit together?” because that one question covers multiple factors and doesn’t automatically block out 75% of your options. Beyond that…you don’t want to be that materialistic brat that values money above everything else. If you do, you might come to find out that you’re the one without their shit together.
2. As long as they can ride a roller coaster…
Too often than naught, unrealistic height restrictions are being superfluously whipped around while dating online. I get wanting a guy that you can wear heels around, or a girl that’s not going to tower over you, but those things should be preferences and not deal breakers. Let me help you even further: kind, endlessly witty, charming, driven, family oriented and outgoing with a perfect smile and great taste in movies…who just happens to be 5’8”. The correct response is, SO WHAT?! One uncontrollable trait does not outrank eight other hard to come by traits. Focus on the things people can control, like how they present themselves and how they treat others. You’d be amazed at who you can fall for when you open yourself up a little.
3. Dear Abby doesn’t discriminate
Manners should not be exclusive to real time interactions. If you want to give an honest representation of yourself online, then you should conduct yourself the same way you do when you’re out and about. If someone speaks to you at a bar, or a party, the chance that you would ever straight up ignore them is slim to none. So why ignore messages on a dating website? Aside from someone who is being downright rude or offensive, the courteous (and beneficial) thing to do is to reply to the messages you receive. Dating is awkward, and not everyone knows the right way to break the ice; so just because a message doesn’t blow you away from the jump, it doesn’t mean there’s no potential there. Give people a chance to surprise you, or more simply, be kind. It’s hard out there, man.
4. Cookie cutters belong in the kitchen
As mentioned above, you’re going to run into problems when you put too much emphasis on one thing. But the same can be said for putting too much emphasis on EVERYTHING. People are not made in a factory, with preset measurements and predetermined characteristics (as much as looking at Sofia Vergara would have you believe). If the list of what you require out of a significant other is longer than your grocery list, you have a problem. Even if someone wanted to fill that quota, they wouldn’t be able to and you’d both end up disappointed. If you realize you haven’t been out on a date in a while, it might be because you need to get a grip on what you’re looking for. It’s easy to intimidate people, and framing yourself as impossible to please is a real turn off. So dial it back a notch, cast a wider net and tweak as you go. You’ll find your social calendar fills up faster than you can handle.
5. Stop making excuses
Men: “Nice guys always finish last. She must want a guy that treats her like shit”.
You don’t know how many times I’ve seen or heard this from friends, and fellow online daters… You are not entitled to anything just because you classify yourself as a “nice guy”. Stop having one-man pity parties because it’s not cute. If things don’t pan out with a certain gal, it’s not because she wants an asshole, it’s because you guys were not the right fit for each other. Take your lumps and move on to the next one. Don’t expect everyone you meet to fall all over you, because you’ll never get the reaction you’re hoping for. And when you don’t, try not to blame the girl and make it her issue, because it’s a dual-issue. Concentrate on being yourself, do your best, be the nice person that you are, and when it works, it’s gonna really work. If you keep putting yourself out there, you’ll meet some new faces and and realize that relying on blanket statements is a waste because some people out there are pretty rad.
Woman: “Ugh, what a douche bag. He must want a size 2 supermodel”.
If I had a nickel… Seriously, ladies, you need to give it a rest with this because I have so many nickels and arcades don’t even taken nickels. If it doesn’t work out with a guy, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you physically, or that he’s automatically a jerk. It means, he was not the right guy for you. It’s not fair to chalk it up to being his problem just because you’re feeling insecure or embarrassed. Be grounded enough to have your freak out moment, collect yourself and move on to the next one. If you can’t get a handle on your confidence, you’re not going to win anyone over, so work on you. All you need is one thing: your lips, your eyes, your ass… Whatever works best for you, find it and own it. Once you’ve got that under control, things will fall into place and you’ll have a much better time dating, even if some of your nights end in friendship.
The bottom line is, there are a million ways to play the game. The important thing is finding out what betters your chances and makes the whole experience easier and a hell of a better time. What pitfalls have you run into? Share the interwebs of looooooove wisdom. We could all use it.Header image courtesy of renjith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Body image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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