Online dating is now a very mainstream, stigma-free and wonderfully practical way of expanding the dating pool. Of course, you could still rely on blind dates which your friends conjure up or the lottery-ticket odds of meeting someone compatible in a bar.
However, the sheer volume of people on dating websites, and the process it takes to get to know them, can easily leave you overwhelmed. What begins with you throwing together a profile as a result of a few glasses of wine and a new year’s resolution can quickly feel like an relentless trial-and error-process.
However it doesn’t need to be that way. Here are the top tips for avoiding online dating burnout.
Don’t overload yourself
Online dating novice? Avoid the temptation to sign up to multiple dating websites on the basis that you’ll maximise the available pool. Pick a single website that you feel has the best target market and membership fee structure for you and start there.
If you’ve written a stellar profile and have some great pictures, you are likely to wake up each morning to a flurry in your inbox. Whilst that may be tremendous for your ego, you may start to feel like it’s work to trawl through them. Just take your profile down for a few days and re-group.
This is not a stockmarket, so try to avoid the tendency of hedging your bets by running with multiple dates at once. Nothing will take away that sparkle of optimism around online dating like running the process as if you were selecting a candidate for a job. Shortlisting, initial contact, first email, first date…it starts to resemble review of resumes and interviews. If you get to the point where you are starting to run your own lists and online dating calendar, ease off a little.
Be enthusiastic, not overzealously invested
Chatting, dating and flirtation are meant to be fun but will quickly become exhausting. Upon review of someone’s profile, you may have decided that this is THE person for you, and so you proceed to throw your heart and soul into every interaction. Yes this person may share every common interest with you, they may score full points on your mental (but hopefully not spreadsheeted!) checklist, but if you go into every first date thinking this will be the start of a happily every after, you are bound to be disappointed at least once. Outdated photos, a little online profile exaggeration or even just the age-old lack of chemistry can kill it off in the first 15 minutes. Keep your expectations realistic and each encounter as a delicious experiment and you won’t wear yourself out emotionally if it doesn’t pan out.
Be philosophical about rejection
Online dating provides so many profiles and so much information that users tend to become selective. Couple that with a nicely-templated, polite rejection email and you have the no-guilt no-thank-you at your fingertips. So when that message hits your inbox, give thanks that the person has elected not to waste your time and don’t for one moment agonise over why.
Apply your dealbreakers
You spent time thinking about what, for you, were the one or two absolute dealbreakers. Hold your ground and use them to weed out those people who really aren’t going to work for you, rather than trying to counterbalance them with other good qualities and give them a shot. Don’t spend three months dancing around a dealbreaker, all the while getting emotionally attached, and then find yourself drained when you can’t overcome it.
With a third of American marriages now beginning online, you are onto something with a tremendous success rate – take a few sensible steps to avoid burnout and you are well on your way to being one of those success stories.Header image courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Body image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net