[image: she is not ready or she’s not nearby – hmm you decide]
Online dating has never been the best way to find someone to love. It might be a good way to get introduced to people in surrounding areas, and people who profess some of the same hobbies and lifestyle choi8ces you’ve made. It is possible to find a partnership on Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, Match.com, Plenty of Fish, and others. It is POSSIBLE. But it’s highly unlikely.
If you don’t have a road map or a plan for dating, you will probably get what you’re after: nothing.
Here’s the problem with today’s dating opportunities: online dating is the lowest form of effort. You click, you swipe, you look for pretty pictures. You try and define your perfect partner. And you do your best at sharing who you are and what you look like. At least that’s what some of us are doing on these sites. But, if you spend any time in the online dating morass, you will soon find, it’s a shitshow out there.
Lies, Little Lies, More Lies
Pictures lie. And your glamour shot from 5 years ago may not be the best representation of your current smile. (Glamour shots are always a bad idea, BTW.) Profiles are full of BS. And even the people manning the profiles may be largely fake accounts trying to get you sign up for the “premium” paid features. Apps like Bumble are making a fortune on our hopes and dreams. The call them boosts, or premium features, but what they are is cash cows for the online dating companies. Do you think Facebook would’ve gotten into “dating” if they didn’t see the big bucks flying out of lonely people’s digital wallets?
The online apps are not trying to set you up with a partner. If you get matched and start a real relationship, guess what, you’re going to stop paying them. So, if they can keep your interest with teasers, offers, fake “hi” connections with sketchy fake profiles, they are banking on the idea that your hope will get the best of you and you will cough up the extra money to share your profile with more people in your area. They want the money.
All Profiles Should Be Suspect
Don’t believe in any profiles until you have had a chance to chat/text with the potential date. Well over 35% of all online dating profiles are fakes. They are managed by offshore resources in Vietnam and India. What looks like a hot girl with a great smile in your neighborhood is really a 70-year-old woman in a foreign country making $3 per hour to keep your arousal high and try to convince you to pay for the extra features.
And then there are the bullshit artists of the other sex (I’m hetero) who are merely flirting around with online dating. It’s like late-night binge-watching. Here’s how it goes in our brains, “Oh shit, it’s 8:00 on Thursday night and I’m alone and don’t have any plans this weekend, let me open Tinder again and swipe around a bit. As the investment is low: click, swipe, browse. The return is low as well.
There Are Real Matches to Be Found
And there are some real and genuine people on these sites. You’ve got to swipe left A LOT to get one or two YES PLEASE profiles. And 90% of those “sweet women” profiles will not ever respond. They are overloaded and overwhelmed with the hungry guys willing to pay the extra coin to get their introduction messages highlighted and first in the queue. And the good looking and fit women are going to be unavailable forever. They’re probably looking for someone in their range, rather than an older, less-fit person like yourself.
There was a study that OK Cupid funded that showed most people go fishing online for people about 20% or 40% hotter than they are. If you’re a 5 and your reaching out to a ton of 8s, you’re going to get nowhere. So stay in your lane. Find your special sauce. And if you’re going to do online dating, at least do it with a plan and good intentions. Don’t fuck around on dating sites just to entertain yourself. Don’t accept drinks with someone who’s a “nah” just to have plans on a Friday nigth.
Where The Buffalo Roam
The real answer is online dating provides come clues and information about what you want, what you’re attracted to, and what you think you would like to offer someone. The ninja move, however, is to go “out in the real world” and live your best life. Are you a waterskier? Join some waterskiing Meetup groups. If you’re a hiker, join some hiking clubs. The worst thing about online dating is how lazy and complacent it makes most of us. “I love going to see live music,” her profile says. “So, tell me about a recent show you’ve seen, that lit you up,” he asks. “Um…” [Okay, before Covid live music was one of my jams and favorite ice-breaking first date ideas.
Get out there and meet people who are actually doing the things you say you love to do. If you’re a road biker, don’t let the dust pile up on your bike, get on the saddle and meetup. Ride your own wave for awhile. You’re more likely to find someone offline in an active activity that you’d like to have a partner for. Church? If you love church but aren’t finding anyone at your congregation, shop around. Visit other churches. But don’t sit around your apartment and shop for a date online. It’s a waste of time.
What’s the Magic Number
If you are going to do online dating, here’s something to think about. If the odds are so bad, you need to up your numbers at the beginning. Why not join 5 dating services? Believe me, you’ll swipe through all of your Bumble and Tinder choices in less than an hour. So why not put the numbers in your favor. Gather more data by being on more sites. Swipe and swipe and swipe and notice the things that always get a YES from you.
- a pretty smile
- a fit body
- some kind of joy coming from their profile
- witty repartee
And notice the things that are immediate NO THANK YOUs.
- drinks in their profile pictures
- heavy makeup
- bright red lipstick (any lipstick, actually, but that’s just *my* preference)
- frowning people
- poor hygiene or poor dentistry
- mention of happy hours, destination travel, and walks on the beach
- massive tattoos (just not my thing)
- photos using the smoothing or youthanizing filters or sparkles
- “just looking for fun” (well, that’s not very unique now is it?)
- “love to laugh” (duh)
And as you get more familiar with the sites and their slightly different crowd, you can begin to up your hit-to-miss ratio.
Do You Know What You Want In Your Next Relationship?
Filling out an online dating profile is a good exercise. What do you want? What do you offer? What would you like to do with your new best friend?
My hearty advice then is to GET OUT THERE AND DO IT WHILE YOU’RE STILL SINGLE. Do what you love. The relationship will follow. You’re going to have to be active in participating, in saying hello in real-time, and not using “online dating is so bad” as an excuse. I know I do it. But let’s get out there together, okay?
Got it? Good. Now go forth and multiply.
As a certified life coach, I’ve been helping men and women find fulfilling relationships. If you’d like to chat for 30-minutes about your dating/relationship challenges, I always give the first 30-session away for free. LEARN ABOUT COACHING WITH JOHN. There are no obligations to continue. But I get excited every time I talk to someone new. I can offer new perspectives and experiences from my post-divorce dating journey. Most of all, I can offer hope.
Get the complete single dad story with John’s new book: Single Dad Seeks (available in all formats)
The Dating a Divorced Dad series continues:
- What the Single Dad Wants – 9 Months Later (an update)
- The Three Essential Elements of Love
- In Relationship with a Divorced Dad: Ground Rules
SingleDad In Love, Again
- Dating a Divorced Dad – Version 2.0 Updated
New Dating Strategy: