The six most common excuses to not use online dating

While online dating today is a popular dating tool, (approximately 40 million American adults use online dating sites), it is still a rather new phenomenon. The online dating concept has been around for barely 20 years, and there are still many individuals (single and non) who are resistant to online dating. There still seems to be a negative stigma lingering around online dating. Those opposed to online dating put more value into the “organic” ways of finding love, that somehow meeting someone at a friend’s wedding “counts” more than being attracted to someone’s online profile. Many have concerns about the dangers of meeting someone out of context; how do you know they are telling you the truth? On the other hand, there is always an inherent risk to meeting someone new and the decision or process should not be handled lightly. Letting someone into your world is always safest when done slowly over time.

The six most common excuses to not try online dating:

1. “I’m afraid people I know will see me on the site.”

What is so vulnerable to you about a friend or an acquaintance discovering that you are “out there” and being proactive about finding love? If someone you know came across your profile, doesn’t that mean they too are in the same boat and looking for a partner? Would they really have the right to judge or criticize you for using similar tactics and wanting similar things? If this is a deal-breaker for you, many dating sites that require a membership fee offer privacy settings and very little (if anything) can be seen by people without being paid members as well. If you’re concerned about people connected to your work, or patients seeing you online, only put your first name and first initial of last, don’t post pictures, and state in your profile that your happy to share pictures through email. Making others on the site go an extra step to see your photo may limit some of your dating opportunities, but it’s important for you to feel as safe and comfortable as possible, while you do something out of your comfort zone. Regardless of your profession you shouldn’t be embarrassed about having a personal life or needing an online site to date. If you let the embarrassment hold you back, you may be closing the door on some pretty great opportunities.

2. “I’ve tried online dating before, It just hasn’t worked out.”

Most likely you have tried other ways of dating as well (blind dates, set ups, picking up people at the bar, etc) and clearly those approaches haven’t worked out too well either. Just like any other dating approaches, online dating is a process, and it can take time. People can be picky online, simply because they can. People are able to sit behind the safety of their computer screen and pick and choose potential dates as they want, and if they want to reject or delete somebody, it’s an easy thing to do, and less personal to some. There is a different process when it comes to online dating. People are colder, when it comes to online dating. Many are out there going out on multiple dates. The initial steps of online dating seems to be a less personal thing: either you like someone enough to meet them for a date, and then the true test comes down to does the reality match the online perception. The rules are very different, people may not always be as considerate as you may be. You need to go into this process with this awareness. It’s a “weeding out” process. The goal is that as you continue to weed out the non-matches, the duds, the “crazies,” you will in time find someone on the same wavelength. All you need is one successful match, that’s all it takes. There are always the gems out there, just like yourself. Some people are honest and seriously looking for that one person. Most people today have tried online dating, so your chances are good! It is a numbers game after all. 

3. “People I initiate contact with don’t email me back.”

This is a very common complaint among those dating online. I agree with you, it’s not right, when you email someone in any capacity, they should have the courtesy to email you back. There are some individuals out there who interpret emailing as an impersonal method of communication, which means they don’t consider ignoring emails as rude. Another theory is that some individuals may get more traction in the online dating world than others, and are flooded with emails from potential dates, that some of these emails may fall through the cracks.You need to keep in mind, some are fishing, others are cheating, involved with others, who knows truly what their story is. On the other hand, you never know what is going on for the other person. Maybe someone is in the early stages of dating and is unavailable.They aren’t ready to remove their profile but at this moment are unavailable for new dates because they are busy getting to know someone.Or maybe the person is just getting back “out there” in the dating world, and they are slowly reintroducing themselves to the steps of online dating, and are just not ready to make connections.  

Just like in any dating scenario, the more times you put yourself out there, the more you have increased your chances. If you want to be extra proactive about your online dating experience, may take a look back at the emails you have sent people in the past, and focus on the content of the email. What exactly are you saying in your email? Could there be anything off-putting about your email? Perhaps you need to ask a specific question in your email, related to something you read and like in their profile. If you want to be even more proactive, limit the amount you email someone, and just get right to the point, and ask to meet them in person.

4. “I want to meet someone organically.”

So how has that been working for you? ‘Obviously the organic approach has not been completely successful if you’re considering online dating. Saying yes to online dating, does not mean you are saying no to future opportunities to meeting someone in your yoga class, or through a friend. If anything, adding another approach to your current routine simply increases your chances. There are many people who have signed up for online dating, then end up finding their “someone” by chance in the grocery store the following week. To agree to online dating means you are putting yourself out there, and sometimes others around us can sense that we are available and open to love. Online dating doesn’t have to just be about meeting your husband or wife, it’s about expanding your circle. Use online dating to expand your social circle and then meet people organically. You can turn a guy down, and then invite him to a dinner party, or he may invite you to a gathering of his friends. Who knows, you might even make a job connection. Its’ about networking and expanding.

5. “I don’t trust the unknown.”

It is important to take some safety measures when online dating: limit the information you share with strangers until you really get to know them and trust they are genuine. For example, not sharing your address right away, avoid sharing pictures that indicate where you live or places you frequent, etc. You do not have concrete proof that online dating won’t work, and because it’s the unknown, it’s too soon to judge. It’s okay to have some fears about something new and uncharted, but it’s doesn’t mean you should avoid the situation all together. Finding love and relationships requires risk, and having hope, and taking a leap of faith from time to time. It’s okay if you need to start slow, maybe by just completing a profile first, then as you get comfortable, posting a profile picture, and eventually emailing someone you’re attracted to. No one is expecting you to go out on a date tomorrow with someone you met online. Again, this is all a process, so you can create your steps to this as you gain more comfort and confidence with the process. We grow and change the most when we are uncomfortable. So go ahead, lean into the discomfort.

6. “I’m embarrassed to tell people we met online.”

Which would you rather: Save your pride so you don’t have to go into the “we met online” spiel, or finding the right person for you? A main component of being able to find and accept love is allowing your ego to get a little bruised; this is a great place to start practicing. Sure, there has been a lingering negative stigma for years when it comes to online dating, but the stigma is disappearing, and the amount of people trying online dating and finding success is increasing.

A Pew research reports that three million Americans had entered into long-term relationships or marriage as a result of meeting on a dating web site. That is a lot of people who found a way to overcome their issues with online dating. Just like with any approach to dating, the amount of time it will take you to find the right person and the right relationship is unknown. Some people met their spouse via online dating after 30 days, others had to try a few different sites over a few years. However, the sooner you face your fears and start online dating, the closer you are to find the right person.