When you think about online dating success, you’d think that the two most important things are going to be your profile and your photos, right? You’d actually be wrong. Don’t get me wrong. You are absolutely sunk if you don’t have a great profile or accurate and warm photos. With that said, it doesn’t matter how good your profile or pics are if you don’t have these two things. They might sound minor to you, but in 19 years of teaching people how to become more successful online daters, these two simple secrets are often the biggest factors in determining whether you delete your dating profile because you’ve met the love of your life or you are canceling your accounts because you are burnt-out and ready to quit.
The two things I’m talking about are patience and the ability to say no to yourself. Let’s talk about them.
Online Dating Success Secret #1: Patience
Patience sounds easy, but it is a secret to online dating success because it is really hard to stay patient when everything from your friends and family to the dating apps themselves are trying to push you. Your friends want what is best for you, but I’ve had countless stories from clients about how their friends push them to date more. They are working from the idea that you need to grind through the numbers to meet the right person. We’ve all heard the idea “you’ve got to kiss 100 frogs to find your prince/princess.” That’s just garbage. You can eliminate 80% of the frogs by looking at them and saying “Hey! That’s a Frog!” and then moving on to the next person. From the outside, inaction might seem like you aren’t doing anything, but it isn’t (unless you are actually not doing anything).
Healthy inaction means that you aren’t desperately reaching out to as many people as possible in hopes of getting a match. It means looking at the profiles and reading them to see if there’s actually a connection with the other person before you swipe right, send a like, or even send a message. It also means that you don’t have to say yes to first dates just because you haven’t had a first date in a while. You are better off staying home than going on a first date that you can tell is going to suck. Sure, there’s always an element of chance to first dates, but if you listen to your gut, you can usually tell which ones are doomed to failure.
Patience Under Pressure
If you thought the pressure from friends and family was bad, that is nothing compared to what you get from dating apps and sites themselves. Dating sites are not your friend. They are large corporate entities that are beholden to their investors. So, their primary goal is less about helping you find love and more about finding a good next quarterly earnings report. To achieve that goal, they employ devices and techniques to make you feel like you are missing out if you are not in a state of constant action on their platforms. They also reward you for that action in ways that can be emotionally damaging.
Tinder and Bumble employ a Mutual-Swipe mechanic where “It’s a Match!” pops up on your screen whenever two people swipe right on each other. When you see that message, you get the same dopamine release in your brain that you would get if you won $5 on a scratch ticket or when you pull the handle on a slot machine. Over the last couple of years, I have had several clients who were in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction who couldn’t use the swipe apps because they found them triggering.
If you want online dating success, you are going to have to be patient. There is no guarantee on any given day that there will be someone there that you want to meet, nor that there will be anyone who is looking for you. The last time I used online dating before meeting my wife, I was on Match for two months and only messaged two women. My result from that was a relationship that lasted over six months. Sending a ton of messages in the hopes that you will eventually grind on the numbers until you get a hit is a guaranteed path toward burnout. You don’t need to send a ton of messages. You need to be patient and make sure that you are reaching out to the right people.
Online Dating Success Secret #2: Say No to Yourself
Men send too many first messages on online dating apps. Women don’t send nearly enough, but when they do, they often send them to the wrong people. The reason for both of these issues is that we’re all on a mission of online dating success. That mission is to get the man or woman of our dreams. The problem, however, is that we don’t often take the dreams of that man or woman into account.
I want you to be attracted to every single person you like or message on a dating app, but that can’t be the main reason that you message them. If it is, they’ll know, and you will more than likely just sound like all of the other people who don’t have a real reason for reaching out. There needs to be a reason for that conversation to get started other than the fact that you want it to.
What to Look for on an Online Dating Profile
When you are on an app like Tinder, Bumble, or even Hinge, there’s not a lot of info in the profile. So, you’re really just looking for one thing in their profile that interests you enough to have a conversation. That doesn’t mean one thing you can ask them about, even if you don’t care. You actually have to be interested enough in that thing from their profile to want to have a conversation. If you can’t find that, you just think they are hot. That is fine, but it is not enough.
When you are on apps like Match, eHarmony, or even Zoosk, it is easy to make a quick decision based almost entirely on looks, especially when the person hasn’t put much in their profile. Similarly, it’s very easy to get sucked into the romance and potential promise in the life that someone is portraying in their profile. The challenge here is to know when you just have want and when you just have compatibility.
How to Avoid Pitfalls and Say No
If you treat messaging people like a numbers game, you are going to waste a lot of time sending messages to people who are not going to respond. They aren’t out of your league. There’s really no such thing, especially if you want online dating success. However, if you can’t find some evidence that they are looking for someone like you, you should not be sending the message. It doesn’t matter how amazing their life sounds. It isn’t their job to make your life better. It’s both of your jobs to be good together.
Saying no to yourself in the face of generations of bad advice like “you need to kiss 100 frogs” or “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” can be one of the hardest skills any online dater has to learn, but think of the alternative. I don’t want you sending out 100 emails when you could be sending out 8 for the same result. I don’t want you to push yourself towards repeated rejection just because you’ve been taught to think that inaction is failure. Success with online dating is as much about knowing which moves to make as it is knowing that sometimes no move is the best move.
I hope this gives you a little something different to think about today. If you need help with your dating profile or have any online dating advice questions, I’d love to help you. Just give me a call at 888-447-7634 or contact me HERE.