Written by Dr. Andrea Potthoff
Despite the fact that the majority of people are meeting online, many people are resistant to trying online dating. And for those that do try it, there are a number of factors that may limit its success. Here are some of the most common reasons online dating fails:
Avoiding It Altogether
This is definitely the most costly mistake; people are too anxious or judgmental about online dating to try it in any form. It is not uncommon for anxiety to overwhelm someone to the point of total avoidance. This severely limits the number of opportunities you have to meet a potential partner. Furthermore, pursing dating “the old-fashioned way” requires you to gauge someone’s interest indirectly and this can complicate the process. Online dating has already removed this barrier and simplified the entire process.
Passively Engaging
There seems to be two approaches to online dating. Some people throw themselves in completely by sending messages, organizing dates, and reviewing profiles daily. Others tend to wait for someone to approach them. The first approach tends to be much more successful. There is a wide range to how much people are getting out of participating on an online dating site. This can range from going on one date every couple of months to going on 2-3 dates a week. If finding a relationship is important for you, you can’t afford not to put in the effort.
Choosing The Wrong Platform
There is a reason why there are so many options for datings sites and apps. Each platform attracts different kinds of people looking for different kinds of relationships. Consider what your goal is before deciding on a platform to use. Some apps are more geared toward short-term hook-ups, while others attract people looking for serious, long-term relationships. How you identify (e.g., bisexual, heterosexual, polyamorous) should also be considered when you pick which platform will give you the best chance for success.

Selling Yourself Too Much

There is a fine line between an appropriate amount of impression management and flat-out lying. The last thing you want is to get your ideal date and then have to pretend to be someone else the entire time. Everyone has pieces of themselves they would like to be different and it can be hard to know how to share these details with a new partner. We generally recommend considering dosage. For example, maybe you have struggled with anxiety lately. This is nothing to be ashamed of, but it might overwhelm someone if you divulge every worry you have on the first date. By slowly revealing this aspect of yourself over time, you allow your partner time to better know and understand you.
Online dating is a tricky landscape to navigate and it is not unusual to need help if this is something new for you. It is also not uncommon for dating to be a therapeutic goal. If you would like more information please call us at 612-470-4099 or email us at andrea@dendrinospsychology.com.

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