Internet dating has many advantages; it’s a safe way of chatting to people, it’s great at generating dates and you can choose how little or how many dates you have. For all its advantages, it can also make you a bit of a lazy dater which could see you overlooking or not making a strong enough impression with a potential Mr/Miss Right. Here are five key signs that internet dating might be making you lazy:
Your flirting skills are rusty: chatting online is a breeze, partly because you’re able to cut and paste from past emails where you’ve said the same thing to someone else, but faced with a situation where you might see someone in a bar you like, you feel a bit lost and don’t know how to connect with them.
Your dates are formulaic: If you’ve been Internet dating a while, it can all feel a bit too familiar; you chat to someone for a fortnight, meet your date at the station and go to a wine bar where you order a bottle of red- the only variable is the person you are with! If this is you, although you’re with someone fresh each time, if you’re using the same approach with each date you’re likely to get bored and this could be communicated as disinterest to your date.
You don’t give people enough time to see if there is a connection: One of the benefits of internet dating is the number of singles you have access to in one place. The overwhelming number of potential dates can also mean you get into the rhythm of always having a date around the corner. This can lead to you not spending enough time with someone to really see whether you connect before you’re on your next date. On early dates, you need to have your senses sharpened to whether you’re connecting and if your date has the qualities you might be looking for; this can become much harder if you have 2 more dates pencilled in for the same week!
Dates have become auditions: If you’re getting a lot of interest from people on a dating site, it can be easy to fall into the trap of expecting the person you are on a date with to impress you and make themselves really stand out from the others you’re chatting to; if they fail to impress, they get shuffled down the list. Although internet dating is about standing out from the crowd, it isn’t like be like the x factor and you’re not Simon Cowell. You may have lots of people contacting you, but if you choose to go on a date with someone, you must see it as a two way process where you are both judging whether you are connecting.
You become ‘date-hardened’: – no this isn’t about sex, this is about becoming cynical and judgemental either before you’ve met up with someone or with the first 15 minutes of a date. This is likely to happen if you’ve been internet dating for a while and you’ve not had dates that have developed beyond a few meetings. It can also be a sign that you don’t chat to people long enough online before meeting up, therefore you haven’t established whether there might be a connection before you get to the date stage.
If you think you’ve exhibited any of these signs, the solution is clear; step away from the keyboard and stop internet dating for a period of time. I’m not suggesting you never internet date again, but give yourself at least a month off. During this time, don’t stop dating just explore other ways of meeting people and generating dates, for example, through your extended social circles, trying a new activity. You’ll find that you need to rely on your own charm, savvy and instincts to strike up a conversation that’s not been pre-arranged on the internet. When you do go back to the internet, don’t stick the same profile and picture up on the site you’ve always used; give yourself a refresh and really think about what you’re looking for and what you offer to a potential match.