According to eHarmony, about 40 million Americans use online dating sites. If you’re single and want to go on a date, you’ve got millions of choices, literally.
And that should be a good thing.
But sometimes it REALLY isn’t.
Science tells us when human beings have too many choices we often end up choosing NOTHING. In fact, a Pew Research Study found that one-third of people who date online never actually go on a date!
According to an article in the New York Times, a recent study “raised the hypothesis that the presence of choice might be appealing…but in reality, people might find more and more choice to actually be debilitating.”
That particular study was about ketchup.
But the same theory rings true when it comes to dating. I call it “Online Dating ADD”, and it might be keeping you single.
You see, when we have too many choices (access to thousands of potential matches online), we might end up making no choice at all.
Because we’re more judgmental.
We eliminate people too quickly.
We put too much emphasis on chemistry.
We get overwhelmed and don’t treat each other kindly.
We go through the motions – going on date after date after date without really connecting in a meaningful way.
Modern dating has become rote, unsatisfying and counterintuitive. And that needs to CHANGE.
Here some things you can do to CURE online Dating ADD and start being more successful when you date.
Slow down. If your inbox fills up, hide your profile. Take your time. Consider each person carefully. You don’t need to go on five first dates a week. Find a pace that’s not overwhelming (but keep putting yourself out there).
Make each date a special occasion. Chat on the phone before you meet. Put on a cute outfit and meet up for drinks or dinner instead of a quick sterile coffee date. Commit to spending TIME with your date so you can both relax and open up. If you don’t take the time to get to know him, you might miss out on someone great.
Focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong. Notice that you’re unconsciously looking for faults and eliminating your suitors instead of looking for and appreciating their positive qualities. Everyone has a gooey center. See if you can find it!
See him as a person, not a profile. The guy who emailed you isn’t just some guy you met online. He’s someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s best friend, uncle, coworker and neighbor. Be curious about who he really is – his character, his passions, his heart!
Stop making choices based on chemistry. After all, where has chemistry led you so far? Instead, look for the qualities that will impact your future happiness like kindness, dependability, strength of character, shared values and life goals. Realize that chemistry can grow (and it can also lead you astray again and again). I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about attraction (you should). But you should focus on his HEART first. Take some time to think about what kind of life partner you want and then focus on finding those qualities above everything else.
Give it time. If you had a nice time on a date, were at least moderately attracted to him and thought he was a good person, GO OUT AGAIN. Some people take a while to open up or get nervous on dates. Take the time to get familiar, relax and have fun together. He may very well grow on you. I’ve seen it happen so many times!
Stop thinking the grass is always greener. Stop looking for the next best thing. Enjoy the person you’re with and water your own grass for a while. It might get very very green!
You don’t have to succumb to Online Dating ADD. Take it slow and consider the strengths each individual brings to the table. Date with an open heart and an open mind and look for what’s good. And don’t let technology and a seemingly endless plethora of choices keep you from making a smart decision and finding the love of your life.
Embrace the humanness in each person you meet and keep your eye on the ball – on the qualities that will impact your future happiness, the qualities that really matter.
He’s out there. Now go find him!