Do You Make This Online Dating Mistake?

online dating mistakesI used to have this friend. He would initiate plans for us to hang out. But at the last minute a more exciting opportunity would come up. Something he thought sounded more exciting.

Time after time, he ditched plans he already had with me or his other friends.

Here’s the important part. I USED to have this friend. After putting up with his flakiness for a while, I got tired of it.

I moved on. Invested in other friendships.

From what I hear, he’s still on the prowl for the bigger, better deal. It’s almost like he’s addicted to the hunt for the most “happening” social scene. Sadly, he’ll continue to miss out on real friendships as long as he keeps up this nonsense.

I know you’re not like this guy. But digital dating has a way of pulling people toward a similar trap.

The digital age has changed how we date. Today there are all kinds of websites, matchmaking services, and even mobile apps that promise the possibility of romance.

And that’s great!

People used to be ashamed to admit they met someone online. That’s silly. Meeting someone is hard. If there’s a website or app that makes it easier, use it.

But be careful you don’t develop an unquenchable craving for the bigger, better deal.

There’s a very real psychological effect to techno-dating. Take one popular app, Tinder, as a prime example. As one article put it, “With Tinder, the pretext is to hook-up, but the real pleasure is derived from the Tindering process.”[i]

In other words, a lot of folks who use dating apps tell themselves they’re looking for a partner. But really, they’re falling in love with the selection process.

And why not? It’s like browsing a catalog of potential boyfriends. And you thought shopping for shoes is fun!

There’s always the possibility the next profile will be even better. The next guy, even hotter. The next match, even more what you’re looking for.

Before you know it, you’re not looking for love. You’re continuously looking to see who might be just around the next corner, just over the next hill. It creates dissatisfaction with the idea of “settling” for the slower process of building an actual relationship with one of the guys you’ve already met.

And who knows how many good guys you’ll pass up along the way.

But while it’s easy to get sucked into this trap, it’s just as easy to get out.

If you’re single and using any kind of dating app or web service, do a quick mental check before you start browsing. Ask yourself this question: “Why am I using this online tool? What is the goal or purpose of it?”

That question reminds you of your true end-goal. It prevents you from getting sucked into the never-ending search for relationship upgrades.

online dating mistakesAs you look through profiles or messages, keep an eye out for just a few qualities that make a man worth getting to know. And when you find a potential match, give that guy an honest chance.

You’ll be tempted to keep right on searching. The search is fun. It promises something bigger. Something better. But if you keep searching, you’ll never find what you really want.

Digital dating can be both fun and effective. It can also turn into a game that never ends. A game you never really win because you never find a true connection.

Stay focused. If you’re looking for genuine romance, you’ll only find it when you stop holding out for the bigger, better deal.

[i] Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas. “The Tinder Effect: Psychology of Dating in the Technosexual Era.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016. <>.

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9 thoughts on “Do You Make This Online Dating Mistake?

  1. Lee said:

    Hahahaha, Sandy, your “tongue hanging outside mouth and could you somehow smile”, made me crack up – you are RIGHT ON! Men love to see us smile, but they mostly look stern and humorless in their pictures (maybe they think thats masculine).
    Wise up all ye gentlemen out there. We like you to try to show us your inner personality, not what you seem to be doing.

  2. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    James, I’m sorry to say that the men are just as bad, if not worse, in my experience. (Of course, I have no experience of what the women are doing!!). Time and again, I have spent hours looking through profiles and sending messages, then after exchanging a few “hopeful” messages, asking a potential-looking guy to phone me – and he disappears off the face of the earth. What is it all about?
    Because there seem to be very few attractive-looking men in my age-range, a man friend suggested I lowered my standards. I have done this, and messaged guys I was not actually initially attracted to physically, even though their profile matched mine very well, thinking they would have other attributes to offer me – and the same thing happens. I just think these guys are making a game of it all, as you say. They just enjoy messaging girls and fantasizing about the outcome, rather than getting off their sofas and actually MEETING someone, heaven forbid!! I get endless messages saying how attractive I am and what an interesting profile I have. (Some from the most unlikely-looking men, I have to say, but I will be charitable and say perhaps they have a nice personality!). They are “all mouth and trousers”, as we say in England. Then I could rant on about their photographs and profiles. The photographs – pictures of them taking “selfies” in the mirror (so sad – no friends); or surrounded by glasses and bottles and holding a beer glass up, or worse still a beer bottle; or exposing bare chests; or legs apart, full-frontal, exposing goodness knows what (I’ve forgotten!); or standing next to someone else’s posh car or motorbike – I could go on and on. Then there is the attire. Baggy, unflattering shorts or trackie bottoms; crumpled shirts or mucky-looking teeshirts; teeshirts with silly logos; dirty trainers; etc. etc. Where are the smart suits, or at least a smart pair of trousers with a nicely ironed shirt – even if they can’t run to a tie as well – and the nicely polished shoes? Don’t they want to TRY to make an impression? Maybe my standards ARE too high, but I do have some self-respect. It’s like looking or a needle in a haystack. I give up, and have decided to get a dog for company and going for walks – a much more attractive proposition, and much less painful. Lorna

    • Sandy said:

      So, true. If they can’t even muster the effort to look presentable in a picture, how much effort are they going to put into winning my heart. Sadly I’ve learned the answer is none.

      And PS. Men…shirtless-no, tongue hanging outside mouth-no, and could you somehow smile, it won’t kill you.

    • Adriana said:

      Well, Lorna, you have pictured the situation so well, it´s the same situation for me. I have a profile in two online dating pages, and I have to say that’s even worse than that, because it’s not only messages, I have chatted with a few guys two or three times, have spent hours of great conversation, and after that, they just “vanish”, you know…it’s so sutil, because they don’t block you, they don’t delete you as one of their contacts, but they don’t talk to you again, and if you send them a message, they don’t answer…I don’t know, it’s so frustrating…the same situation over and over, it’s really exhausting, and it keeps you wondering “¿what have I said?”…”¿did I ruin everything?”…”¿did I say anything wrong?”. It’s a very stressful process, when It’s suppossed to be exciting and fun. Hope that James can give us some advice and support, as he usually does.

    • Glenis Zuhlke said:

      I agree. My experience is so similar to yours. I could add though that I have had some try to shamelessly scam me. I told them where they could get off!.

  3. Alison said:

    Well it’s not me
    it is him being bi sexual and trawling the web not me
    But I can draw a comparison
    Does it ever end?

  4. Marsha Bracket said:

    Dear James,
    I’m an older woman looking for a kind, fun loving guy. It’s really difficult to find an older man who is willing to invest time and money on dating. I’m living in a small town, which is also not conducive to finding a man who wants to commit to a relationship. What are my best options? I bought your irresistible program.

    • Anonymous said:

      My widowed mother and a spinster sister in law were able to find suitable relationships through a church singles group. There is also an app and website for “”. This is a nationally accessible network that you structure to your location, and hobbies. Although it’s not a dating site, they may have singles events in your area. Good luck !

      • James Bauer said:

        Good ideas.

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