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Online Dating - Don’t Give Up!


Are you burned out by online dating? Try to keep your spirits up instead of hiding your profile.

By Theo Pauline Nestor

re you fed up? Are you tired and lonely and feeling like, “What’s the use? I may as well take my profile down.”

You’re not alone. Online dating can feel deceptively easy at first — a little like online shopping, you’ll just breeze through, place a few desired
Having a profile posted is just keeping your cards in the game.
items in your cart, and proceed to check-out, your dreams answered with a few clicks of the mouse. But while online dating shares some similarities to online shopping, finding the right person — whether online or in “real life” — is still a human relationship process, one that can’t be rushed. Yes, it could happen quickly, but more than likely, you’re going to have to spend some time on this online dating venture before you meet that special someone. Just like your mom told you and The Supremes once said, the truth is, “You can’t hurry love.”

So, take a deep breath. Leave your profile alone for the moment and consider the following reasons why just maybe you could hang in there just a little longer, including a few stories from a couple of online daters who are very glad they did not take their profiles down.

1. Sometimes that butterfly comes along right when you’re ready to put the net down.
Candace Walsh, editor of Ask Me About My Divorce: Women Open Up About Moving On, was completely discouraged with online and off-line dating and was on the verge of pulling her profile a few winters ago. “I felt like I was trying to force something by searching so actively. I had gone on several online dates and had made friends with some of the women, but never felt like the romantic potential survived a first date. I’d get my hopes up, and then there’d be the sinking feeling when I didn’t feel chemistry or the other person didn’t,” says Walsh.

“I realized that my life was full, I was happy with my own company and the company of my children and my wonderful friends, and why not relish that? I decided at the end of February that I’d ‘take March off’ in terms of dating. I got the ‘Your Matches’ email on February 27th. I fell in love with Laura’s postage-sized photo, and emailed her spontaneously, palms sweaty. We went from emails to calls to our first date on March 2,” recounts Walsh.

A year and a half later, Walsh and her partner, Laura, are still going strong, and Walsh is very happy she didn’t take her profile down.

2. Is there really a reason to take your profile down?
You might be feeling like you can’t endure the ups and downs of online dating any longer. You’re weary of yet again harboring the excitement that comes when you meet someone who just might be The One, only to have your hopes dashed. But consider the alternative: Isn’t it better to hope and be disappointed than to have nothing going on at all? The cycle of excitement and disappointment are a natural part of the search for love. Having a profile posted is just keeping your cards in the game. It doesn’t mean you have to bite down on every passing hook.

3. Instead of taking your profile down, consider changing your approach.
Before taking down your profile, take some time to examine the source of your online burnout. Are you checking who’s viewed your profile constantly? Are you sending emails out in a scattershot style
You might go out on one date and find The One.
instead of just a carefully worded few to potential dates that really appeal to you? Are you going out on too many first dates? Perhaps dialing back a bit will make the whole online dating process not only bearable but a lot more fun.

Jennifer, a 41-year-old museum educator, used a very selective approach to dating men she met on Match.com, and met her future husband after only a short time online. Instead of going out with every possible candidate, Jennifer studied online profiles methodically while maintaining her intention to have fun.

“I didn’t go in to it to find the love of my life, or to find a husband, but just to find a couple people to do fun things with,” says Jennifer. “At night after putting my two kids to bed, I would look through the profiles, carefully reading about the men I thought looked interesting. I looked for humor, intelligence and commonalities. It took me a while to actually start contacting the people I found interesting. I only contacted about four people. I went out with three of them and enjoyed all of their company.”

The next person Jennifer contacted was her future husband, Robert. Robert and Jennifer enjoyed a short email exchange and then went on their first date, where they simply “talked and talked and talked.” The next day they had a second date, their first kiss and, as Jennifer tells it, “we’ve been together ever since.”

4. Remember: it only takes one.
Yes, the process of looking can be discouraging, but remember you don’t need to find 10 right people — you only have to find one. And finding that person is well worth the effort, including all the ups and downs along the way.

Candace Walsh offers this advice to those new to online dating: “You might go out on one date and find The One. You might go on 60 dates and find The One on the 61st try. You’re not going to find someone while you’re in a rocking chair in your attic, and it’s grueling to go out to bars and events all the time, especially if you’re not a full-on extrovert. Keep looking, include the online component, keep imagining, stay positive and try to learn something from each date.”


Theo Pauline Nestor is a regular contributor to Happen magazine and author of How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over (Crown 2008).
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