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One woman’s date is still updating her online profile… is that a sign it’s time to call it quits?

By Dave Singleton

ear Dave,
A woman I starting dating six weeks ago is still online, updating her dating profile and, presumably, checking out a few, too. I am 33, she’s two years younger, and I thought things were going really well. But catching her updating her profile has thrown me for a loop.

I feel jealous and angry that she’s so obviously still on the market. Is online dating like this for everyone? Are other people OK with it? Lately, I’ve
I checked online and there she was. I was so upset!
felt like it’s time to make a decision about dating exclusively, so I mentioned it in passing a couple of times. She said it was too early for her to make that decision. I care about her and would like to be a couple.

Anyway, last night, I checked online and there she was. I was so upset! I didn’t say anything until she sent me an email the next day telling me what a good time she’d had at dinner with me two nights ago. I wrote back and told her that I was glad she liked the restaurant and meal, but apparently she hadn’t had that great a time. Why did she need to rush home and update her profile? She responded that she was confused by my anger and wanted to talk.

I was happy and at ease before this dating drama. I was feeling good about being more independent and less needy that usual in a dating relationship. Now, how can I feel special and trust her if she’d do this? I don’t feel great about my part either, but how do I handle this now?
– Disappointed

Dear Disappointed,
Nowadays, online dating is both easier in some ways and more complicated in others due to the technology. I can see why you feel disappointed. How could Ms. Right update her online profile after spending six great weeks with you? If your connection is so strong, why is she checking out other women online?

It’s an awkward revelation when you see that someone you’re dating is clearly still on the market. But is it wrong? I don't think it is. I think it's an example of how the Pandora’s Box of technology opened yet another door that many of us in the dating game weren’t ready to handle.

Basically, your date with the seemingly compulsive online habit is not doing anything wrong by updating her profile. In fact, she might turn the tables and ask you why you visited the online dating site if you feel so strongly about dating her exclusively? I am not saying that you are doing anything wrong, either. But you are visiting the online dating site for a reason, too, even if it’s curiosity or some need to be Nancy Drew, investigating an alleged dating crime.

I don’t think that this means she doesn’t like you or that she might not be The One. It does mean it’s time for a talk and an apology — from you. Remember, if anyone broke a dating rule, you did, by sending a critical email. And if one of your goals is to be more independent and less needy in a relationship, ask yourself this: Are you really ready to have such serious talks with dates after a few weeks? That sounds too rushed to me.

But first, consider that, for whichever reason your date is back online, you’re both playing the dating game. All is fair right now. Only now, it’s a game played increasingly in the open, or at least it
Remember that dating rules aren’t static.
feels open because you have more access. Yes, it’s awkward. When you noticed that she updated her profile, you probably felt much like you would if you saw her out on the town with another woman, but without the nervous looks or conversation that might happen during such a chance encounter. Instead, you feel like a dating spy, with fast access to information about your date’s habits that you’d never have had back when we were all romantic Luddites.

You can still feel good about dating her if you face the fact that yes, it doesn’t feel good, but your date did nothing wrong. I hope you will give this a little more time and space before you pull the plug due to disappointment. When you have your talk, do three things:
  1. Consider apologizing for the critical comments in your email. You were just frustrated. But she didn’t deserve that.
  2. Acknowledge that she told you she wasn’t ready for a commitment yet. It is, after all, just six weeks into a new relationship and I think you could use more fun and more breathing room.
  3. Then, in grand technology fashion, ask her if you can reboot and start over.
You can’t change technology. But you can change your attitude about it. Remember that dating rules aren’t static. They change in step with social timing, new trends and technology enhancements. My guess is that, once we all catch up with technology, the “do we want to take down our online profiles?” and “how do we feel about chatting with other women online” questions will eventually become just two more standard milestones of dating.

Bottom line: There’s no commitment, she’s told you she’s not ready yet, and you didn’t “catch her” (strong words) doing anything wrong. I hope you can clear the air and recapture the enjoyment and ease you had dating her for the first six weeks. If you continue to date and want to see each other exclusively, then you’ll cross that bridge when you come to it.


Dave Singleton, an award-winning writer and columnist for Match.com since 2003, is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Send your dating questions and comments to him at davesingleton.writer@gmail.com.
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