Why do so many people of all ages, especially in bigger cities, fill their evenings with pointless coffee and drinks dates night after night besides the elusive hope of being smitten by a stranger in 30 minutes which almost never happens?
The main reason for this serial online dating syndrome is that when it comes to those Tinder / OkCupid dates, four times out of five (optimistically speaking) people don’t have better options and better things to fill their evenings with. They have friends but those relationships are not close, intimate and fulfilling enough to compete with the potential rush of meeting someone new and having those sparks fly, however unlikely that is to happen. Going out to happy hours and talking about work drama with a friend over and over won’t cut it.
Many people have all kinds of hobbies but these aren’t real interests – they aren’t passionate enough about them. Yoga, spin classes, book clubs, and networking events are mostly for a show – to check off that activity, so that they don’t feel so shitty about not having a life outside the office, and so that no one else feels sorry for them. But do they really love those hobbies? If they did, they would be truly consumed with them. An activity is not a hobby when you look at your watch every few moments and wait for it to be over. A hobby is something you truly like doing – something you look forward to and don’t want to end. When there is at least one or more things you truly enjoy doing or one or more friends that you find to be truly engaging, interesting or even inspiring in your life, you would be far picker about who you meet online and how often. You wouldn’t be trading your free time so easily for boring coffee meet-ups. At the very least you would make sure that the person you started talking to online has a potential – they have an interesting profile, and you enjoy talking to them on the phone before meeting in person. Not every random decent looking stranger will make the cut taking you away from all the other things and people who truly make your life interesting.
If you catch yourself going out on too many “first” dates with the random people you meet online, you may find that you don’t really like anyone all that much, but you also don’t really dislike anyone that much either. This is because the problem is not the people you meet. The issue lies in all the other parts of your life that leave so much void in your time and soul that you have to seek thrill and excitement trough one date after another. And those dates are mostly destined to be bad, even if they aren’t, because neither you nor the other person who you are meeting is going out on that date for the right reasons. Boredom and / or having nothing better to do is not the way to get excited about meeting someone new or get them excited about meeting you. And when the excitement is not there, that special connection that you think you are looking for is not going to happen.
So, how do you break this serial online dating syndrome cycle? How do you cut that date “pipeline” in a way that would help you waste less time and go out on better dates?
Many people like to say that dating is a numbers game – the more people you meet, the more likely you are to meet that special person to fall in love with. Ironically, at some point the opposite becomes true – the more people you meet, the less likely you are to even be able to fall in love. The more dates you go out with that don’t go anywhere, the less hopeful you become about finding and experiencing love and the more jaded you become about online dating. And once the hope of finding connection is gone and that dating fatigue from all those countless pointless dates settles in, every next date and encounter will be less and less likely to lead to anything good.
Don’t let yourself get there. Start building a more interesting life for yourself today by doing the things you truly like, and become much pickier about the people you go out with. Finding the right friends and the right hobbies that truly make you happy is not an easy task. It takes time, work and luck, but those are the things that encourage you to be as picky as you should be about who you go out with.
And being picky is not the same as being arrogant or thinking you are god’s gift. Being picky means making sure that there is some kind of mental connection with the person you started chatting online with before you meet, rather than going from the “hi” text to coffee right away. I have known this girl who would proudly say “I would go out on a date with anyone”. She thought it made her sound cool, open minded and non-judgmental. In reality, however, it made her sound like not having a life.
Read those profiles. There are plenty of attractive people online. But does the person you are thinking about writing to have anything interesting to say on their page? How is their writing to you – is it generic and passive or is it witty and intriguing? While one’s writing doesn’t say everything about them, it’s says something about their intellectual ability and the effort they put into talking to you.
Talk on the phone before you meet in person. No more coffee dates unless you have heard your date’s voice over the phone you met. A 10-15 minute phone conversation might make you look forward to meeting each other, or it might make you want to skip that one altogether. In any event, it will be a huge time saver.
The above simply steps will significantly narrow down the number of people you would consider going out with and will also increase their potential quality at least from your perspective.