Written by: Rebecca Hirsch, AMFT
Studies show that more couples are meeting through online and mobile dating sites and apps than any other way combined. This tells us that most people who are seeking a new relationship are currently using or have used online or mobile dating sites and apps; however, these dates do not always transpire into a relationship. I often work with singles in individual therapy who are having trouble dating through dating websites and mobile apps. I hear all kinds of struggles, including having many first dates that do not lead to anything, being ghosted on, having trouble nailing down a first date, unsure how to develop a physical relationship or intimacy, and so forth. While it can be true that a lot of dating is luck and right timing, you can better your chances of finding a match by being a better and more intentional dater.
Being a better and more intentional online dater requires that you put more time and effort into your profile. It is very easy to download an app (or sign up on a website), make a short profile about yourself, and upload a photo. Having a profile, even a barebones one, will maybe get you a date. However, it may not attract the kind of people who you would be interested in pursuing a partnership with. Your profile shows potential daters a small glimpse into who you are. This small glimpse should show what kind of person you are and what you are looking for in a match. It is important to keep in mind that you are not necessarily trying to get a high quantity of matches, but instead, you are trying to find better quality matches who you are more likely to click with.
When thinking about your own profile, it is important to ask yourself which qualities and values of yours you’d want to highlight. Do you have a great sense of humor? Do you seek spontaneity and adventure? A great way to highlight great qualities about you is to show them on your profile and in your communication before your first date. If you have a great sarcastic sense of humor, add some sarcasm into your reponses to the questions. If you love to travel and experience new things, write about the latest trip you went on or discuss places in your city you’ve been wanting to try. Adding interesting anecdotes about your life and interests are also great conversations starters. Your pictures in your profile should also showcase your interests and your personality. While your main picture should be of you (preferably by yourself), other pictures can include you traveling, doing an activity you like, or any other way to show different sides of your personality and interests.
Aside from showing your interests, positive attributes, and values in your profile, it is also important to say what you are looking for in a partner or a potential date. Whether you are looking for a future spouse or someone to casually date, it is important to be clear about your intentions and expectations from the beginning. The key is to be honest not only with your matches, but also with yourself. If you’ve just gotten out of a serious relationship, and you are only looking to casually date, be clear that you are not looking for anything longterm or committed right now. When thinking about what you are looking for, also ask yourself what kind of shared values you’d want to have, such as religion, being family-oriented, giving back to the community, and so forth. Finding someone with similar interests and values will better your chances of developing a relationship with this person.
Setting up a more thoughtful and detailed dating profile is the first step to being a better and more intentional dater. Once you start communicating with people who would be a potential match for you, then the real work begins. If you are having trouble with your dating life, and want to learn how to become a more intentional dater, contact Symmetry Counseling and set up an appointment with an individual therapist.