There are pitfalls and potholes on the way to finding love. Here’s how to navigate the bumpy terrain of online dating.
Succeeding at online dating isn’t a walk in the park; however, there are some ugly truths we must all be aware of and conquer before we embark on a journey to find “the one.”
1. Men and women have vastly different experiences and outcomes.
This is one of the biggest truths about online dating nobody wants to admit.
From childhood, men have been brought up to be fierce competitors, to opt for the most risky jobs, to put themselves on the line, to accept rejection “like a man” and to always make the first move.
This product of social conditioning rears its ugly head online even more so, as an average of seven men compete for the attention of one woman.
According to research, women who send messages to men are twice as likely to receive a response compared to men who start conversations.
We men love to complain about how women have extraordinarily high standards when looking for a mate—however, we fail to look a little bit deeper at why this is the case.
While women may get an ego boost when they receive 30-100 messages in any given week, nobody really wishes to have that much admin to sift through. And when 80% of the messages are either, “Hi, how’re you doing?” or “Hey, you’re hot, let’s have sex,” you can’t really blame them for not responding to most messages—even if you personalize your mails.
The fact of the matter is that women receive far too much “unwanted” attention.
While it does require less effort for women to get responses from the opposite sex, they’re not really in the best position, as they have to dig through a lot of junk before they find any substance.
2. You have eight seconds to persuade a match to respond to your message.
Headlines are just as important as the content in your message.
Everyone jumps the gun, telling you to personalize each message you send. You follow their advice, only to realize that not only are people not responding to your messages, they’re not even opening them.
What is the point crafting a well-thought out message if it doesn’t get opened, or worse, seen?
How to fix this: Spin it on its head and give the headline more importance. Rather than saying “You’re a hot spice“, “You’re cute” or please-don’t-ever: “How you doing?”—mention something interesting you liked while reading their profile in the subject field.
The very first thing I said to my partner before I met her was “Feminism WTF!?”
Long story short, she was receiving a lot of messages from men who expressed their disdain at her choice for wanting to identify as a feminist. It got to the point that she had to state explicitly on her profile: “So many bitter guys seem to have a problem with me being a feminist, if you don’t like it—don’t message me.”
The messages never stopped.
I came along, read her profile and out of everything she mentioned, I decided to pick on that and use it as “ammo”to start a conversation. It wasn’t the most interesting thing on her profile—that’d be quite sad. But, it was something I found she had an emotional attachment and connection to that would be a great conversation starter.
But did it work? Without a doubt.
She seemed compelled to find out what vitriol I had spouted. Much to her surprise, it was a comment in favour of something she wrote on her profile which caught my eye—rather than putting it in the message box, I put it in the title to grab her attention, and up till this day, I have kept it.
[NOTE: if you’re ready to test your ninja messaging skills, and are ready for conscious, like-minded individuals you really want to meet, try MeetMindful for free today—the fastest growing dating site for conscious singles.]
3. You will get rejected—a lot.
You may have similar interested, a compatible personality—you could be everything they are looking for, however even that may not be enough for some people.
My advice: It’s not worth worrying or caring about. Let it be. Never put your eggs in one basket, expecting a response from the person who seems like a perfect match for you.When you embark with online dating, you shouldn’t just expect rejection—you must embrace it and become its friend.
From the countless amounts of people I’ve spoken to and taught, those who have succeeded online sent out well-thought messages to as many people as possible. They didn’t put all their hopes on one person.
Some people treat online dating like they’re at a Pic ‘N’ Mix shop.
So many flavours and tastes to experience, they become inundated with choice to the point that they just don’t know what they want anymore.
Fortunately, perfection doesn’t exist. Rejection is a massive part of life and is a prerequisite for success in any domain—however, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t or shouldn’t affect us.
I’m always at my most happiest when I’m spending my time and energy focusing on the aspects of my life within my control.
[NOTE: after you’re prepared with these “ugly” truths, try MeetMindful for free today—the fastest growing dating site for conscious singles.]
4. The richer you are the most responses you will get.
There, I said it—and you know it’s true.
It is a well-documented fact that they more money you have, the more attractive people perceive you to be.
This stark increase in interest occurs in both genders, but it is even more prevalent in men. During my early days into the world of online dating, I did an experiment. Keeping everything else equal, I wanted to confirm whether there was a correlation with income and the number of responses I received.
The moment I turned the dial to $100k (I don’t earn this much), I received a message.
Instantaneously. “Hey, you’re good-looking, How’re you doing? Btw, I’m not sending you a message because of your income; I’m not like those girls.”
I bet you’re not.
I responded with the following: “Heya, Jem, I’m not doing too bad, thanks. Just digging deep into some code, whilst watching the latest episode of ‘Suits’. Ahh, no worries, the income stated on my profile is incorrect anyways. I’m only on $30k. Customer support is sorting it out. What are you up to right now?”
Suffice to say, I never got a response back.
I’m not sharing this story to bash those who are attracted to money or call them out as gold diggers; the point I’m stressing is that your profile shouldn’t include components that will attract the wrong crowd. That’s like having a hole in your pocket which continues to leak money right to your door step. You shouldn’t be surprised if an unwanted visitor knocks on your door, or commits an act of theft in the night.
Moral of this story: If you earn a lot of money, but you want to find someone who will love you for the qualities you bring to the table first, don’t boast about your income, as you will only attract a leech who isn’t even faintly interested in your character.
5. Online dating can cripple your self-esteem and self-worth.
Especially when you get rejected countless times, with or without reason.
Ideally, you want to use it to complement and augment your existing chances of finding a partner.
But what if you don’t have any chances or opportunities in your day to day life?
Work and home responsibilities suck a lot of time out of the day and if you’re not meeting the kinds of people you’d like to in your area, then it may be your only option for meeting likeminded people.
If you’ve had many negative experiences which have left you lonely and isolated, the responses you receive online (or lack of), may push you further into a negative vicious cycle.
I used to feel like I was the wallpaper that would peel in the background when I’m in a room full with a thousand people.
While I’m not a huge advocate of The Law of Attraction, I did notice that the less time I spent chasing affection and validation, the more I received in return, when I focused on growing myself as a person.
Take a good look at yourself, and ask whether you are neglecting the key areas of your life which are holding you together.
As with everything in life, balance is the key to a happy, satisfied life.
6. Online dating is the perfect primer for learning how to sell yourself.
It is a strict marketing teacher with a steep learning curve.
The feedback you receive from your experiences with online dating with either teach you what not to do, or confuse you even further. Nobody wants to admit that at the basic level, we’re still animals with primal needs, and respond to visual cues in the same way we always have.
It’s no surprise why Pinterest and Instagram have become a millennials best friend; we don’t truly know or understand why we do things at a conscious and subconscious level.
Don’t fall prey to those who tell you to blindly follow best practices and principles. Even more so, don’t pay attention to those who tell you ‘what will make them respond’, because no size fits all.
What they think will make them respond—and what actually get them to respond are usually two very different things.
Make online dating work for you by focusing on what matters to you in your life, and use that to find likeminded people.
About the Author: David Oragui is the CEO & Founder of The Balanced Life Academy, an organization that teaches important life skills for everlasting success in the 21st Century. He is also the lead practitioner and has taught over 160 people how to inject balance in every facet of their lives, from their physical and mental health, to their relationships, career and material wealth. Learn how we empower people to make positive changes in their life, through the life skills we teach.