Online Dating: Why does it take so long to find a date?
The reasons why online dating works so well is that that 50% of the 111 million singles in the United States are dating online and that it’s available 24 hours a day. Add in the fact that dating sites have mobile apps, finding love from your cell phone means you can date on the fly. The reason that online dating fails for many is that they aren’t taking a proactive approach to the process. If you just post a few photos, a bio, and who your perfect date should be and wait for someone to find you, your date card won’t be filling up fast.
Singles are obsessed about how people date and how to find decent dates, no matter what city they live in. However, most singles struggling to find love think their city is the worst to find a compatible mate.
A beautiful woman in her 40s who I’ve been coaching thinks online dating takes too long to find a good guy. She was frustrated that she only had two dates in one week and that men weren’t writing to her. Her first date didn’t work out, as he told her before even meeting her that she should take her profile down so they could date exclusively. It was too much too fast, so she realized he wasn’t her guy and they never met. While she liked her second date, he never called her again. Finding two dates in one week, whether they advance to a second date or not is not a bad statistic for online dating. This is actually the normal dating process.
The reason it’s taking her too long to find dates is because she believes it’s improper for a woman to contact a man. She wasn’t using the tools to benefit from the algorithms that the site provided. After one month of online dating, she wondered what she was doing wrong and why it wasn’t working. While she “liked” and “favorited” a few guys she saw on Match, she waited for them to write back to her so she could be pursued in an old-fashioned traditional way.
What she didn’t understand is that everyone’s digital dating behaviors and patterns vary. Some men will only read emails from women and don’t use all of the features of the sites. Others only look at photos. They may not look to see who has viewed them, hot listed them, winked, flirted, or liked their photos. Dating is a two-way street. Men are trained to be the pursuers, but when they get frustrated when they don’t receive responses online from women, they slack off a bit. When women take a passive approach to online dating it simply just doesn’t work.\
Ossa Fisher, Match.com’s SVP of Strategy & Analytics defines this dating type as a “Cherry Picker,” or one who has a hard time finding a date because they put a beautiful profile out there and sit and wait. Even though finding love is a priority, a cherry picker doesn’t take matters into their own hands.
Many dating sites have sophisticated algorithms. When I visited Match.com’s headquarters recently, we talked about their dating algorithms. The only way these algorithms work to help you find a compatible date is to make sure you are an active user of the dating site. Simply put, the more often you log on, the more data the site receives on your likes, dislikes, and communications.
Fisher states the only way to maximize your experience on dating sites is to be truly engaged in the process. She says that compared to Match users who haven’t met someone, those who have met someone sent 30% more likes, favorited 26% more users, and responded to 3-7% more messages. They were clearly engaged in the process.
If the “Cherry Picker” starts writing short emails to five to ten men a day, the results will be dramatic. Men will be flattered to receive her email and many will most likely pursue her. You see guys get frustrated too with the process since they write to so many women who don’t respond. By initiating an email to a guy, you’re not losing your femininity, you’re just showing that you’re confident enough to reach out to a guy.
Modern day dating must include a proactive approach and it’s time to toss the old dating rules out the window. This is no different than looking for your dream job. The digital playground is crowded, but the possibilities are huge and have never been better for singles looking for love online.
At the end of the digital day, online dating is a numbers game. You need to play to win.
Julie Spira is a top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and is the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.