I’ve worked in customer service at PlentyOfFish for the last 4 years, offering me endless opportunities to see what it is that we do best – bring people together and create lasting relationships. That said, my long stint on the inside of the online dating world means I’ve pretty much seen and heard it all when it comes to our users and where they need help.
Here are the most common online dating misconceptions: From a dating site employee.
“I’m Looking For The “Perfect” Person”
There is no “perfect” man or woman. If there was, would they be single? Maybe, but it’s time to accept that everyone has a history! Don’t put someone in the WILL NOT DATE pile because they don’t match what you think you’re after. Be prepared to make exceptions to certain rules. Whatever your “type” is, obviously hasn’t worked out for you yet. Don’t write someone off simply because they don’t meet your partner blueprint. Rather, take a chance and get to know them. Feel them out even in a few message exchanges and really decide if you’re compatible or not. Everyone has flaws, but the thousands of happy couples who write to us every year are a testament that you absolutely can the person who is perfect for you! It’s time to broaden your horizons.
“If They’re Not My Type I Don’t Want To Date Them”
I often hear users say, “I specified my criteria and you keep sending me people I would NEVER date.” If you systematically dismiss everyone who doesn’t match your criteria, you may be missing out on a promising relationship. People are entitled to deal breakers, but it is important to distinguish the difference between what you need and want in a partner. Wants are a wishlist, such as physical attributes like hair, eye color, height and weight, or money and education. Focusing on this stuff may be preventing you from seeing the bigger picture. A partner who meets your needs is what you should be prioritizing. Pay attention to life goals, family values and ambitions. Perhaps you need to loosen your “wants” horizons and give people who might not be your “first choice” a chance. Branch out and challenge yourself to enter a conversation with some selected matches who you would never pick based on a knee-jerk reaction. You’d be surprised how many success stories I see where a person says, “Upon first glance I wasn’t into (him/her) and then we got to talking and the rest is history!” Stray out of your comfort zone, and amazing things will happen. The more you search and utilize an online dating site, the more specialized matches you’ll receive based on your user behavior. A dating sites is a platform to meet new people, not a restaurant where you can specify your exact order (no anchovies, please).
“I Want To Know All The Online Dating Secrets”
The secret is that there are no secrets. The key factor in online dating success is often effort, not luck. If you go into the experience with negativity, you will attract bad energy. Aim for quality over quantity and avoid spamming out the same message to get one hit back. You’d be wasting valuable time and energy because someone who may actually be interested will be disenchanted by that first spammy message and may never reply. Go at your own pace, you will find that special someone when the time is right.
“All Men/Women Are The Same”
A crippling misconception, not only in online dating but in the real world as well. Women tend to be bombarded with sexual messages while online dating, and it can often repel our female users. but ladies have to remember that not all men are going to approach them this way. And men have to accept that not all women are gold diggers or looking for a free lunch. Sometimes our negative experiences leave us with a bad taste in our mouths, but remember, there are hundreds of thousands of people looking for love! There may be some bad apples in the bunch, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great ones in there too. Take a moment to think about your needs and reconsider your mind-set. Millions of men and women all over the world use the internet to find love! They can’t all be wrong.
“Why Isn’t This Happening Overnight? It Doesn’t Work”
NOPE. Finding the right person takes a while. Like I have always been told, “you have to kiss a few frogs to find your prince.” There will be some bad dates, there will be some really good dates, and there will be some dates where you leave scratching your head. Just because you didn’t hit a home run the first time, doesn’t mean that you’re forever alone. When you do meet someone incredible, don’t rush into things. Closing down your profile after one or two dates isn’t the greatest idea. Give it some time, really get to know the person you have met and start with a friendship at first. This doesn’t mean you’re logging into your profile every night on the sly, but try hiding your profile, or make your images private while you’re giving this new connection some time to grow. After a reasonable amount of time, make the decision to close down your profiles together. Anything worth having is worked for and isn’t created overnight, that includes your relationship.
All too often, we’re blinded by our own pursuits of finding someone who meets an expectation that is unrealistic. We may be missing out on meeting someone amazing because we are creatures of habit and familiarity. Think of your expectations of a mate as a security blanket, staying in your comfort zone provides you with a sense of security but you must be willing and ready to step outside that box. The more flexible you are with your search criteria the more you open yourself to endless possibilities. Remember, there are plenty of fish in the sea!