Our Relationship Advice to Make Online Dating Successful for You
While online dating makes it easy to meet new people, the rule book on how to build a lasting relationship and keep it has yet to be updated to account for meeting online. When it was popular to meet in bars, once you start dating you attended bars together-problem solved. In the era of digital dating though, new rules apply. Some might argue (and some studies will support the view) that online dating has ruined relationships. Users can be crippled by the burden of choice. A ‘grass is greener’ mentality has turned some into perpetual serial daters searching for perfection. But we all know, nobody is perfect.
However, contrary to the rather depressing view expressed by Nancy Sales in her Vanity Fair article ‘Tinder and the dawn of the dating apocalypse', not all daters are looking for casual flings. In fact, research shows that online dating has shown that relationships that begin online fare better in fact, than their ‘real world’ counterparts.
Granted, the way we date has materially changed in that we meet more people and go on more dates. Studies have found that dating sites make suitable matches more accessible because it broadens the dating pool (naturally) but we are as likely to form successful relationships. Studies like this one from Stanford University show that people that meet online are as likely to behave the same way in a relationship regardless of whether they met online or at work for instance. Making those relationships get to a point of stability where standard, old-fashioned relationship advice applies though, can take a little finesse...
Here are our tips for making sure your online relationship lasts:
Dating is NOT a numbers game. Casting your net wide will only serve to confuse you. Only date those with whom you have developed a good sense of attraction and a strong rapport. At Arealkeeper we would always encourage users to take their relationship into the ‘real world’ as soon as they are comfortable but it is possible to establish if there is a spark or not after a short exchange of messages. If you have 3 dates with different people each week, you run the risk of letting your perfect match pass by. You will be too busy peering around the corner at your next date tomorrow night to notice the person in front of you. Fewer dates will allow you to focus and stand a better chance of success. Quality, not quantity counts in dating.
One at a time: Once you have met someone you like, stop dating other people. In the digital dating era the term ‘we are dating’ can mean very different things to both parties. If you think there is any possibility of this relationship lasting, you owe it to yourself to make sure you behave respectfully. A part of that is disabling your online dating profile/s and breaking off any other casual arrangements you have with other matches. Irish dating sites are not going out of fashion, disabling your profile will not result in you missing out on anything. If, after a few months the relationship fails then you can always go back to online dating.
Make it official: When you have been dating for a couple of months, have a conversation about where the relationship is going. You have had a chance to see if you have a future together so it’s important, to avoid ambiguity, to become exclusive. If not, it’s time to move on. If one party is coasting along with no long-term vision for the relationship while the other is planning the wedding, the fair thing to do is part ways and both find someone more suitable.
Expect the hurdles and jump them: Where online dating certainly can cause issues in a relationship is the easy-come, easy-go attitudes of seasoned online daters. All relationships have problems and require some effort to remain intact. Invariably once the bliss of the honeymoon period has dissipated, bumps in the road will start to appear as your lives interweave and settle into a routine. This usually happens around the 6 month mark. But rather than compromise and work through the creases, it is too easy to call it quits and reactivate your online dating profile. If you want a relationship in the long run, you will not find one that is completely without problems so expect some difficulty, deal with it as it arises and move on together happily.
Commit, the grass is not greener: Online dating has been criticized for making relationships transient however some studies like this one from the University of Montreal have shown that Marriage rates have increased, in spite of the rise in popularity of online dating. And while profiles make it easier to consider matches as disposable with a quick click/swipe, once you have found your perfect match, be careful not to let them go. Marriage may not be at the top of everyone’s agenda but there are other ways to commit to a relationship. Making the decision yourself that you do not want anyone else, will make it much easier to take a leap and commit to the relationship. Completely deleting your online dating profile/s, moving in together, making joint financial decisions, booking trips for the future and making plans are all great ways to make sure your relationship goes from strength to strength.
After that, it’s all up to you…