6 Ways People Overthink Online Dating

By Pam Majumdar, Copy Cutie

credit: Victor1558 (Flickr)Even though the stigma surrounding online dating is so 2003, there’s still something about the virtual medium that makes it easy for newbies to drag their heels, whether they’re debating to give it a go or deciding on truly becoming an online-dating machine when they’re in. All the nuances of the game leave plenty of room for second-guessing, but don’t worry, we’ve noticed the common ways guys and gals overthink it when dating online — and we’re calling you out on it!

“I don’t have time for a relationship right now, so I shouldn’t try online dating at all.”

OK, just breathe. Yes, finding love online takes a decent amount of proactivity, but it’s improbable that you’ll find yourself in a full-fledged, spend-every-minute-together relationship right away (even if you WANT to!). You just need to set yourself up to find what you want and make room for love … even if one first coffee date per week is all you can handle.

“My photos aren’t perfect, so let me wait a bit longer.”

Your photos don’t have to be drop-dead perfect; they just need to look like you (in a fun, approachable light of course, without committing any of these cardinal photo sins!). And if you’re active on any type of social networking site, we’re sure there are a few profile-worthy photos. Plus, you can always go through your computer archives and upload more!

“If I reply often, I look desperate.”

Typing a long, date-me-now missive to every single message in your inbox … well, we don’t advise that. Truthfully, if you want to respond to a lot of the messages that come your way, do it. Just make sure you’re doing it because you’re genuinely interested in someone and not because you think you have to.  

“If I reply selectively, I’m a bitch/jerk.”

Interacting on a dating site is not unlike meeting someone in a bar. Think of your non-responses as the online equivalent of politely declining to give someone your digits offline — you don’t have to justify your lack of interest, even to nice messages. In the online dating world, a simple one-sentence reply might indicate that you’re interested, so it really is OK to click ‘Delete.’

“If I want to meet in person right away, I’ll look too aggressive.”

We all worry we’ll come off as too forward, but the online dating ‘scape is one where cutting to the chase almost can’t happen too soon. You’re here to find love (or a fling), and that kind of chemistry can only truly begin offline.

“If I don’t list exactly what I want and don’t want, I’ll attract the wrong guys/gals!”

Sure, the blank slate of a dating profile can help you be proactive, but it’s not your personal diary or wish list. Resist the urge to include your deal breakers and focus on making your profile honest and approachable — a laundry list of “musts” might turn off someone who’s right for you. (And either way, you’ll have to filter through messages from totally-wrong-for-you eDaters, no matter how perfect your profile!)

Got any other online-dating worries tripping up your search? Tell us!