Center for Shared Insight, PC

Why is online dating so confusing?

September 15, 2020
|
Posted By: Kristen Hick, Psy.D.

Online dating. It seems like the perfect way to meet an ideal match while being efficient with your time, selective with your choices, and intentional with your approach. Especially if you live in the suburbs or don’t go out much, it appears that online dating would be an excellent way to meet someone you have a lot in common with. But online dating is not without games, confusion, and ghosting. Digital communication makes it oftentimes more difficult to understand true intentions and can lead to a very confusing dating experience. 

In this post, we share reasons that online dating can be a frustrating experience and what you can do to improve your odds of meeting someone who is a great fit online.

Different Motives

One of the most significant reasons that online dating is so challenging for many is that there are a variety of motives or goals that people have for joining online dating platforms. From casual “situationships” to long-term committed partnerships, expectations, and needs aren’t always aligned as you look through profiles. 

Oftentimes, creating a profile is a reaction a person has to being unhappy in a current relationship or even as a result of feeling lonely and wanting to fill a void. The intention of creating those profiles could be simply a distraction from the everyday struggles of life. General curiosity or “fear of missing out” on other “potential partners” also drives people to online dating. Online dating is non-committal, you can disappear if you want to, and it’s non-confrontational. These reasons also make it difficult to create an authentic connection.

Words vs. Actions

If you meet someone online, you may experience discrepancies between their words and actions. For instance, a person may write that they desire something serious in their profile, but after talking with them, you get the sense that they are prioritizing their single life far more than acting like they want to get serious. This can lead to confusion and frustration as the relationship progresses. Oftentimes, people do want to get serious (consciously) but they lack the tools to really make that happen due to unconscious limitations, often including their attachment style. Maybe they can’t say no to their buddies or don’t want to prioritize the time commitment of dating. Remember that people speak from their conscious intentions and act from their unconscious ones.

Creating an Authentic Experience

While there is no foolproof way to create an authentic online dating experience, or perfectly align your needs with the ideal match, being forthcoming with your dating goals can help. Add your dating desires to your online dating profile (from casual dating to looking for long-term partnership), add helpful information like your love language, or even information about what types of relationships work well for you. Be as forthcoming as possible based on what you know about yourself and your dating preferences to improve your chances of finding an ideal fit. An example of how to write this in a profile might be:

“Looking for a long-term monogamous partnership, not necessarily marriage. My love languages are words of affirmation and quality time. The best relationships for me include spending weekends together and maybe one night a week, while leaving space and time for individual interests and hobbies. I connect best with positive individuals who have a growth mindset and enthusiasm for nature. Must like dogs (I have two of them!)!”

Be yourself and don’t be afraid to convey your wants and needs right upfront. The right match will appreciate your clarity and will likely even find it refreshing.

Next Steps

While a profile can say a lot about a person and their dating goals, it’s essential to assess how their actions during the early stages of dating match up. If you are noticing that there is a discrepancy between their stated goals and actions, you may want to bring it up with them or decide that it’s not a good match. Take it from us - continuing to date someone who doesn’t align with you will usually end is heartache.

If you are interested in getting more fulfillment out of online dating and creating more authentic connections in your life, the team at Center for Shared Insight can help. While online dating can be hard and confusing, having the opportunity to talk through your specific experiences with a therapist can provide a third-party perspective on the challenges, and our team can recommend approaches to help foster a more authentic online dating connection. 

Call us today for a free consultation.

Related Blog Posts
August 25, 2020
Podcast: How Attachment Theory Helps You Grow

Dr. Kristen Hick and Dave Glaser, host of the Believe Be Real Be Bold Podcast, talk about various topics, from ways to cultivate self-awareness to resolving conflicts with your partner in this podcast. Framed around understanding behavior through attachment styles, Dr. Hick and Dave remind listeners to be more compassionate for themselves and others as they discuss these relationship topics. 

In this post, we’ll recap some of the highlights of this conversation.

Improving Relationships Through Self Awareness

Romantic relationships are a portal to self-awareness. Romantic ...

August 12, 2020
Overcoming Ghosting: Finding Peace in Silence

Ghosting, or disappearing from a relationship completely without warning or explanation, has been happening more frequently in the last several years. This breakup dynamic is on the rise even more during the pandemic, in part because it’s so easy to “go dark” in a digital world when you are less likely to run into an ex at social gatherings, restaurants, or through mutual friends.

Ghosting is a painful way to leave the relationship for the one who is left confused and alone. It appears to be an ...

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (720) 644-6698
View the ADA Accessibility Statement
This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal psychological or mental health advice or treatment nor the formation of a therapist-client relationship.
CSIP UPDATE - Offering Online Therapy sessions (to COLORADO residents) during Covid-19.
 
Our therapists are here to help you during this uncertain time. We know you and others are trying to do your part to social distance due to Covid-19, which is why we are happy to provide online therapy sessions through our secure video platform. We are here to talk with you about how we can meet your therapy needs. 
 
Contact us today to learn more!