September is self-improvement month. Usually, we think of personal goals we can set for ourselves – losing weight, getting more in shape, pursuing career goals, organizing a desk or closet. But how often do you think about how to improve how you date? This month, I’d like to focus on how you can improve your experience with online dating.
When I talk to single people, most of them have tried online dating. They’ve joined a few apps, they’ve swiped and met a few matches. But they are still skeptical of their chances for forming a real relationship. I can’t really blame them. I nod my head in sympathy, because most of them just want to vent.
After all, there’s a lot of bad behavior in online dating.
Online daters don’t hold themselves accountable for their actions, especially when those actions are mostly via their phones. It’s just too easy to ghost and breadcrumb and zombie or whatever the latest dating term is for letting messages and dates fall by the wayside. We know we are better than this, but yet – this is what happens so often in online dating.
Which is why I’m asking you to change your strategy this month (and going forward). You can’t change other people, and you can’t change online dating culture.
But what can you change? Your own choices, your actions, your behavior.
I want you to take an honest self-assessment. Are you a perfect online dater? I’m guessing that you’ve made a few mistakes and behaved badly yourself on occasion. We all have. The first step is admitting it!
For self-improvement month, check yourself with the following questions:
- Have you canceled a date last minute? More than once with the same person?
- Have you cut a date short (leaving within the first 20 minutes) because you weren’t immediately into him/ her?
- Do you keep someone you’ve dated as a “Plan B” for when you’re lonely/ horny?
- Have you let messages from dates go unanswered?
- Have you ever sent an inappropriate or angry message to a match?
- Do you find yourself swiping mindlessly?
- Do you let your mood affect you on dates?
The point here is not to judge, but to be honest with ourselves. We’ve all done things that are easy as opposed to kind. If you have behaved badly, you can’t really blame online dating when you’ve been on the receiving end of someone else’s bad behavior.
What you CAN do is make a promise to yourself (and your future matches) to be more aware of your own behavior and how you might be perceived. Remember, your online matches don’t know you!!! The only thing they have to go on to decide whether or not to date you is your brief interaction and your profile.
What you say matters. How quickly you respond matters. Whether or not you cancel matters.
In the long run, I guarantee this will improve your dating experience. You create a ripple effect of good behavior from others. I’ve seen it happen. (Not that you won’t get frustrated from time to time, but you WILL have a much better experience!) If you don’t believe me, try it for a few weeks and see what happens.
It’s all about that golden rule. It still holds true. Treat others well for self-improvement month. It’s the best we can all do for dating culture.