The Seven Deadly Sins of Online Dating

If love is a battlefield, then online dating is the weapon of choice. Apps and websites have transformed the way we date and hook-up, but just like with other weapons, sometimes we need a little training to use them correctly. Because the online world of dating seems unmeasurable and training someone might take too long — and let’s face it you have more swiping to get back to — let’s, instead, look at what you might be doing wrong…

This and self-confidence is not a bad thing — it’s actually the opposite — but it’s when there is too much of it that it gets in the way. Let’s start with your photos? Topless selfies? Flashy cars? Unless you only want to be judged for the physical and superficial things in life, try for images that at least show something about who you are beyond your gym regimes and cash. Whilst these images might attract a certain breed of female, not being liked for who you are is exactly where this over confidence and supposed pride could have come from in the first place. Don’t worry, we all have insecurities and try and masks these with false confidence, even the girls you are swiping and chatting to. So why not try and be a little more open with who you are?

We all understand what it means to be envious, but let me put it in a modern day term you might understand — FOMO! Yes, it is a fear of missing out on something but it’s also a way to envy what someone else has. And thanks to filters, angels and PR firms, we all now know that much of what we are initially feeling FOMO over, especially online, isn’t even real. Social media is now like porn — it looks real but there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that we are not aware of. Are we showing envy towards something that is fake? And what does this have to do with online dating? Being envious of others distracts and sees us all not living in the present. When you are not living in the present you are not able to truly see what you do have or even who you are forming a connection with. Take things slow, minimise your FOMO and be present with those you are chatting to. You just might see something or someone that otherwise you would have missed.

How many girls are you talking to at one time? How many different apps and sites are you currently on? There is such a thing as online dating greed. It might see fun to be able to choose from a sea of women, but these multitudes of conversations must be distracting, not allowing a state of being present. Do you even remember what the conversations are you are having with each one? It’s not to say that “hello” means you’re the only one I’m talking to, but try and limit your conversations just down to a few.

Sorry, but for me this one is not so much of a sin. As a sexologist, lust is important in life, it’s just who we lust over can get sometimes complex. Just make sure you have your online dating intention rights. Are you there to find a date or just wanting a lustful good time? Even though you can find both on the one site and be looking for both at the same time, ensure that you outline to the person at the other end if you have limits. For example, if you are there for a hook-up, just say that you are looking for some casual fun. Trust me, there are girls out there who are looking for the same but those who want romance might only then get their hearts broken if the intents don’t match up. If you are going to be lustful, at least be nice to those that are not.

Well, nobody wants to date (or bed) Mr Angry but it’s a more subtle anger that is infiltrating the online dating world… not being replied to quick enough. After the obligatory “hi” has been swapped, if someone doesn’t’ reply soon enough, anger can often see that person being given the flick. I won’t lie, women do play games but also women these days have busy lives and don’t just sit on their phones waiting for them to buzz and ring. Are you dismissing a really great girl because she hasn’t gotten back to you soon enough? What even happened to a little bit of waiting? She might be playing games, or she might be busy, or she dropped her phone in the loo, or she lost both hands to a shark and can’t text back. There are so many reasons as to why the response might not be as quick as you would want, so let you anger calm down and give a girl a chance, at least for longer than a few minutes.

The battle to finding love (if that’s what you are after) in the online world, can feel like a never-ending game of swiping left and right. But this could be due to greed getting in the way. When there are too many choices, we can get greedy. We want the best and we will keep going till we get the best. But it’s this endless swiping, constantly looking for that perfect one that sees so many continually date but not focus on one. If it is love you are looking for, consider reassessing what it is you want in a person. Are you being too greedy and looking for perfection (which doesn’t exist) or should you be looking for a real connection, intimacy and someone you can share your life with. But, if you are just wanting to hook up, keep swimming and swiping my friend, there are plenty more fish in the seas and more options to go fishing with.

One of the biggest problems with online dating in the crazy times is that it has made you very lazy. With all these options out there and so many women at your fingertips online, effort doesn’t seem to be a word that’s included in dating vocabulary today, but it’s the effort — even just a thoughtful text — that can see someone go from a maybe to a sure thing. Remember: No-one likes Mr Lazy, even if it is just for some casual fun. ■

Dr Nikki Goldstein is a Sexologist, Relationship Expert, Author and host of the podcast SEX & Life on Podcast One

For the full article grab the August 2018 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.

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