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Online Dating Magazine > Features > Professional Online Dater

Avoid Becoming a Professional Online Dater
by Julie-Ann Amos for Online Dating Magazine

In the offline world a casual dater is one who never takes any dates serious – the person dates just for the fun of it. Unfortunately for those looking for a serious relationship, that same mentality has made its way into the online world in the form of “professional online daters.” What exactly is a “Professional Online Dater”? The term refers to people who spend all their time looking for dates online without ever pursuing it to the level of a relationship. For a professional online dater, if they do settle down with one person, they usually quickly bolt back to the online dating world at the first sign of trouble in the “relationship.”

Are You a Professional Online Dater?

Unfortunately it is sometimes easy to become a professional online dater without realizing it. Luckily there may be some telltale signs that you may be becoming a professional online dater. What are some of the signs? Try this simple test.

» Do you sometimes want to end a date early, so you can go back home and check your messages and mailbox?

» Do you ever find yourself comparing someone you’re meeting or talking to with a great profile you’ve just seen?

» Do you feel relaxed and laid-back about dating because if it doesn’t work out there are plenty more fish in the sea?

» Are you putting off being in a relationship until you find the perfect person?

» Do you find it hard to choose between going out on a date with someone you already know and talking to someone new?

» If someone breaks up with you, are you back online within 24 hours?

» When dating someone, do you keep your profile active “just in case”?

» Are you an active member of more than two online dating sites?

» Have you ever stopped seeing someone because a better prospect landed in your inbox?

» Have you, on more than one occasion, dated more than 3 different people in a week?

» Does everything have to be perfect before you’d settle down with someone?

» Do you get anxious if you can’t check messages and mails for more than 24 hours, e.g. if away for the weekend?

» Have you been online dating for over a year without seeing one person exclusively for at least a month?

If you’ve said yes to 6 or more, you may well be on your way to becoming a Professional Online Dater.

Emotionally Online Dating is Less Risky
Let’s look at what’s going on here. Online dating has taken an awkward and difficult social situation and made it accessible to anyone, thus making it a lot easier for people to find dates. No more hanging out in bars with friends hoping to catch someone’s eye; no more hoping to be asked to dance, or hoping she’ll say yes when you ask her. The risk of looking foolish or embarrassed has largely diminished, and dating has become easier. The emotional risk is lower in the beginning with online dating.

Many people genuinely want to meet someone and have a relationship. But when it happens, the “risk factor” comes back into play, and suddenly they have more to lose. For some people, it’s easier emotionally - safer in fact - to go back and start again with someone else, and not risk getting hurt.

The Escape Route
Professional online daters who start relationships will generally keep a back door open, silently known as “an escape route.” As soon as there is any difficulty in the relationship, instead of trying to iron things out, they cut and run. The next morning, they “unhide” their profile on the 25 dating services they belong to, that is if they ever took the time to hide their profile in the first place.

The Grass is Always Greener…
Some people are looking for perfection. They could find something wrong with Helen of Troy if she showed up for a date. After all, for these people, there’s always another date that’s just a click away. Other people genuinely mean to be realistic, but get seduced by temptation. That one email that tempts you can mean walking away from what could have been a great relationship if you’d stuck around to find out. So what can you do to avoid the trap?

How to Avoid Being a Professional Online Dater

If you are, or feel you are becoming, a professional online dater, there are things you can do to become more serious about your prospects:

» Be sensible with your time. If you’re struggling to read all your mail or answer all your responses, you are casting your net far too wide. Consider hiding or deactivating your profile for a period of time.

» If you commit to a date, see it through. Don’t be seduced by tempting offers that “look better.”

» Process one offer at a time. Until you’ve eliminated someone, don’t move on to the next.

» If someone breaks up with you, or vice versa, take at least three days before going back online to look for another love. Take time to consider what went wrong so you don’t make the same mistakes again.

» Once you start seeing someone regularly, deactivate or hide that profile until you’ve decided whether or not they’re going to be a long-term prospect. Once you’ve made a commitment to that person, completely delete your profile. Yes, even if you still have paid months left.

» Never tell people that you’ve started seeing someone else and want to see how it goes before getting back to them. Some people are intensely competitive, and will try hard to persuade you to change your mind – and then maybe not even follow through. It’s the “thrill of the chase” syndrome.

» Make a commitment to yourself that you will be serious about your online dating experience. Be determined to work through problems, instead of giving up easily. This will not only help your relationship, but will also build your character.

If you are going online to look for a serious relationship then stay focused on your objective. Don’t get caught in the online dating whirlpool that keeps you going around in circles. The people you interact with and date should be treated the way you expect to be treated; with respect and the opportunity to see where things lead without looking over one’s shoulder.

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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