People often ask me, how they can meet more men or women to date.
While it’s great that these people are seeking opportunities, one important thing is often missing. Effectiveness is more important than quantity. After all if you want to catch tuna, going fishing in the creek on the other side of the county won’t work very well since tuna fish only swim in salt water.
In the modern social media era, the most effective place to find dates or soulmates is offline.
When you’re trying to find someone online you’ll run up against one of these often insurmountable problems.
This is perhaps best summed up by a recent comment on Facebook from someone who said, “I cannot get guys to move from an online conversation to meeting in person.”
Key reasons online dating is not effective
1. Online you’re being compared against a seemingly endless supply of perfection.
People put the best possible view of themselves forward online. This is understandable, but the end result is that it’s easy for people to focus on an insignificant flaw in someone (like you) and use that as a prompt to click away to the next person.
In person, it’s much easier for people to actually have some emotional bonding with you. This bond (even if it’s just some mild liking) combined with it being a little harder to move on to the next person helps keep their attention. This enables even more of a bond or chemistry to take hold.
2. It’s much harder to really connect with someone online in a way that will lead to more than a passing chat.
Many people have trained themselves to be constantly drawn into side conversations and give their attention to random things that pop up on their phone. Many feel a compulsion to check their phones every few minutes.
When you meet or chat with someone online, they are most likely not giving you their full, undivided attention. They’re not present.
In person you have more of a chance the person will be present enough to actually connect with you.
Sure, some people have trouble being present with someone they’re talking with. They may be constantly checking their phone or doing other things while talking with you.
When you have a face to face dating conversation, you can decide to write these people off, or to gently but clearly invite them to turn off their phone and place their attention on talking with you.
3. People use the online experience to hold back from real intimacy.
It’s often unconscious but people who are not ready for a relationship or not serious about a relationship will show up on dating sites, and may talk with you. It’s a convenient way to pass the time when they are bored, lonely or want to distract themselves (or procrastinate) from something important but unpleasant. Sometimes people use online dating and social media to prevent themselves from acknowledging the inconvenient truth that they’re not ready for a relationship or that they don’t have the necessary dating and relating skills.
Without meaning to judge these people we can call them time wasters. You won’t get anywhere talking with them.
When you meet people in person instead of online, there is a much greater chance that you will be able to identify time wasters. You can then stop interacting with them before they have taken up a lot of your time and energy.
4. Social media changes brain chemistry.
Social media prompts the brain to have a psychological addiction to it. While it is not technically a physical addiction in the way a drug addiction is, it operates in similar ways.
The next click, the next new thing gives the brain a neurochemical reward. Messaging with you is exciting at first, but soon becomes boring. The brain is no longer chemically rewarded. The person moves on to someone or something else that because it’s new and different will give their brain that neurological reward.
The best place to meet prospective dates and soulmates
Given these realities the best place to meet prospective dates and soulmates is in person. You can meet people at group events or by being introduced to friends of friends. Do offline social, not social media.
If you do want to get to know someone you’ve run across online, move it to an in person meeting as quickly as you possibly can. Yes, it’s worth being a little careful to not come across as demanding or aggressive.
If after a few messages someone won’t meet you in person for a short coffee meeting, they are just wasting your time. Stop communicating with them and move on. If you’re interested in the person, graciously let them know that when they are ready to meet in person, you’d like that and please be in touch. Let them know that otherwise you’re not available for communication.
When dating make sure you use your time and energy effectively
If you’re relationship minded and looking for people to date, it’s important to consider the effectiveness of the methods you use. In our modern social media era, the most effective way to meet people is offline. While it deceptively appears the other way around, the online experience presents significant obstacles to creating an initial emotional bond that’s needed to take it further.
Focus your dating efforts offline and move any desirable online contacts to face to face meetings as quickly as you possibly can. Don’t waste your time and energy on time wasters.