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Online Dating Tips

Question: I have used CatholicMatch on and off for several years now, with no success. I think about the thousands of single lonely people using this website and wonder why are we not connecting with each other? If there are so many people searching, why are we all still single? If I were to say right now: “Any woman who would like to get to know me, please message me,” nothing would happen. Same if I sent a woman a friend request, nothing. A few might look at my profile and say, “no.” So if this is what happens in general, no wonder we are all still single.

Answer: You ask some fair questions. I think there are a number of reasons why online dating sites are not as helpful as they can be for people. I admit that I was a terrible dater before getting married. I made just about every mistake, but what I can offer is some general principles based upon what I observe and what our team observes in working with singles every single day. Here are some suggestions to make the best use of your online dating experience:

1. Right Expectations

This is a big one. I often compare online dating to a gym or a set of golf clubs because online dating is a tool to help your towards a solution—it is not a solution in it of itself. Many of the reasons singles have difficulty finding their spouse will still be an issue regardless of what “tool” they use—online dating or otherwise.

2. Finding Opportunities

Singles often make the mistake of thinking the tool is the problem or they don’t have enough opportunity. However it may be due to the fact that they are not making the most of what opportunities they have.

Let me illustrate using one of my two above analogies.

Online dating is similar to golf clubs in that the clubs are only going to perform as well as the golfer using them. Thus just because a person goes out and purchases the same exact clubs as Tiger Woods, does not mean he/she will play like him. Conversely, if Tiger Woods plays with an old rusty set from the 1950s he is still going to be able to beat 90% of the golfers in the world. His skill as a golfer is what makes him great. The clubs—while important—only make a small difference compared to his talent. You can follow this line of thinking with almost any sport, hobby or skill involving equipment. Thus no matter how good an online dating site is, the question is still: how well is the person using it? How well the person is using the site often correlates to how well they approach dating.

3. Know Yourself

Rather than wonder why someone chooses not to respond, you should be asking questions such as: How do you view yourself? How good are your interpersonal skills? How do you view the opposite sex? How much do you understand the purpose of marriage, discerning marriage, or purposefully dating for marriage?

All of these issues have little to do with how you meet a person—whether it is online, bumping in a person with your shopping cart or at a local bar. The question is how do you handle things after you actually meet them?

4. Be Persistent

Like a gym, online dating will only work as well as what you put into it. Most people treat online dating like a Ronco kitchen appliance “set it and forget it.” This is not the best way to utilize the online dating tool. Most people view it as a glorified “personals ad” when, in fact, it is actually a social activity, just online. When you create a profile of yourself, you are trying to present an accurate and engaging presentation of who you are. But many people make the mistake of putting little effort into their profile or if they do they rarely revisit it or do not update it. By regularly updating your profile it becomes less of a flat or frozen view of who you are and starts to present depth of the person over a period of time.

Let me make a real life analogy. Maybe you have you heard someone say: “When I first met him/her I was not initially interested, but after awhile I thought maybe he or she would be good to date.”

Not everyone has love at first site or even like at first site in the real world, so why would people have it online? If you saw a person at a regular gathering and he always wore the same outfit, or she always wore her hair exactly same way, or he always told the same stories, what would you think? An online profile should be utilized in the same way as you would present yourself at regular gatherings. You have to keep putting yourself out their in different and new ways. The initial profile you set up needs to be updated regularly because it only captures a small part of who you are as a person. I don’t think it is a stretch to say most people should change something about their profile at least once a month if not two or three times and new photos should be at the top of the list.

5. Communication Skills

Another important area of your online dating experience is taking advantage of the messaging system. We often see so many people get frustrated that make one or all of these mistakes:

- They copy and paste messages.

- They use a phrase similar to “Hey, I like your profile would you check out mine or would you like to chat?”

- They share way too much information up front about things that are not appropriate for talking to a complete stranger for the first time.

- They say something that expresses their level of frustration with being single

- They say something that identifies their insecurities or dower attitude about dating

Although you are typing messages, you have to think: how would I introduce myself to this person if I met her/him in real life rather than online? An even more important question is: Would I even introduce myself to this person if I had to do it offline, rather than on an online dating site?

Dating is hard, no question, but I also see so many singles set themselves up for disappointment. While each person is different—and each has different issues when it comes to dating—I do think it is important for singles to look inward more. I invite you to put into the practice the advice that I offer above. We see these five common mistakes almost everyday, but by making good use of the tools available, you will open the door to meeting other sincere people who love the Catholic faith.

If you have not done so already make sure to get a copy of our Dating Guide For Single Catholics. In this free e-book you will find additional resources to help you navigate the world of online dating.

(This post has been read 7,549 times)

9 Comments

  1. Patrick-341178 August 6, 2013

    I would add that “you only have to get it right once.” I have heard from a lot of my fellow online daters who get so down from a few rejections or little initial response. As someone who has worked in sales, my manager always say “how many no’s does it take to get a yes?” Yet, for some reason, many online daters don’t take this piece of advice to heart.

    So, yes, if you just email a few people and nothing happens, and just give up and hope someone will eventually contact you, you are doomed for failure. But, if you email 20, 30, 40 people, you are bound to get some responses.

    Now, I understand this is more advice for men as usually it is our responsibility to make the first move, but even for women, they could do the same thing.

  2. Kim-989867 August 7, 2013

    I’m not a golfer but great analogy. At Patrick I concur.

  3. Bonnie-919876 August 13, 2013

    BonK-8654 August 13.2013
    The churches should go back to some type of single clubs in the local churches. I have had no luck
    on the sites and in the older age group men don’t even know how to put pictures up and most put up the
    same type of information.
    Meeting someone in person or thru someone else is still the best way to meet somebody. I have also
    heard of cases where this has actually been dangerous and I had one disturbing incident myself.
    I will no longer be doing it as soon as my subscription is finished.

  4. Diego-959656 August 13, 2013

    Hi Bonnie, it is as dangerous sometimes to meet someone in local churches too. There are very disturbed people there also and you may find out when you are in the middle of the date…too late. The mistake is the same as always: believing that the “Catholic” stamp will be a warranty of “good man”.
    Do not give up; ask questions about present feelings, situation and confidence.
    Don’t touch the past for now; for many is very painful! Wait until you feel you can trust each other more and you sense the person has a good heart. Even very good people went through awful situations we can’t judge; I have so many stories!
    On-line dating has drawbacks, but gives you the advantage of farther reach.

  5. Dominic-981542 August 14, 2013

    I agree with you . . women look at your profile and say . .naaa . . he doesn’t look like Robert Redford . . I’m sure we men are just as bad . . I don’t know what men post for there story profile to start some one off with for interest . . but I think there are to many women asking for to much that is not appropriate . . Let me explain . . The important value that most women do not understand is the value to be respected by a man before he can truly love her in truth . . Its rare now and dead in most men today . . Forgive me but I often see Women will ask to much but the important things of value . . and that is “HE HAS TO BE FUNNY TELL JOKES , A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR & CAN LAUGH AT HIM SELF , MUST NOT COME HOME & SIT ON THE COUCH & WATCH TV , LOVES TO TRAVEL AS ITS IN MY INTEREST TO TRAVEL ONE DAY , LOVES TO HAVE A GOOD TIME & HAVE FUN AS WELL AS BE SERIOUS & CAN DO THIS & DO THAT & BE THIS , WILLING TO JUMP TO 6 TO 7 FEET HIGH WHEN I DEMAND IT , LOVES THE OUT DOORS IS A MUST & CAN ALSO CROUCH UP ON THE COUCH WITH ME TO WATCH A GOOD ROMANCE MOVIE WITH A GLASS OF WINE , KNOWS HOW TO MAKE A WOMEN FEEL LOVED & KNOWS HOW TO KEEP HER HAPPY , & MOST OF ALL HE MUST ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM . . And this is just a small ex sample , I could write a book but what for . . And most people have the wrong understanding as to why there marriage failed & why they are divorced in the first place but the right reasons . . even ” if ” the other person was abusive or unfaithful , often its a key factor that our thinking pattern , attitude or plain Nave is a part of why ? . . I guess while we remain human beings there will be nothing perfect about us . . but if we keep trying to do our best to over come our faults even if a life time is not enough time . . It helps .

  6. Paul C. August 14, 2013

    I hear from women that when they do go out with a guy, all he wants or talks about is sex. C’mon guys show some class. I get passed over many many times. If I do talk to a woman online she says I sound like a nice guy but after looking at my photos they feel that I could not be trusted. Ladies if that’s the reason I’m passed by you’ve just cheated yourself out of a man whom is very faithful. There’s been times I was 1000′s of miles away from my loved one, once for an entire month and did NOT and would never cheat. Also as we mature some or most of us get set in our ways, we want that other half but so much to sacrifice. Then there are the types that cannot handle being alone or single. I call those types “settlers”. It’s just a mess. That’s why if you are one of the luckier ones that find a guy or gal do everything in your power to keep it alive. I admit I don’t like aging alone but what choice do I have when I can’t even get a date. And the ones that do like you live 1000′s of miles away,,,,makes one wonder if they were closer would they still want to go out? ADVICE TO THE LADIES: A prince on a white horse does NOT exist.
    ADVICE FOR THE MEN: Show class, be respectful, don’t be overbearing but be overwhelming. If you like the woman be that man whom she can’t get out of her mind.

  7. Paul C. August 14, 2013

    *of is “off”

  8. Paula-1047286 January 6, 2014

    ???

  9. Regina-911983 June 8, 2014

    Great analogy – God & golf!
    ?
    Paul – how about a date

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