Back to School: Learn from the Top Four Online Dating Mistakes:

It’s fall. There’s a familiar chill in the air as the leaves change colors, marking another year coming to a close. But for you, is it the end of another year without a mate? With kids hitting the books, maybe it’s time for you to go back to school as well…online dating school, that is.

Winston Churchill said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Perhaps he was referring to something loftier than dating and yet, what could be more important than finding the love of your life?

Here are four mistakes I see online daters constantly make. Correct them and you just might be able to change the course of your romantic history!

1. The “I Don’t Belong Here” Complex

Many online daters sign up for a site thinking they have inherently failed in the “real world.”  They carry a pompous attitude full of embarrassment and pity for what they think are the other “poor fools stooping to look for love online.” Well naysayer, here’s news for you: In the last 15 years, the number of people who met casually or through friends has sharply declined while the number of couples who met online has risen from basically nil to about 20%.* The bottom line here is everybody’s doing it, so why shouldn’t you?  If your profile says something like, “I can’t believe I’m doing this” or “We’ll lie about how we met,” you’re just insulting potential dates who, like you, are joining millions of other smart singles in finding love online.

2. The Digital Romance

Unless you are a hopeless, agoraphobic hag who never intends to leave your home, why would you engage in a purely cyber relationship? The point of online dating is to make connections that lead to actual, in-person dating. If you spend too much time chatting online before meeting up, you’ll only create an idea of a person in your head who does not exist. Graduate from digital reality to actual reality and meet face-to-face quickly and frequently. As long as you’re meeting in a public place and playing it safe, you really have nothing to lose. What’s one hour of coffee compared to hours of high school-like phone calls with someone who might be using a 10-year-old picture?

3. The “If You Build It” Mentality

Posting a profile is just not enough. That’s like trying to sell a product you don’t offer in stores, and hoping people will just stumble upon it. A successful online dater (male or female) is active online, sends messages, engages in conversations and goes out on frequent dates with new people. If you’re not treating online dating like your second job, you’re selling yourself short.

4. The “One & Done” Misconception

If I had a dime for every time an online dater said to me, “I tried online dating, but it didn’t work for me,” and then told me they were only online for a one-week free trial period, I would have enough for a lifetime subscription to JDate. Online dating is a numbers game. You have to give yourself time to peruse the selection, perfect your profile, and get out on dates – lots of them. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself how quickly your other dating methods have worked. Do you go home with phone numbers every time you leave a bar? Are your friends setting you up on amazing blind dates every weekend? Did you already get asked out by every eligible bachelor in your softball league? If not, hunker down and get to messaging. It’s a long-distance run, not a sprint, and winners don’t quit before they get to the finish line.

What are your online dating stumbling blocks? Once you identify your bad dating habits and overcome them, love will be waiting for you.


*Wall Street Journal Article:

Dear Mrs D is an online dating strategist and writer. She hosts a radio call-in show, Dates & Mates with Dear Mrs D and has appeared on many other news and radio programs. You can catch her online on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. If you want a teacher for your own personal online dating school, reach out to her at
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