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5 Things Social Media Gets Wrong About Online Dating.

The 5 Online Dating Myths That Are Costing You Time, Draining Your Energy, and Burning You Out.

Dating online can feel like you're working a second and third job combined while riding a unicycle, cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 25 people and trying to herd 12 kittens

 — but it doesn’t need to feel that way.

If you’ve ever thought, “There is no way on earth dating needs to be this hard!” . . . you’re right.

There's got to be a better way, right?

Something I’ve observed through having conversations with lots and lots of daters in my Facebook groups, in my coaching containers and out in the world IRL is that the reason that most daters are struggling to get the apps to work for them is because the majority of the time, they’re following outdated dating advice and using ineffective tactics.

It isn’t their fault: there are a LOT of myths circling around the internet about what works and what doesn’t work in online dating. 

Most online dating advice (yes, even the stuff on TikTok!) harkens from a time when dating advice was just some guru’s hot take: before we had data on what actually WORKS when it comes to online dating. Hell, some of it comes from a time when we didn’t have online dating at all, or back 3, 5, or even 10 years ago when the apps functioned differently than they do now.

Other advice is based on fluffy truisms: unproven theories, spirituality, and “experts” who don’t know the science and who are basing their advice on their own personal dating journeys (which might be NOTHING like yours!).

These things waste your time and slow down your progress towards meeting someone you might actually like (gasp! can this be?) on the apps.

Here’s the thing: It isn’t your fault if you’ve been sucked in by bad information.

Nobody teaches us this stuff in school.

Datings apps don’t come with instruction manuals (even though they totally should!).

That’s why I decided to tackle a few of the most heinous of these online dating misconceptions in this post.

Just consider me — ahem — your friendly neighbourhood Dating & Relationship Instruction Manual and Myth-Buster.  

Without further ado . . . 

1: "Dating apps don't work."

I know it can feel discouraging when we try something again and again and it isn’t working for us. 

It sucks. 

And . . . 

Statistics show that dating apps are actually the number one way that people meet their partners these days! 

Yep, it’s true: dating apps are the number one most common way modern couples meet, followed by bars and through mutual friends.

The thing is, dating apps can and DO work for lots of people. If they aren’t working for US, we need to understand how they work and build that knowledge into a strategy for using the apps.

Think of dating apps like the first step in the dating process: their job is just to INTRODUCE you to more new people than you could meet at any one time on your own (let’s say, at a bar). Their job isn’t to filter out who’s good for you and who’s not: that’s YOUR job! 

Back when I was on the apps, I dated and dated with no luck for YEARS. But then I realised that the reason I wasn’t meeting the guys I wanted to meet was because I was just kind of taking a “spray and pray” approach to the apps: I was swiping late at night after a couple of glasses of wine, I was swiping through a bunch of profiles without really knowing what I was looking for, and then I was trying to talk to a bunch of people at once and getting really overwhelmed by all of my matches.

I didn’t have a clear sense of what I was looking for, beyond “Is this guy cute?” “Does he seem to be pursuing me?” And, “Are we having some fun, flirty banter when we’re texting back and forth?”

And then, when the fun, flirty banter guy would drop off a few days later, I would feel really disappointed and swear off the apps — for good this time!

I didn’t realise that what I put into my dating profiles determined who I was attracting, and that I actually COULD attract the guys I wanted — guys who were serious about dating and who were looking for a real relationship — by changing what I put into my profile.

I didn’t realise that the things that I was looking for in a guy — was he cute? Was he funny? Could I picture myself in a relationship with him based on his profile? Did we have any interests in common? — actually WEREN’T the things that were going to get me what I wanted: a committed, passionate, long-term relationship with somebody who really valued me, and that I needed to filter through my matches with a better criteria than whether he was cute and funny and maybe we had a few interests in common.

Once I started doing these things, THEN I started attracting the guys I wanted to date.

If we’re not attracting the people we want to date on dating apps, it isn’t just that dating apps are “broken” and that it isn’t possible to meet great people by using them. There are still great people on the apps, and you can find them! But to find them, you need to have an intentional PROCESS for attracting the ones who are compatible with you and for filtering out the rest.

2: That you can just lean back and hope that the dating apps are magically going to show your profile to your perfect match.

Here’s the tricky truth: Dating apps make money by getting you to stay on the apps and pay for their premium services.

It’s in their best interest that they don’t make it TOO easy for you to filter through your matches and zero in on who’s truly compatible with you, because then you wouldn’t need to pay for Bumble Boost!

(Which, let’s be honest, doesn’t reeeeeally work, anyway.)

So if the current way we’re approaching dating apps is by leaning back and expecting that the perfect guy for us is just going to appear in our queues, and it’s going to be really obvious that he’s a good match for us: that’s not going to work.

Instead, we need to build out an effective strategy designed to attract our ideal matches and repel the misaligned ones. 

And contrary to popular belief, having an effective dating strategy isn’t just a matter of creating a dating profile on whichever app someone in a Facebook group said was the best one, throwing up a few of your favourite selfies, setting your filters to rule out people you don’t think you would like, and swiping around until you’re exhausted and can’t swipe any more. 

That isn’t a dating strategy. Neither is pouring your energy into finding the “best” dating app or scrutinising every profile you come across for “red flags.” Those are dating TACTICS. Tactics are individual actions that can be useful to take in specific scenarios; a STRATEGY begins with an overall JOURNEY.

What is the journey you embark on when you first come into contact with somebody’s dating profile, and how are you taking each match through a PROCESS that helps you decide whether somebody is compatible with you or not?

How are you making sure that you are getting in front of the right people for you in the first place (that’s your visibility strategy), and then how are you taking your matches through a process that either QUALIFIES than as an aligned, compatible match for you or DISQUALIFIES them as incompatible and not for you?

That process goes beyond just trying to read into what somebody wrote in their Bumble bio or analysing how they text you on the app: it goes into how you communicate with them, what happens on your dates, and the entire process of how you evaluate your connection with them from before the first date to well after the 20th.

This means that, when you date, instead of leaning back and hoping that dating apps are going to show you to the right people, you need to think about how you can intentionally GET in front of the right people.

This might look like: having a screening process in place to pick up the emotional unavailability red flags before you even set foot on a first date. This might look like knowing what to put into your dating profile to stand out to the RIGHT people in a sea of dating profiles (and what attracts low-quality attention).

It then looks like building an intentional dating STRATEGY so that you can CONSISTENTLY be getting in front of the right people and using the dating apps in a systematic and repeatable manner.

The great thing about this is that you don’t have to be on dating apps if you don’t want to be. You can (and having a dating strategy is how you get dating apps to work for you!). But you also have options.

This might look like checking out the book signing event at your local bookshop. This might look like saying yes more often when your coworkers invite you out to happy hour. 

Yes, I know that going to book signings or coworker happy hours might be a little outside of your comfort zone, and it’s easier to just swipe on Bumble after a bad date and a couple of glasses of red wine, but the only way to expand your comfort zone is to step out of it.

I was nervous to put my writing out there on my blog for everybody on my Facebook friends list to see the first time I did it, too, but now I LOVE hitting “publish” on a new blog post!

You expand your comfort zone by doing small, scary things.

Yes, I know that these things feel like a lot of work compared to just swiping on Bumble or crossing your fingers that you’ll run into the love of your life over the perfect tomato at your local grocery store.

But if the current way you approach dating was going to get you results, then it would have already gotten you those results.

To get different results than we’ve gotten in the past, we need to be willing to try something different.

3: That “just meeting someone organically” will work better than the apps. 

I hear all the time: “I hate dating apps. I’ve decided I’m going to stop using them and just meet someone organically instead.”

And listen, I’m all about meeting people in-person! It’s something I teach my clients how to do inside of my Dating Strategy Sessions.

But too often, I see the daters I encounter swearing off the apps and deciding to “just meet someone organically”: and then going to a few single’s mixers, maybe joining a Meetup group . . . and then feeling disappointed when they don’t meet anybody.

This is because there’s a bit of a misconception about what “meeting someone organically” really is.

A lot of the time, I see daters use the phrase “meeting someone organically” to mean that they want to delete their dating app profiles, get off the apps, and hope that the right person is going to bump into them while they’re at the supermarket, like in a rom-com. 

But that’s not how meeting someone organically works. There’s no such thing as giving up on the apps and waiting for the Universe to magically deliver your perfect partner to your doorstep.

Here’s the deal: If you want to stop using the apps and meet someone IRL, that’s great. But BOTH meeting someone IRL AND meeting someone on the apps is going to require having an intentional, focused filtering PROCESS that takes the people you’re meeting through a journey in which you’re evaluating whether or not they’re a compatible match for you. 

This is a process that funnels IN the RIGHT people and that funnels out the WRONG people for you, so that you don’t waste your time on people who aren’t a match for you. As you move along the journey, you’re left with fewer and fewer people who are aligned with and compatible with you, until you end up with (usually) one person who’s a great, compatible match.

The structure of this process is essentially the same whether you meet someone in real life or online: the SPECIFICS may be different online vs in-person, but in both cases you’re going to need to know what you’re looking for, how to find it, and how to evaluate how compatible you are with the people you meet based on the RIGHT things (which are probably a little different than the things you THINK make you compatible with your matches!).

This process does NOT mean that you just show up to a couple of meet-ups or singles mixers and cross your fingers that the love of your life is going to be there on the same random Saturday that you decided to be there.

- Ah — look! An organic, farm-to-table connection in the wild! Just like our grandparents used to make.

The other factor to consider here is: If dating apps aren’t working for you because you keep meeting players who “don’t want a relationship,” then meeting someone organically isn’t going to work, either.

The same things that get in the way of our success when we’re online dating: not knowing what ACTUALLY matters for long-term compatibility in dating, not knowing how to avoid the players, not being able to tell the difference between red flags and green flags, not having a strategy to show us where to find the right guys — are all things that still get in the way when we date in person.

Players, f*ckboys and manipulators go to Meetups and co-ed games of ultimate frisbee, too! And some of them are also tired of the apps and want to try their hand at dating IRL.

Back in the day when I was dating, for a while, I dated entirely without apps (it was 2014 and I lived in a singles-rich city) and I still had all of the same problems as I later had with the apps! I once met a wildly attractive man (tall, dark hair, piercing blue eyes, British accent — you know, my type) who approached me at a bus stop in a VERY romantic meet-cute. We locked eyes and I swooned. We dated for 4 months and it ended because he cheated on me with a woman he had ALSO met at a bus stop (go figure!).

This isn’t to say that you CAN’T date without dating apps. You CAN absolutely meet someone great without the apps (I help my clients do this all the time!). But in order to do that, you need to know the right things to look for in the men you meet (hint: they’re not what you think!) and have a STRATEGY that helps you filter the relationship-ready guys out from the dudes who are going to waste your time.

In order to meet the relationship-ready partners we want to meet in-person (I.e., “organically”), we need to know where to find and how to recognise compatible, green-flag partners and tell them apart from the dead-end duds and the players, and how to spot emotionally available partners from a mile away.

When we know this stuff, THEN we can go out and date without the apps and meet quality partners!

4: That the way to make sure that you stay safe on dating apps is to look for “red flags.”

I see a lot of daters getting hung up on believing that you can tell everything you need to know about a person from a handful of photos and their 300-character Tinder bio, and how they text you within a dating app. 

These daters get hung up on hunting for “red flags” and hidden meanings in their matches’ dating profile or text messages.

And I get it: The reason we want to believe we can suess out our match’s hidden intentions right away is understandable: we want to believe that we’ve discovered the secret to keeping ourselves safe, especially in an online dating world that can feel a bit like the Wild West.

As humans, we like to look for shortcuts.

That’s because our brains have evolved to not like uncertainty: it feels scary.

So, our brains, being the meaning making machines they are, scramble to assign “meanings” to new information we come across in an attempt to keep us safe. 

This can FEEL really good, but it actually is often counterproductive..

It’s counterproductive because almost none of the information that you need to actually make a decision about a new person and whether or not they are right for you can be discovered from this persons dating profile or your first handful of text messages alone.

Instead, what’s REALLY going to keep us safe in dating is taking action and actually GOING on that date, getting to know that person IRL, and evaluating them in our 3D reality.

If we take action, if you GO on that date, now you have facts. You’ll KNOW whether the assumptions you made were true — or not! And if they WERE true, great! Now you have information about what you DON’T want. You also know something more about this person (the REAL “red flags”!) that you can use to build into your dating strategy to hopefully help you to screen those people out faster next time.

This is how you grow. You need to take ACTION to get facts, rather than sitting around ruminating over a text message and trying to make up facts when you actually don’t have any.

Successful daters know that the only REAL way to figure out a persons intentions or character is to get to know them over time.

5: That “the inner work is all you need.”

If you find yourself having done OODLES of self-work — done allll the therapy, taken alllll the coaching workshops, maybe even taken a self-love course or two — and you’re STILL struggling to date, this one is for you:

I get so upset when I see dating coaches tell people that in order to get into a great relationship, we just need to “focus on ourselves and trust the process,” and love will appear in our lives.

Nope. That’s a fairytale, not reality.

It’s a self-help myth that self-work, by itself, automatically lands us in great relationships.

(And it’s a myth that sells a lot of coaching products!)

Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not against self-work. In fact, I think it’s a very important step needed to find and to build a healthy relationship!

But self work is ONE step needed on the journey to being in a great relationship.

The inner work, on its own, will not automatically attract the partner of our dreams to us without us needing to go out there and put the legwork in to meet and to find great partners. That legwork is on US to produce. 

The inner work doesn’t tell you what relationship science says about what makes a red flag a red flag, or what behavioural science says are the best places to go to meet the kinds of men who are the best match for you.

The inner work doesn’t tell you what keywords to put in your dating profile to attract men who are on your level, or how to filter out the f*ckboys who “just aren’t ready for anything serious” from your Hinge queue so you don’t waste time (and, worse, your fresh, clean, bouncy blowout!) by going on a date with them.

For that, you need to understand the dating science and to build it into a STRATEGY that you can use like a blueprint to find your perfect match.


PS. If you're drained from drowning in a sea of dreadful dating dossiers and want nothing more than to just find someone attractive and normal for once — I see you, I was you, and I'm here for you!

I walk you through how to spot the sneaky red flags that are lurking in your Hinge queue and how to gain the CONFIDENCE to walk away from them inside of my FREE workshop, Confident & Clear Dating. Confident & Clear is my FREE workshop where I walk you through how to attract high quality matches, avoid hidden red flags and date with confidence — EVEN IF you hate dating and never want to use a dating app ever again. (I get it!)


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