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Meeting All the Wrong Men Online?

Five Common Dating Mistakes That Keep You From Meeting the Right People Online.

I know that online dating sometimes might feel a little bit like you're building a sandcastle at high tide: You're putting a lot of work in and you're not really making a whole lot of progress or seeing the results for the amount of work that's going in.

And that might be because you’re approaching the whole online dating process in a way that makes it a lot harder than it needs to be. 

Through no fault of your own, you might be overcomplicating the process of dating.

This cat is you with online dating right now.

It isn’t your fault: we weren’t taught how to date in school.

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

To make things worse, much of the advice we DO get about dating is unhelpful.

This information is outdated at best, and costing your valuable time, energy, and vulnerability on the wrong people at worst.

Most 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.

It’s based on unproven theories, methodologies that never needed to take online dating into account, and advice that pre-dates the information we have now about what science says actually creates lasting, fulfilling relationships.

Today, I'm going to share five common mistakes that I see with my clients and with the women in my Facebook group that can lead to you not meeting the right people online. 

As you read through this blog post, you may find that you resonate with one of the mistakes listed more than others, or you may find that you resonate with them all. But you don’t need to resonate with every single mistake listed here for you to find that you’re not meeting the right people online. 

Just consider me — ahem — your friendly neighbourhood Online Dating Myth-Buster.  

Without further ado . . . 

Mistake 1: Not having a dating strategy.

Without a strategy for online dating, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall and praying something sticks.

A good indicator that you don’t have a strategy is that you find yourself saying things like, “I get tons of matches, but I can’t seem to find ANYBODY who meets my standards!”

Or, “I feel like I always attract the wrong men.”

Those are signs that you have no strategy for attracting the RIGHT matches and filtering out the WRONG matches. And it leads to inconsistency (which means inconsistent results!) because then you’re only ever showing up when you feel inspired to show up, or when you FEEL like dating that day (and, let’s be honest — do any of us ever really “feel like dating that day”?), or you’re feeling sad and a little depressed about being single, so you decide to pop on the dating apps and swipe after a few glasses of Malbec. 

It also looks like you feeling discouraged and mayyyybe like you want to give up on dating entirely, and that’s because your swiping isn’t leading to good dates with high-quality guys, and THATS because there’s no strategy to link the swiping and the effort you’re putting in to actually filtering out the guys who are WRONG for you so you can stop wasting time on them, and filtering IN the RIGHT kinds of guys (the ones who are compatible with you and who want relationships!).

And THAT’S because most of us are actually looking for the WRONG things when we date.

We think we need to filter for things like shared interests, how excited we feel about someone on the first couple of dates, and whether or not a guy is taking the lead and pursuing us early on.

But actually, none of these are correlated in the relationship research with what creates healthy, lasting, fulfilling relationships over time. 

Now, just to be clear: a dating strategy isn’t something that comes from tips and tricks and tactics on how to get a guy to fall in love with you by using your “feminine energy” to lure him in. (Pro tip: Most dating advice predicated on the concept of “feminine energy” is nottttt based on science.)

A strategy isn’t even making a list of your dating “red flags” and dealbreakers, and then blocking everybody who displays one of those “red flag” behaviours so that they’ll never be able to match with you again.

That isn’t a dating strategy. Those are individual dating TACTICS. Tactics are individual actions that can be useful to take (or not!) in specific scenarios  — a STRATEGY begins with the overall JOURNEY. 

What is that journey 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 them through a process that either QUALIFIES them 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 analyzing how they text you on the app — it goes into how you meet them, what happens on your dates, and the whole process of how you evaluate your connection with them during the first 6-18 months of getting to know them.

Mistake 2: Believing that you just need to find the right dating app where all of the high quality men are.

I have some bad news for you:

Unfortunately, there isn’t one “best dating app” where all of the high-quality matches hang out. 

The problem you’re looking to solve isn’t a dating APP problem, it’s a dating STRATEGY problem.

Here’s the deal: All of the apps are, more or less, the same. (I know, I know — it's the absolute worst!)

(There are SOME differences between paid vs. unpaid, but that’s too much to go into in this post, and the differences aren’t big enough for you to worry about right now, anyway.)

The REAL difference in whether or not we’re successful on the dating apps is our STRATEGY.

Think of dating apps like the first step: their job is just to INTRODUCE us to more new people than we could meet at any one time on our own (let’s say, at a bar). And they’re good at that job: dating apps really CAN show us a lot of people at one time! (Remember the days of going to the bar in the hope of meeting someone who also happened to be at that exact bar on that exact night? Remember how, if you picked the wrong bar, and your friends didn’t want to change locations, you were TOAST? Ugh.)

Introducing you to new people and new faces you may not have met is a dating app’s ONLY job. (Even though some dating apps promise to do the filtering for you: trust me — they don’t and they won’t.)

A dating app’s job isn’t to filter out who’s good for you and who’s not: that’s YOUR job! 

The way you filter out who’s good for you and who’s not good for you is by having a dating filtering strategy.

A dating filtering strategy is a SYSTEM that takes each match through a filtering process and helps you decide whether somebody is compatible with you or not.

It takes 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.

It does this automatically, without you needing to waste a lot of time second-guessing, or giving red-flag guys “a chance,” or showing up to a date with a great outfit and your makeup on-point only to realise before you’ve even sat down to dinner that this dude used profile photos from his 10-year highschool reunion — and THAT was 20 years ago!

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 taking your matches on a journey in which you evaluate whether they’re a compatible match for you and make dating decisions based on that.

It DOESN’T look like polling your friends to find the “best” dating app or scrutinising every profile you come across for “red flags.” These are dating TACTICS. Tactics are individual actions that can be useful to take in specific scenarios; a STRATEGY begins with an overall JOURNEY.

Any dating app we use is only going to be as successful as our strategy in using it.

If our strategy is on point, we can be successful using any app. 

Conversely, if our strategy isn’t dialled in, we’ll struggle to use even an app that our friends swear up and down was responsible for them meeting their partner.

Mistake 3: Believing that dating needs to take a lot of our time & energy. 

Meeting more of the right people (and less of the wrong people!) on dating apps isn’t just a matter of doing MORE of what you’re already doing: swiping for hours, going on endless first dates, and trying to decipher cryptic text messages until you want to scream.

It’s a matter of spending your limited time and energy on the RIGHT things.

Every time I have a new dating strategy session client, one of the questions I ask on my intake form is: “When you’re dating right now, what’s working for you to meet the people you want to meet? And what are you doing that’s NOT working?”

And, 90% of the time, I get answers like: “You know, I’m doing a lot of stuff, but I’m not really sure what’s working and what’s not.” Or, “I’m doing X, and I THINK it’s working. But it’s hard to tell.”

If you don’t know exactly what return you’re getting from the time you are spending on different things, the you are probably either wasting your time on activities that aren’t getting you where you want to go or at the very least you’re not getting the best return on the time you are investing into dating.

Here’s the thing: Finding a great partner online isn’t a matter of doing MORE of what you’re already doing, but rather spending your limited time on the right things.

I’m all about dating smarter, not harder.

What ARE the “wrong” things to spend your energy on when you’re using dating apps? What are these things that are going to waste your time and energy?

Swiping without a plan. Swiping late at night, after a couple of drinks, when you’re lonely or bored or after a bad date. Not knowing what you’re looking for on the apps. THINKING you know what you’re looking for, but actually looking for qualities that aren’t going to make you happy over time. (More on this below!) Texting for hours with people you aren’t clear are a compatible match with you yet. Going on dates before you’ve vetted somebody first. Spending hours analysing text messages: posting the in a Facebook group, or sending them to a friend to interpret. Trying to figure out everything you need to know about a potential date from their online dating profile.

These things waste your time, they drain your energy and they aren’t effective ways of figuring out whether or not somebody is for you.

Instead, I advocate for spending your limited time and energy on the RIGHT things, and then building out a dating PROCESS that helps you to determine whether somebody is a match for you or not.

What are these right things? What things are going to move the needle when it comes to meeting the right people online?

Getting clear on what you’re looking for in a partner. Learning what attracts the right people to your online dating profile, and then putting those things in your profile. Knowing how to tell apart the RIGHT people from the WRONG people online, and then having a clear, easy-to-follow process for filtering out the wrong people and filtering IN the right people.

This will probably mean taking a look at the criteria you are currently using to decide on who the right people and who the wrong people are, and then evaluating whether that criteria is producing the results you want it to be producing (I.e., having great dates with compatible matches). And if it’s NOT producing those results, it will mean figuring out what criteria WILL produce those results. (Because if you’re not having the high quality dates you want, it may not be that these guys don’t exist — it may mean that you’re missing them because you’re using the wrong criteria to spot them on dating apps.) And then it will mean learning how to recognise the WRONG people quickly and having a system for filtering those people out early on — like, before you even go on a date with them. 

At the end of the day, the goal of dating is to figure out whether somebody is compatible with us or not. That’s the entire point of the early, evaluative phase of dating.

A good dating process accomplishes this by establishing a kind of dating “funnel,” where, if you picture a funnel, you would theoretically pour dating profiles in at the top, and the funnel would filter through them, weed out the duds, and then spit out compatible matches at the bottom for you, so that you could go on fewer, but higher-quality dates and spend less time and energy dating.

There really aren’t that many things that you need to do to be successful on the apps. You really only need to spend 20-30 minutes a day on dating to be successful with online dating. But if you’re spending all of your time on the WRONG things when you’re dating, dating is going to take a LOT longer than it needs to take and be a LOT slower than it needs to be.

Mistake 4: You’re using a checklist of standards to determine whether or not you and your dates are compatible.

If you do a scroll through Instagram and TikTok, you’ll see a lot of advice around what to look for in a partner.

One of the pieces of dating advice I see EVERYWHERE around the internet is the advice to get really clear on what you’re looking for in a partner and to actually have a checklist of the qualities you’re looking for in a partner. When we know what we’re looking for, so the logic goes, we can find it more easily.

So, to be clear: I don’t have a problem with getting clear around what you want in a parter: in fact, that’s something I advise my own clients to do, too. Being clear on what you’re looking for is GREAT.

The problem with this crops up when the qualities we’re looking for in a partner are actually the WRONG things, or things that we THINK will make us happy, but won’t actually make us happy.

I'm a planner, too. Let's make sure you're optimising for the RIGHT factors.

In dating, it’s often the case that what we THINK is going to make us happy over the weeks, months and years we share with a partner are often very different from what ACTUALLY makes us happy when we find ourselves actually with that partner. 

Consequently, when we date, we choose partners based on these qualities and tend to OVERLOOK qualities that decades of research on happy couples has shown actually matter for long-term relationship satisfaction and compatibility. 

Eeeek. Really?


Now, let me guess — you probably have an idea of what you’re looking for in a partner, right?

Maybe you even have a checklist based on what you’ve seen dating coaches on TikTok or Instagram tell you are good standards to have when you’re dating.

These standards might go something like this:

  • He’s your biggest fan.

  • You two have fun together.

  • You’re wildly physically attracted to him and you have great sex.

  • You two have lots of interests in common.

  • You have immediate chemistry and he makes you laugh.

  • He has a good job.

  • He fits a certain checklist of physical attributes that you find attractive.

  • You have a great first date that lasts for HOURS.

  • You see each other every day for a week and don’t get tired of each other.

  • He likes the same movies or has the same hobbies as you do.

  • He has a similar career path.

  • He texts first.

  • He pursues you hard in the early stages of dating.

  • He takes the initiative to plan the first date and takes you out to a romantic dinner.

Does this list look like something you’ve seen before?

Here’s the thing — items 4-14 on this list are actually things that DON’T matter in a long-term relationship.

Social media dating advice tells us to look for many of these things, but these aren’t actually what’s going to help you to find a partner who makes you happy and a relationship that goes the distance.

Relationship science, by contrast, DOES tell us what ACTUALLY matters for long-term relationship satisfaction and durability, and these things may not be what you think.

It’s not about how tall he is, or how cute his dimples are in his profile photo, or how well-written his dating profile is. It isn’t about how much chemistry you two have, or even about how much he pursues you in the early stages. None of these things are correlated with what makes a relationship fulfilling or what leads to one going the distance over time.

Learning what science says should be our REAL dating standards protects you from falling fast for someone who SEEMS like a green flag partner but who ghosts 3 months into what you THOUGHT was going to be a loving, committed relationship. It also tells you exactly what matters when it comes to attracting relationship-ready partners, so we can spot the “good ones” right away and tell them apart from the dead-end dudes who are going to waste our time.

Mistake 5: You’re worrying about the outcome of every single date, instead of treating your dates like little experiments.

Here’s the thing: I love you, but . . .


You’ve GOT to stop going on dates and then getting all sad and upset when you don’t meet your soulmate and THEN giving up on dating altogether because you think it’s a “waste of time” and you’re probably never going to find love.


Really, truly. This pattern is holding you back, BIG time.


The truth is: Not everyone is meant to be your soulmate.


When you turn every date into this big make-or-break event, when you believe that every date NEEDS to end with you meeting “The One” or else the date was a waste of your time, you’re putting a LOT of pressure on yourself that doesn’t need to be there and that makes dating feel WAYYY harder than it needs to feel.


At its simplest, dating is just an opportunity to learn more about who YOU are and what YOU’RE looking for.


Yes, it’s also an opportunity for people to get to know you and to figure out if you’re a match for THEM, but the reality of compatibility is: you WON’T be a match for everybody. And not everybody will be a match for you. And that’s totally okay.


It’s not possible that we’re going to be a match for every single person we go on a date with — can you imagine how stressful that would be? You would literally need to sort through THOUSANDS of potential boyfriends, and you would never feel confident that you were making the right decision!


The truth is: MOST people on dating apps aren’t going to be a good fit for you, and you won’t be a good fit for them.


That’s just dating.


Instead, here’s what I want you to do: I want you to treat dating like a big science experiment.


Instead of seeing every date that ends in rejection as a total bust, I want you to start seeing dates that don’t end with you meeting your “person” as the NORM. I then want you to start thinking of every date you go on as a little EXPERIMENT.


When we experiment, we try new things, we’re willing to make mistakes, and we’re eager to learn from our mistakes to find out how we could do things differently next time. When we experiment, we happily engage in trial-and-error and we’re willing to pivot a few times until we’ve found what works for us.


The same can be true for dating. Every date can be a learning experience that teaches us more about what we’re looking for and how to find it more effectively.


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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