Dating is tricky. There’s a lot of conflicting advice floating around the Interwebs about what should happen and how a relationship should progress. It can be pretty confusing at times. Do you answer a text right away, or wait a couple of hours? Do you talk honestly about your feelings when you want to move forward in a relationship, or play it cool and wait for him to bring up the subject? How long should you date someone before you take down your online dating profile?
This type of constant analysis and worry can lead you to second-guess yourself. The ambiguity of dating probably feels a little uncomfortable if you are used to making decisions and going for what you want in your career. If you can ask for that promotion at work, why shouldn’t you be able to ask a guy out on a date, or talk to him about where things are headed between the two of you?
Easier said than done. Which is why online dating can be so fraught with anxiety, especially when it’s early in the relationship. There’s plenty of room for misunderstanding.
Let’s take an example. If you really like a man you’ve started dating, you might be tempted to take down your profile and date him exclusively, fantasizing about a future relationship. After all, the chemistry is so strong—you assume you’re both on the same page. You’re ready to take that online profile down – you’re ready for a
He must be thinking the same thing, right?
So with your hopes in high gear, you take your profile down. But he doesn’t do the same. His profile remains active. He’s still dating other women.
But how could he? you wonder. Doesn’t he feel the same way about me? We see each other a lot! This is the next step!
Before you get angry, take a step back. Remember, this is online dating. That means there’s an inherent understanding that while you are dating someone, that person could be dating other people, too. You can’t make decisions for yourself and expect people to just follow suit. Dating is as much about communicating well with each
other as it is about everything else – attraction and chemistry included.
So, before you take down that online profile, I ask you to wait. Instead of jumping into a relationship with both feet, even when you’re really tempted, try dipping your toes in first.
When you two are dating in the early stages (the first few months), you’re still getting to know each other. You’re still fact-finding. You’re still trying to see if it’s the right fit.
Which is why it’s important to keep your dating profile active, and keep communicating with and dating people on the site. Don’t invest all of your time and energy into one person when you haven’t yet defined your relationship. Until you’re ready to have a face-to-face conversation about being exclusive, you’re both entitled to date other people. And more to the point, you should.
If you feel that you are ready for the next step, don’t just take your profile down and ask him to do the same (or worse, assume he will do the same). Have a conversation with him. Tell him how you’re feeling. Let him know that you’re ready to try being exclusive. Don’t shy away from the hard conversations. If he’s right for you, he will rise to the occasion and have a serious conversation about where you two are headed. But if you tend to fall in love quickly and easily, then it’s time to proceed more slowly.
Bottom line: Don’t jump headfirst into a new relationship and take down your dating profile so quickly. Take a step back, enjoy the process, and keep dating until you both are ready to be exclusive.
Many thanks to the fabulous Kelly Seal for the post!