You’re a really good person, and you always try to do the right thing; you’re responsible, thoughtful, giving and kind, right?
But even though you’re well intentioned, is it possible you’ve become a nasty dater?
With the increased popularity of online dating sites and dating apps, today’s daters find themselves with unprecedented access to other singles. The saddest result of this newfound access, in what I call the “Time of Tinder”, is that people have become disposable. If you didn’t feel fireworks, why go on a second date when you’ve got 20 other people waiting in your inbox? And why take the time to actually get to know someone when you can just swipe right to find someone shinier, younger, thinner, richer or taller to date?
I call this Online Dating ADD, and it’s a real thing. Overwhelm has changed the face of dating, and while it’s easier to meet singles than ever before, dating has never been more frustrating. As a result, people aren’t treating each other well, at all. And this bad behavior has left many singles feeling hurt and hopeless.
That’s why it’s time to change the way we date.
As a dating coach, I teach my clients to be kinder, more efficient and more successful daters. I’ve found that a shift in attitude and a few small tweaks can make all the difference when it comes to finding love.
The most important change singles need to make is to commit to being KIND. Kindness matters in every aspect of our lives, but especially when dating. We need to commit to treating each other with compassion, thoughtfulness and courtesy. We don’t mean to be unkind, but it happens. And it needs to stop.
Here are 5 things you can do right now to be a kinder dater and to have more success finding love:
1. Stop deleting emails instead of responding.
When dating, treat others with the same respect and courtesy you’d offer a friend, neighbor or colleague. Would you delete a friend’s email without answering? Probably not! So if you’re not interested in someone who wrote to you online, simply send a short note saying something like this:
“Thank you very much for your email. Unfortunately I don’t feel we’re the right fit. I wish you the best of luck and hope you meet someone special on here!”
Write that and you may receive a response like this:
“Thanks so much for letting me know. That was very nice of you.”
I know it’s hard to find the time to respond to so many people. But if you get overwhelmed, hide your profile and go at a slower pace. Take the time to respond to everyone who sends a thoughtful email. Responding is so much kinder than deleting, so please take the time to go the extra mile.
2. Don’t start corresponding with someone online and then disappear.
If you engage with someone, see it through. If they’re offensive or share something that makes you feel they’re not a fit, let them know. But don’t just disappear for no reason once you’ve begun a conversation. I tell my clients, don’t be the reason people hate online dating, lol!
3. Stop making assumptions.
Would you want someone to stereotype you or blame you for the way others have treated them in the past? Of course not. So before you put someone in a box, ask yourself – Do I know this for a fact, or am I making an assumption?
Don’t assume he’s bitter if he’s divorced or too busy to date if he’s a dad. If you have a question, ask it. Don’t assume you know more about someone than you do. That’s not very nice, and you’ll miss a lot of opportunities if that’s your M.O.
4. Don’t just go through the motions. Be fully present.
Instead of going through the motions, be genuinely curious about what makes your date tick and who he or she is on a deeper level. Make him or her feel like you’re truly interested. And also share about yourself. Slow down, be truly present and stop listening with the intent to talk. That will make such a difference in the quality of your dates and your dating experiences will improve.
5. After a date, don’t say you’re open to going out again if it’s not true. And don’t blow people off!
I know you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but ignoring someone is mean – no ghosting allowed! Instead of disappearing after a date, it’s better to call or send a text the next day that says something like this:
“I really enjoyed spending time with you and think you’re a great person (*you can add some genuine compliments here if you wish). But I’ve spent some time thinking about it, and I don’t feel we’re the right fit. I wish you all the best and know you’ll meet someone wonderful.”
Sending a note like this after a date is so much better than going POOF and disappearing or ignoring someone’s texts or calls. And if you’ve been dating someone for a while and decide he or she isn’t a fit, have a similar conversation.
Blowing someone off is one of the most unkind things you can do. Be brave enough to be honest. In other words, grow a pair! Sometimes it takes courage to do the right thing, but you can do it.
Dating is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t succumb to Dating ADD. Stop focusing on quantity and be genuinely curious about each and every person you meet. Give them your compassionate and undivided attention so you can figure out who they are and if they are a fit. If they’re not, let them know in the kindest way. In fact, be kind at all times. You’ll enjoy dating more, and the Universe will reward you. That’s the way things work. I know this because I’ve seen it happen again and again.
Here’s to being kinder in every aspect of your life, especially when dating.
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~Dalai Lama
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”~Scott Adams