Dating tips for when things don't quite work out

08 May 2012

There are no guarantees with online dating, but these online dating tips can help you figure our what might be going wrong.



One of the maxims about online dating is that you get out of it what you put in. For the very fortunate few, love can happen instantly - witness success stories such as “My wife was the first person I messaged and a year later we’re married!” 

To many though who have tried hard with dating sites, trawling through profiles and sending messages to people that don’t reply, this can seem a little galling. There are no guarantees with online dating, but some key lessons learnt can help if you’re committed to using this method to finding someone.

Be proactive

The first rule is to be proactive, because the more you are, the more likely you are to be seen by other users. Don’t sit around waiting for everyone to flock to you. Dating sites themselves are built with active users in mind - those that log in regularly, add others as a favourite and use the messaging function are much more likely to be featured on the site’s advertising and as a popular profile because they’re using the site right there and then. If you’re not using the service very often, then your profile will slowly disappear from being seen by others.

Be sure you're ready

Are you in the right frame of mind to be dating? If a long term relationship has just come to an end, then looking for another serious one might not be suitable for you. Think carefully about whether you know what you want. Dating doesn’t have to be finding someone to spend the rest of your life with right now - if you relax what you’re looking for and just concentrate on having fun with someone new on a date, you may find that love comes from unexpected places.

Know what you want

Think about what you want in a potential match. If you’re absolutely determined to not to date anyone who lives over 20 miles away or only want to meet a doctor, then ensure that you have it on your settings. The important fact here is that the more specific you are, the less results you’ll have. If things aren’t working out in terms of finding the right profiles, then it might be best to relax your criteria a little and see what this does. Experimenting with what you’re looking for might again show profiles that you might not have seen previously.

Be confident

Confidence breeds confidence. Dating is about taking chances and getting out of your comfort zone. It is inevitable that some people won’t respond to messages no matter how charming it might be. There’s no doubt that not getting a reply is frustrating, but you can’t be a match for everyone, and the best way to counter this is by writing another message to a new profile. As soon you’ve completed it, you’ll have forgotten about the person who didn’t reply. The more messages you write, the more confident you’ll become.

Get a second opinion

Finally, if it’s not working at all, get a second opinion, which can often be invaluable. The stigma of dating online has disappeared and no-one should be ashamed or embarrassed about it. Ask a friend or family member what they think of your profile. They’ll often have insight into your character or personality that you’ve not thought about before, or think that you’re trying to talk to the wrong sort of person. Friends may be able to browse the site you’re on and mark out profiles that they think would be a good match for you. Contact the site’s support team too - they might also be able to give you some succinct and worthwhile advice about your activity on there.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.