My clients often tell me they are really overwhelmed with the number of matches they are trying to keep up with when they’re online dating.
They get exhausted by the messaging, they’re being ghosted or unmatched, and it's not leading to dates.
These challenges come up because of the way online dating is designed, but I truly think it doesn’t have to be so difficult.
We can avoid these challenges by having good online dating hygiene.
The first part of online dating hygiene is only having messages with 3-5 people going at a time.
As soon as your inbox has five messages, you want to pause your profile to make sure no more matches are coming in.
Whenever any of those people aren't responsive, you delete that chat, and you have more space to un-pause your profile and match with someone else.
It's surprisingly difficult because online dating is set up to trigger that part of our brain that loves being validated.
But the cluttered inbox creates overwhelm that then leads to poor dating decisions and results.
If you're already on an app, go through your inbox and clear out anything that doesn't deserve to be there.
Second, we want to be semi-intentional with who we swipe on.
The only things we're really looking for is that they're cute and that there aren't any deal breakers.
Before swiping, set your settings to not allow any of your deal breakers.
If you don't want kids, you don't want to see people who do want kids. If you know that you're not going to travel 50 miles to meet somebody, make sure that's set up in your settings as well.
Then you're checking, are they cute? If they're cute, you swipe.
Be intentional to the point that you would actually go on a date with that person if you have a reciprocal connection in the first few messages.
The next online dating hygiene tip is don't double check your matches.
Don't go back to their profile four times, double checking how cute they are.
Going back to look at people's profiles several times is just feeding the part of your brain that is looking for things to be critical about.
They should be cute enough that you wouldn't have to go double check their profile. Hold yourself to that standard.
Make sure that you're checking the app twice a day so that you can respond to your 3-5 people.
Don't be the person who doesn't respond for a week, but also don't be on the app all the time.
If you're on the app all the time, you're probably matching too many people and having a bunch of little half-assed conversations.
Then the next piece of online dating hygiene is giving a ton of energy in the first message.
We're taking that first step forward and we want to give a lot of energy to that person. Then, they're able to use that energy if they want to make a move.
Don't be afraid to write a little paragraph. You want to give, give, give in that first message.
That will then tell you if that person is someone worth connecting with.
If you give them that energy and they don’t give it back to you, that's someone you’d take out of your queue of 3-5 people immediately.
Lastly, don’t stay online.
The whole point of online dating is to meet people. We want to ask people out or ask for a video date within five messages.
Don’t have an endless back and forth conversation online that you really should be having in person.
We lose so much energy from trying to have a human connection through a digital device, so instead you want to guide that connection into a date as quickly as possible.
With this practice of online dating hygiene, you will have better connections. You will spend much less time online, and you will not deal with the issues that so many people face.
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This content was originally published on the Women's Dating and Confidence Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.