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You are not online dating because you’re desperate. If you were, that would mean that I’m online dating because I’m desperate. And the fact of the matter is that if you were desperate, you’d already be in a relationship.
There are men and women everywhere, and if you really couldn’t tolerate singledom, by now you’d have latched on to the nearest living, breathing member of the opposite sex and begun a highly-unsuccessful and surely doomed courtship just for the sake of being in a relationship.
You’re different. You’re online dating because….wait for it….you’re not desperate. From a purely practical standpoint, online dating offers you insight into potential partners’ motives (are they looking for a casual one-night stand or a long-term relationship?), background stories (are they thrice-divorced and living in their parents’ basement?), religious and political ideals (is their favorite historical figure Hitler?), and future plans (do they want a family or would they like to travel the world with their partner?).
Within five minutes of opening an online dating profile you may discover that your future plans will never align, rather than within five years of dating somebody with whom you had such an instant connection that you didn’t think to ask if he’d already had a vasectomy. Knowing what you want, and where you haven’t yet found it, has led you online, so more power to you.
Speaking of power, use this power wisely. Remember what hasn’t worked in the past, and don’t get caught up in profiles that spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e just because his eyes are so dreamy. Pick the handful of eligible bachelors or bachelorettes whose profiles grab you chemically, intellectually, and spiritually, and have a date with each.
If that handful happens to grow into a bushel, don’t fret; it just means you’re judging each one by the high standard you’ve set rather than society’s standard that because you’re 30 and still single, you’d better choke a proposal out of the next living, breathing entity that walks by.
It’s important to be clear on this fact that online dating does not equal desperation. (If you in fact are desperate, and you also happen to be online dating, the following online dating tips do not apply to you.) If you’ve joined the millions of other happy people who found everlasting love online (believe it or not, match.com is not paying me for these lines) under the misconception that you are desperate, you’re libel to work extra hard to make some of your online dud dates into relationships, because what if it’s the last semi-interesting person you ever meet.
You might hope that just one more date with online dud dude might ignite some sparks, or at least a lukewarm bath. On the other hand, if you’re clear that you’re not desperate, and that it doesn’t matter if you meet Mr. Right on online date #1 or online date #200, you won’t make this mistake.
I met my boyfriend online after over two years of intermittent online dating. Yes, there were men who embodied many of the characteristics I was hoping for, or with whom I felt some low level of romantic attraction. But had I decided out of desperation that 33 1/3% of what I wanted was sufficient, I would have missed when Mr. 100% of what I wanted came along.
As you’ve obviously heard, there’s no perfect person, just a person that is perfect for you, and it’s true…don’t be waiting for objective perfection. (Who wants to date Jesus—so much pressure!) But if you just give it time, don’t fret, and don’t settle, you can enjoy the possibility that your perfect person could be your next online date.

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