Let’s date … offline!

  • Jun. 7, 2017 12:30 a.m.

Finally, you’ve met someone online, let’s say on OkCupid or Bumble! You went on a first date, and you kind of liked each other but weren’t really sure. Then you went on a second date (my advice is always to give it a second chance if you’re unsure), and you liked each other a little more. You went on a third date, and thoughts of exclusively dating this person started permeating your mind. But when is it time to take down your online dating profile? Should it be after a certain number of dates? After you’ve had “the talk”? Or, is unsubscribing from receiving online dating site emails and/or push notifications enough?

In this day and age, when virtually everything we do is online, how you portray your relationship status to the world is almost as important as the relationship itself. No one wants to be on the receiving end of an email or text from a friend saying, “I don’t know how to say this, but your new guy/girl is still on Coffee Meets Bagel and appears to have logged in pretty recently.” It makes your heart sink.

I’m a firm believer in sending messages to and dating many different people initially to see who is out there and get a good sense of your options. But at some point, when you think you’ve found the right person, it might be time to scale back on your online dating life and start to enjoy your offline dating life. When you get to that point, unfortunately, there is no predetermined protocol as to when it’s appropriate to take down your profile, but there are two pieces of common sense that you should follow:

— Don’t log into the dating site or app where on which you met the person immediately after a date. Even if you didn’t like your date, try to show some respect by not logging in until the next day. That way, you’re not rubbing it in the other person’s face that you need to check out your other options immediately.

— When things start to get serious with someone — even before you’ve discussed your relationship status — it’s a good idea to minimize your online dating usage to give the relationship a chance to bloom.

Many people (especially older men, for some unknown reason) continue responding to messages during that initial period in a relationship, perhaps saying something like:

Thanks so much for the nice e-mail. I’ve actually “met” someone on this site, and I am going to try and concentrate and see if that can develop into a real relationship. I can’t handle multiple communications. Thanks again for writing, and good luck to you!

My question for those of you who think you’re being polite is: Why are you still actively answering the messages? If you want to see where the relationship is going, then stop logging into your online dating account, for goodness sake!

And finally, when you’re ready to be exclusive with someone, the only surefire way to make sure you’re both on the same page is to discuss taking your profile down openly. Heck, you could even have a “profile deletion party” with a glass of wine in hand. That actually sounds like a pretty fun date to me!

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