Following on from part one, here are five more reasons why certain love habits will create problems for you in the virtual playground that is online dating.

6) You don’t ask questions…or if you do, you ignore the answer if it doesn’t suit your agenda

Are you afraid to ask vital questions because you’re worried about what you might hear that might stop you from dining off the fantasy that’s built up in your mind? I mean yes, I know it might be a bit awkward if he says that he’s actually got a wife/girlfriend or that he’s in a long distance relationship but at least you’d know where you stood and that he’s not to be trusted. If you imagine that the early stages are about taking the initial things that attracted you to the person and then going through a process of checks and balances to make sure that your initial impression is correct or that you need to adjust, this is what questions are for. If you leave asking uncomfortable questions until you’re emotionally invested, you’re unlikely to do anything with the information even though you have new ‘evidence’.

7) You believe in fairy tales and rom coms

I actually do know a few people who met and fell in love online. It was several years ago and they’re still going strong, and the key thing that helped is that they got real and kept it real. I know from my own brief foray into online dating that it’s all too easy to create high expectations and build up that sandcastle in the sky, but this is real life. It’s good to feel excited but I realise I was being a bit overzealous in thinking that I was instantly going to meet The Perfect Man â„¢. To be honest, it takes patience, time, persistent and consistent exercising of your judgement and instincts, and keeping your foot in reality. Just like I say that you shouldn’t place all your expectations and desire for happiness on one man, or a man that doesn’t exist yet, you certainly shouldn’t do this for a man online. Slow down and see online dating as another avenue to meet men instead of the great white hope because you’re ‘sick of guys in bars’ or ‘don’t like socialising’, because invariably you’ll probably meet more jackasses than you will decent guys and you will become disheartened or start to find yourself engaging with inappropriate men because you figure it’s all you’ll find.

8) You’re too eager

I once went on a date with a guy who talked about marriage, babies, and moving me back to his home country…all within about thirty minutes of sitting down. It was all too much for me and I thought he was bonkers! You convey the wrong message when you hardly know someone but you get too eager and start talking ‘we’ and like you’re a couple before you’ve met him or worked out if there is genuinely a reason to be thinking that it could be serious. It’s good to show you’re interested but leave a little mystery and be careful of straddling what can sometimes be a thin line between eagerness and desperation because there are people out there who smell it and take advantage because they recognise that you’re more desperate to be loved and in a relationship than you are to actually find a quality partner. Really, you shouldn’t want to talk to someone you just met online a gazillion times a day. It. Is. Too.Much. You will miss vital signals that tell you to pass go and have a great time, or to go back ten paces because there’s a red flag. If you’re too eager and too desperate, you will attract desperate partners.

9) You spend a lot of time in The Justifying Zone

Ever found yourself continuing to date someone, not because you actually like them but because you’ve already snogged them/gone to X base/shagged them/sent a nude pic/had cyber sex? The Justifying Zone is the slippery slope that you go to where you stick around after the event to justify your emotional or sexual investment. You’re then looking for gold where there is copper to give yourself a reason to continue and not feel guilty/bad about whatever you’ve done, when you could just cut off and reduce your ‘exposure’ – it’s a bit like knowing you’ve made a bad financial investment and then continuing to throw money at it because you’d rather your misjudgement was correct even though you just lose more… The Justifying Zone and online dating don’t mix because if you can’t differentiate between fiction and reality, you’ll be making excuses to stick around for something that doesn’t actually exist. You’ll also be making excuses for what are in some instances transient people who just get high off the chase but don’t want to follow through with anything.

And I want to say something here for clarification: A lot of people say they’re looking for a relationship when they’re looking for a shag or another adoring member of their narcissistic harem. You’d think with so many sites out there where you can look specifically for sex, affairs, and whatever else floats your boat that this would be unnecessary, but people have large ego’s and in some cases, a lack of morals. Some people just aren’t comfortable saying ‘I’m looking for an adoring partner that strokes my ego and slips me some sex as I’m not looking to settle down’ and just rely on you to figure it out. You’ve got to be strong and recognise when people are contradicting themselves and avoid being naive about people’s honesty as if saying or typing words on a profile makes it so.

10) You indulge heavily in self-blame and heavy analysis

I’ve often said that part of what makes it difficult to move on after a relationship ends is obsessing over the details and analysing so that you end up finding more things to attempt to blame yourself for and wish that you could have done differently. I’m all for a little introspection if the idea is to move forward and use whatever you discover to empower yourself to make better choices that lead to your happiness. However, heavy introspection doesn’t lead anywhere and you end up becoming trapped in inaction. Without a reasonable amount of self-love, good judgement, instinct, and awareness of stuff like boundaries, you end up internalising the crap behaviour of others. This is why online dating will only throw fat on the fire for some of you because every interaction that doesn’t result in the relationship you want, no matter how small, will be internalised, perceived as rejection, and some sort of confirmation of the negative things you believe about yourself. You might go there thinking that things can be different because it’s the internet and you’ve pinned your hopes on it, but as we all discover at some point, if we don’t address the things that bother us, we can move from relationship to relationship, date to date, bars to clubs to the local hobby cub to online dating, but those problems will still follow us if they remain unresolved.

Your thoughts?

My ebook, Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl is my guide to understanding the dynamic between emotionally unavailable men and the women that love them and is available to buy and download.

For personal advice or analysis of your relationship/situation, check out my consultation service. Don’t forget, you can now use the forum and social network to chat with other readers. Follow Baggage Reclaim on Twitter too.

Natalie Lue is the founder and writer of Baggage Reclaim and author of the books Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship and more. Learn more about her here and you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter – @baggagereclaim .

Natalie (NML) – who has written posts on Baggage Reclaim by Natalie Lue.


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18 Responses to 10 Things That Make Online Dating Tricky If You Don’t Have Healthy Love Habits – Part Two

  1. roastchicken says:

    thank you .. you saved me in the nick of time!!

  2. Gayle says:

    I haven’t used any dating sites but the ex did. I believe that number 9 was applicable as he portrayed himself as someone who was seeking a relationship (saw the profile after we split on Match). I have always wondered why he hadn’t utilized sites like adult friend finder (NSA), but then he would not received the ego stroke that he so badly needed. To this day, it is still difficult to comprehend how a man who is over the age of 50-with a daughter- can go to the lengths he did just to get sex and and ego stroke (must be aware), it is just plain evil!

  3. Kim says:

    I guess my thoughts on online dating are this.

    1st prize is to meet someone under ‘normal’ circumstances ie. like we did before the advent of the cyber age. The reason most people turn to the internet is not because they dont have the time or the inclination to do it ‘normally’ its because they have been hurt and burnt by the relationships they have had and are exploring a new avenue.

    On the other hand there are probably alot of AC and EUMs out there on the net. Its the perfect way for those sort of men to prey on women who are desperately seeking a ‘normal’ relationship because of the ACs and EUMs they have met in the real world.

    I think its wise to remember that online dating is not everyones first choice in ‘how I met your mother’, its where people go when they feel they have run out of options to meet someone in their day to day lives or its where men go who have been exposed by other women for who they really are and need some fresh meat to exploit ….. Online dating makes it easier for the insecure to be secure, the immoral to be moral… All hidden behind the smokescreen of a computer monitor. There is alot to be said for meeting someone in person, your gut instincts can say alot. So my advice when meeting someone in person for the first time is to ignore the ‘soft fluffy stuff’ that has been said before online and take it from there. Keep the online chat strictly factual and save the mushy stuff for when you can look into their eyes and make decisions then.

    I understand this may be a broad generalisation, but I guess what Im trying to say is that there is probably more baggage in the cyber world than there is in reality. Just be careful.

  4. Gotitright says:

    Hi NML, hi everyone!
    I have been reading this blog for a while now. And this is the first time that I am commenting. First off, thank you NML so very much for saveing me from the hell and the crazy mess of online dating I was in. I found this site when I was into deep with a horrible online relationship which I am ashamed of till this day for getting trapped. When I was totally totally lost, I have found this blog and it gave me power to get out from the liveing hell that I have got myself involved.
    And I went total NC on my EUM who was sweet talking to another lady on facebook. I am sure, he was no idea why I could turn my back on this guy all of a sudden after I was still saying that I will be this best friend even though he has done total S**t on me! And the NC became my total payback on this guy! The more I go for NC, the more I get my pride and dignity back! It sure feels wonderful NML! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And I love you!!! XOXOXO I will be keep reading, so please keep writing.

  5. katy says:

    Gotitright, good for you!! I had a very similar experience where I pretended to stil agree caring about the EX Asshole but I kept seeing he was flirting with another girl on facebook, of course I “ignored” that and continued talking to him until I basically turned him down and put him down so bad so that I’m pretty sure he will never forgets. Revenge is always sweet. But Karma is even sweeter. :)

  6. Michelle says:

    I have met people online for a few years only because after 21 years of marriage I divorced into the computer age and really didn’t know any other way. Meeting in church or bars wasn’t really an option, neither place was for me. I have met met hundreds of men in the past 7 years, and probably passed over the perfect one for the assclown I ended up with for 2 1/2 years. I doubt it matters where you meet people whether it be in public or online you will find the majority of single people are online searching. I know after finally getting away from the nightmare I was in I have set clear boundaries for myself. I learned right away not to waste my time chatting and talking to people, I meet them right away if there is any interest because people can be whomever you want them to be online.

  7. cece says:

    met this guy recentlly durin the first conversation he revealed that he had nver had a serious girlfriend (he’s 33), and he hasn’t dated in 8 years. He said 3 years he spent in a dead end job, which required him to be on call all the time, and that he was helping out his father with a personal issue. I still get the feeling that there is something else – and that this is a red flag i shouldn’t ignore, anyone else experienced anything similar?

  8. MaryC says:

    Today is 61 days NC, 1 day longer than I’ve ever been able to achieve with my lying cheating ex. It feels amazing !!!!! I literally sat there counting down the hours. NML I couldn’t of done it without you. Thanks

    I know this post isn’t “on subject” but I’m so glad to be free of him and so glad to finally be feeling better about myself that I wanted to share my happiness.

  9. Gotitright says:

    Hey Katy! Thanks for your comment. ;)
    I hate the feeling when I see his name in my email box.
    I feel like puking and nervous….
    And it reminds me of to not to put myself on the spot again.

    @ Cece

    I suggest you to keep away from this guy.
    He has too much issues already. He is trying you out to see how much you gonna take it. He is trying your self confidence and self worth. These guys always do that when they find out that you are careing and nice. Cut contact now Cece. I don’t wanna see another kind hearted person getting trapped like me. I

  10. Stephanie says:

    Natalie, every single point you stated is right on. It is hard to read but true. Since my ex-EUM, whom I met online (as you know), I cannot (and will not) allow myself to even begin to entertain the Internet as a place to meet men. I believe a large percentage of the Internet dating pool is made up of women looking for love and men looking for everything else but. My recovery continues… :-)

  11. Astelle says:

    I have a question for you ladies: Why do men online give you their phone number instead of asking for yours?
    Is it not a red flag? Wouldn’t the proper way be for the man to ask for your number?
    My friend thinks it is O.K. nowadays. I think the man wants you to do the work by making the contact, like chasing him already and you haven’t even met him.

  12. Res Judicata says:

    After spending 3/4 of 2009 trying to get over my last EU boyfriend, I decided to hit the dating sites again. To make a long story somewhat shorter: I began communicating with someone about 1800 miles away, despite my usual disinclination to do this long-distance dating thing.
    In due time, he planned to return to my town. About three weeks prior to that time, he asked that I lend him money, as he had allegedly lost his wallet. I repeatedly declined. My friends and I saw this as a huge red flag, but I continued forward with the plan to meet in my town. He arrived last week, and weighed about 40 pounds more than his most recent photo reflected. Of course, he looked nothing like the other 8 photos. As I try not to be superficial about such things, I moved forward into trying to get to know him better. It quickly became clear that he wanted me to fully support his visit — including buying and cooking food, cleaning up after him, etc. That did not go well with me, and I told him so after Day 1. By Days 4 and 5 of the 5-day visit, we were getting along better. He asked me to hug him as he departed at the airport. I felt that we departed on better terms than when we met.
    Today, upon his return to his hometown, he sent numerous emotionally abusive texts from his hometown:
    1. Why was my photo so outdated? (it was a couple of years old, and I hate being in photos).
    2. Clearly, I had gained weight (maybe so — but did not sport the same 40 pound, health-endangering gut around his midsection).
    3. Despite earlier money challenges, he castigated me for not wanting to go out (I responded that he had told me two days before his arrival that he was still experiencing money challenges)
    4. His decision to not go out did not relate to his lack of money, but the fact that I looked older than his mom!
    5. I hated people; hated him; hated going out; hated change; was not a people person; and listened to others (all false except for the last part, which I believe to be a good thing).
    After this experience, I have learned that I can no longer do this internet dating thing. I am a bright, accomplished professional, and most of the men I meet either are challenged by who/what I am, or want to sponge off of me. I feel that this individual fell into the second category, and was so aghast when I let my feelings known that he had to passively let me know, four days later, how unattracted to me he felt.
    For better or for worse, I have assimilated so many lessons in my life that I feel virtually unfazed by this abuse. I refuse to let others define me. Yet, I wonder, what makes somewhat so off-kilter as to go off in this fashion.
    The final outcome of all of this: I deleted my two current profiles out there on two sites. I can no longer deal with this lunacy. I guess it’s back to the produce department or bars for meeting available, and hopefully suitable, dating prospects!
    Can anyone make sense of all of this? Thanks for reading.

    • aphrogirl says:

      Res, I think you understand what happened quite well when you said…” I wonder, what makes somewhat so off-kilter as to go off in this fashion…..The final outcome of all of this: I deleted my two current profiles out there on two sites. I can no longer deal with this lunacy. ”

      Of kilter lunatic behavior that is not acknowledged is the hallmark of someone emotionally immature, a substance abuser, or mentally ill. No matter which, backing off and knowing that the lunacy is not about you is the only sane thing to be done.

      I dunno, I have never considered online dating. Maybe this seems harsh but it seems like the perfect place for the fantasy fakers of the world to hang out and ” meet” people.

  13. caroline says:

    Hi to you all, just found this site and soooo wish I had found it five months ago, it’s the best I have read.
    I agree with all the comments on internet dating. I have been badly burnt twice and have now deleted my account and will leave all the saddos to their fishing, including my most recent ex.
    Mistake number one was to join a dating site right out of a seventeen year marriage and totally green round the gills. I was drawn right in to a relationship which ended in marriage after eighteen months and quickly decended into verbal and emotinal abuse. After two deeply unhappy years of marriage and being stuck because I had become involved financially I found passwords written on a piece of paper and logged onto his msn account to find a hoard of tarts on his friends list. Deeper probing revealed dating sites and connections going back to when we first met. I played him at his own game, contacted one of the women who told me all, confronted him and told him it was over. I then found out about his little habit with his webcam (urgh), wasn’t difficult to set up a fake account, hook him in and watch with revolt what followed. Still it was enough to use against him and he never contacted me again and signed the house over to me (it was mine anyway). He moved on very quickly and within a year was married and has a baby. Was a sociopath, compulsive liar, abuser and all round very bad character.
    As if I wasn’t stupid enough the first time I ended back up on internet dating sites and met somebody who I thought was great. All went well for five months until I had a strong hunch and checked the dating site to see that he had been online that day. (I had deleted my account when he told me we were in a committed relationship). When I asked him why he was using it (how stupid am I?!!! …. just dump him!!!) he said I had ‘issues and baggage and didn’t trust him’, and he promptly dumped me!!!! He then vent his spleen on me in numerous emails pointing out all my failings and faults, blaming me and telling me that I was responsible for the ‘demise of our relationship’ … yeah right!
    You will be pleased to know that I finally woke up and got some self-respect. I took a good hard long look at myself and asked myself why i got involved with such controlling men and made the decision to stay well away. I will NEVER use those sites again. I have regained my self-esteem and self-respect and have been single now for six months. Having read the article on the dangers of internet dating I can pretty say that I fall into most of the categories why I should not be doing it.
    Thanks again for all the truly intelligent and inspiring posts, it is a breath of fresh air in amongst the twaddle and trip that I have ever read and I will continue to read, it is truly enlightening.
    much love xxx

  14. caroline says:

    PS sorry for the typos!!! I meant TRIPE and not trip!

  15. Res Judicata says:

    Caroline, your negative experiences parallel mine. I have used internet dating sites intermittently for about 5 years. In that time, I met one totally normal person who lived 850 miles away (we began communicating when I visited this neighboring state) and someone I liked alot, but who had immense emotional baggage from a recently-ended marriages, kids living out of state, etc. The two worst were the crack-head construction worker who moved to my state, and expected me to support him, and the cretin about whom I wrote earlier. What was the most humorous about the second: while this guy was, in fact, younger than me, his unhealthy food and smoking lifestyle, in tandem with his severely massive gut, made him look older and in ‘way worse shape than me!

    My friends have been very supportive, and I suspect that yours will be as well. Many are recommending alternate venues in which to meet people: jazz bars, C and W bars (neither of which are my thing, but I may still try them), Sierra Club, etc.

    If we adhere to the “when one door closes, another one opens” and “everything happens for a reason” beliefs, I am confident that we will find someone normal!
    .-= Res Judicata´s last blog ..Are you hanging with a solo thinker or a team player in your relationships? =-.

  16. Happy Soul says:

    Thank you NML, yet again a wonderful post!!!
    I met few guys from internet, but never had a relationship with them, I dont know I never felt chemistry with them and didnt give them a chance to meet me again.
    I prefer meeting people outside of internet, but it is hard to build a relationship…I dont know what I am doing wrong:-( but I am very very unlucky!
    As Natalie mentioned here: “You indulge heavily in self-blame and heavy analysis” and “You spend a lot of time in The Justifying Zone”, thats what I do right now with my new EUM, who I met in New Year Party and who told me (after 1 month and a half of dating) that he is not ready to have a relationship with me, as he is very depressed.
    I keep saying to myself I wish I done this or that, I wish I didnt scare him with all my boundaries etc…I miss him so much, it is almost physical, it is like part of my heart was taken…HOW to pass this stage?

  17. Tim says:

    I think everybody does all of these things. The proper behaviors are more rare than these common mistakes. I simply think that people cannot be objective when it comes to matters of the heart. Their subjectivity leads them to make these unwise decisions.
    .-= Tim´s last blog ..Best Online Dating Sites =-.

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!