Why You MUST Persevere in Online Dating


Yeah, I squint a little bit, but my wife/cinematographer still thinks I’m cute.

And while we wouldn’t have written to each other online (She’s too old! He’s too Jewish!), that’s the perfect reason for you to learn from our mistakes!

Pushing yourself to be open to people outside your normal search criteria can literally double your dating options and introduce you to your future soulmate.

I don’t blame you for being frustrated at online dating. Everyone is.

But if you want to take your love life into your own hands instead of waiting for divine intervention, put in your email address to get access to my VERY interesting Online Dating Quiz.

It’s only 5 questions and if you get them all right, you’ll get a chance to win a FREE copy of my Finding the One Online audio series. You will also be put on an exclusive list that will save you lots of money on a special offer I’m going to reveal next week.

Good luck on the quiz!

*Note: After you enter your name and email you’ll be taken to the quiz, and an interesting page with interesting information about the answers and what they mean to YOU. Also, be sure check your inbox, as I’ll be notifying you by email if you are one of the winners of Finding The One Online!


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  1. 41
    Karl R

    Denise said: (#44)
    “I was speaking with a male friend who commented that he feels women don’t give men enough of a chance.”

    That’s probably true of people in general. Have you ever gone on a first date when you were far from your best? You were nervous or sick or stressed or cranky. For whatever reason, your didn’t see you at your best, or even at your norm. He/she saw your bad side … and possibly assumed that was normal for you.

    When that happened, did you wish you had a second chance to make a better impression? Did you wish your date could see you the way your friends do before turning you down?

    I try to extend to others the same sort of courtesy I’d like them to show to me.

    If your date was unpleasant or abusive, there’s no need to give him/her a second chance. But if they were just dull, distracted or nervous, it doesn’t hurt to see if they might be more attentive, relaxed or fun the next time we see them.

    Denise said: (#44)
    “Our profiles have a lot to do with who we ‘attract’, I believe.   It’s NOT something we do consciously, but I do think that happens.”

    I tend to agree. Anyone can have a bad date/relationship, but if there’s a consistent pattern, it’s probably not a coincidence.

    If you talk to my best friend from high school, you would think that he’s managed to date the worst women in the world. He can go on for a couple hours about how horrible each of his ex-girlfriends was.  How could one man consistently manage to end up with women who had no redeeming qualities?

    I happened to know a few of the women he dated (including one whom I also briefly  dated). They weren’t vile people. Post-breakup, my friend ingnored their good points, focused on their bad points, then blew those out of proportion. As far as I can tell, he’s not even aware of what he’s doing.

    It could be the people they attract, or it could be their perception of those people.

    Laine said: (#38)
    “I have had emails of abuse sent to me  when I say I cant see myself as a match with a guy.”

    So now you have two reasons not to date them.

    As Cat said (#43), report them and move on to someone else. There’s no reason to let one unpleasant person ruin your day.

  2. 42

    Evan @ 40 I havent struggled with internet dating at all in the past. I love your work, site and advice but I just happen to think that for me internet dating sites dont work. What is the use of meeting countless men in the hope that one may be suitable. On the otherhand I have found my experience on Facebook, which in essence is not a dating site, but a social utility site, much more successful for me in dating. I think this could be because it gives a person a while to get to know someone, and to see their comments and behaviour over a longer time without the pressure of meeting someone instantly. I attract more men that appeal to me this way, probably also because I can reveal my poetry, my paintings and my kindness through wall posts..as well as through pics in a wide range of social settings with friends and family. And quite frankly I am not interested in wading through 80% of men on a dating site that dont appeal to me, I would much rather use my feminine energy to attract men that I find appealing and attractive to me. Keep up the great work Evan, I think it is needed for those who like internet dating on targeted romance sites. We are all different 🙂

    1. 42.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      “What is the use of meeting countless men in the hope that one may be suitable”?

      Um, it’s called dating, Laine.

      You can passively hang out on Facebook in hopes that your feminine Wall Art attracts friends of friends. Or you can ALSO go on a dating site, filled with motivated single people who are actively looking for a partner.

      Seems to me that one way will create more opportunity than the other. As I wrote in Why He Disappeared, it’s not about “right” and “wrong”, but “effective” and “ineffective”. Your passive strategy sounds nice, but is probably not too effective. If you meet a man it will be in spite of your passivity, not because of it.

  3. 43

    To Cat (And Goldie): You correctly expressed how I have approached dating, whether online or not. I guess I’m rather confused as to why whenever I describe my approach to online dating (which does NOT include “friends first”), many women interpret that entirely differently from the way I described it.
    And I use the same approach to meeting a man online as I would to meeting him in a social environment… if a man asks me out on a date, then another, then another and then another… and this is going on for a reasonable period of time (say a few months), and we agree that there is definitely a connection, then YES, I will expect for him to ask for something more committed and exclusive after that. It doesn’t matter if I met him in the grocery store or online — if he is approaching me with a romantic intent and continuing that approach, then we don’t need to be “friends first.” A friendship should be developing during the process.
    This is not high school or college where people are just “hanging out” to have fun and have no expectations. My time is too valuable for that and I won’t take a man seriously or think he has any serious intentions toward me if he’s content to be in a buddy-like position and not move things forward at a reasonable pace. Really, I think it’s artificial stalling of a natural process of relationship development.
    It’s like Karl mentioned earlier… he was able to push aside a “friends first” guy who was taking his sweet time with a woman because he took a more intentional and direct approach.
    And I guess I should say it here. I’m getting married next weekend. A few months ago, I took my fiance to a party where a number of work colleagues were. I introduced them to my fiance and they were very nice.
    Not long after that, I heard through the grapevine that some of the men were disappointed because they apparently had been interested in me and were hoping to ask me out at some point. Well, when, pray tell, was THAT going to happen? Were they just trying to be “friends first?” Well, while they were biding their time, a man with a more intentional approach slipped right in and snatched me up because he knew what he wanted, I liked him and it has been the best relationship I’ve ever had.
    I don’t know, I think I’m an old soul. I’ve always admired cultures that used a very intentional approach to mating and courtship, because they seem to cut to the chase and cut out all the namby-pambyness that seems to plague Western dating today.

  4. 44

    Just wanted to add: In the four month period in which I dated my now-fiance before we became an “official” couple, we were developing a friendship. However, it was clear that his intentions were geared toward developing a more serious relationship… so I enjoyed his company during that time and never felt pressured to do anything, but I also never doubted exactly what his intentions were during the time. His very direct, yet comfortable pursuit made it possible for me to develop feelings for him, trust him and care about him… and also want to pursue a relationship with him.
    That wouldn’t have happened if he had spent that four months trying to develop a safe, platonic friendship only with the later intention of trying to switch gears to a romantic relationship. I would have just assumed he wasn’t interested in me (which I did with the other men I mentioned) and would have shifted my attention to other men.

  5. 45

    #46 Laine, this is completely OT, but Facebook is notorious for its privacy leaks. From what I was told, nothing on that site is safe – PMs, chat, let alone wall posts. Anything can be, and has been, leaked. Thought you’d want to know since you’re using it as a dating tool. I use mine mostly for sending and receiving party invites, lately. Too skittish to use it for anything more private than that.
    One good thing I can say for my dating-site experience, I did not ever have to wade through 80% of indesirables. I started out with a list of criteria and worked with a male friend of mine to create a profile that would 1)attract men who meet these criteria, and 2)repeal those that do not. As a result, almost all of the mail I received was from the kind of guys that I was interested in. It wasn’t hundreds of mails a day, but it was a steady stream with almost no garbage. Then, of course, I found that my criteria needed changing 🙂 so I got off the site, and am taking a break right now. But my point is, I’m very confident that online dating can work if done right.

  6. 46

    I am not passive. How I am is how I am, whether internet dating, facebooking or in real life. Not sure why you think dating sites are filled with motivated people. Some are motivated, some are also liars,married men passing themselves off as single and various other innacuracies. I do not like internet dating. I do not enjoy the process any more. I am true to myself. Life, as the saying goes, is too short to be expending energy on something that doesn’t make me feel good or happy.

  7. 47

    I also use the friends first BECAUSE I’m on a dating site,   and as SS said, that indicates I’m looking for a relationship.      More times than not, there is a feeling that if you click enough on date one, then why not be in a relationship?    I’m not looking  for insta-relationship.   I’m perfectly willing to  do just as SS suggested and let it grow.    “Friends first” for me has two purposes:  avoid the 1st date relationship;  and, as Selena suggested, to not be rushed into  bed.   I only pull out “Friends first” if the guy seems to be pushing  a relationship agenda  very early on.          

    1. 47.1

      #52 and all the women worried about “insta-relationships.” Just don’t be so available! If he asks you out for the very next night just say you already have plans (and you should have plans because he’s not the only one you’re dating, right?) Date at the pace you want.

      Karl, #45, “So now you have two reasons not to date them.” I agree. An abusive response to a polite rejection just confirms that you didn’t want to date that one!

      Laine, #46 you prefer Facebook because “I can reveal my poetry, my paintings and my kindness through wall posts..as well as through pics in a wide range of social settings with friends and family.” There is a dating site that lets you do all of that, and it can connect directly to your Facebook account, if you want it to. It’s okcupid.com and it’s free. It’s a totally different kettle than plentyoffish. You can post your journals and poetry. People can comment on them and give you “awards.” If your friends have a profile there, they can recommend you. There’s a lot of different ways to interact with the site. However, the tradeoff is that it doesn’t have as many people as Match.com and there may not be many guys in your area (depending on where you live.) Why do you have to choose one? Why does it have to be just Facebook or just one dating site? Evan covers this subject of choosing a dating site (or sites) really well in Finding The One Online! I really challenge anyone who claims online dating doesn’t “work” for them to buy his product, use it (the most important part!) and then come back and report.

      Denise, #44, I don’t see any reason not to go on a few dates with someone even if you’re not overcome with chemistry right away 😉 If “He is an awesome man from a character standpoint, so I think I’m going to date him a few more times…” then I’d say you have nothing to lose with a few more dates!

      SS, #48, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I agree that the direct approach is what gets the girl. 🙂

  8. 48

    SS #48, first of all congratulations! 😀
    Second, I should’ve made myself more clear as well. You said:
    “And I use the same approach to meeting a man online as I would to meeting him in a social environment… if a man asks me out on a date, then another, then another and then another… It doesn’t matter if I met him in the grocery store or online…”
    See, my situation is different – I’ve never been asked out by someone I just met at a grocery store – either because I’m not that stunning, or because my target group are men in their 40s – but I have always, always had very many male friends. Since my divorce, some of them have been gradually coming out of the woodwork and asking me out. So my experience right now is, by the time I start dating a man, I have already known him for years. So, we can bypass the “friends first” stage and go straight to being romantic… because we already are friends.
    Not to say that this is the way to go, just trying to explain why I got such a culture shock when I tried online dating. It’ll just take me some training and getting used to before I learn to use it right, that’s all.
    And as far as slow guys being overtaken by quick ones in their pursuit of a woman… again, from my experience, yeah I have had a speedy dater move past my old friends on a few occasions… So, in that case, it appeared that the friend lost, short-term. But then, the speedy dater would push for more, and expect to go even faster, causing me to eventually say good-bye to him… at which point, the old friend was there for me. Therefore, friend ended up winning long-term.

  9. 49

    Thanks for the congrats, Goldie and Cat!
    Goldie… maybe our age and generational difference has something to do with our varying experiences, and I can understand that. This will be my first (and hopefully last!) marriage, and same for my fiance. I am in my early 30s and he is in his late 30s. We both had already gone through the process of trying to date within our social circles and the types of jobs we had didn’t lend to meeting new people very easily.
    In my case, I still run into many younger, never-married men who want to play the field for a few more years — so even if they weren’t trying to approach me only for a sexual fling, “friends first” was a way for them to limit the amount of effort they put in with one particular woman and was a way for them to keep a number of women on layaway/reserve and not have to pull the trigger any time soon.
    Or it was a way for those men who were too scared to take a calculated risk to stay in their comfort zones and enjoy female companionship without actually putting themselves out there to potentially be rejected.
    It was bad enough that this was happening with men I met on my own, but I had even less tolerance for it in online dating, because I wasn’t paying to join sites or waste time writing and responding to men, who for whatever reason, wanted to move veeeerrrrry sloooooowly with me. I also saw this tendency a lot in recently divorced men… for understandable reasons on their ends, but it was wasting my time.
    Now, if “friends first” is a man’s way of trying to ensure that a woman knows he’s not trying to rush into sex and wants to actually get to know her with her clothes on, that’s a different story. But I often take “friends first” like another common online dating phrase… “I’m just looking to see what’s out there.” In other words, I’m not really all that serious right now.
    It’s just a very passive, very time-wasting scenario for a early-30 something never-married woman who is seeking marriage and is ready to start a family in the near future. I could see it being different though for people at different stages of life and with different goals.

  10. 50

    Goldie @ 50. I dont use facebook as a dating tool at all, but I have formed friendships on the site through similar interests and through friends, and have started communicating via phone, skype and private email. All the men I have met through FB have remained friends and I see them regularly. Some I am dating.
    This has not been the case with the dating site. I am not in America. My country has one reputable dating site that the majority here use. My profile certainly attracts attention..probably too much, with me receiving 200-300 contacta a week asking me if I would like to receive an email from them. Out of that number, I request about 5-10 emails. I also receive about 50 more emails that I didnt ask for. So trying to go through this volume is very time consuming. I weed out the ones I think are unsuitable by readinfg their profiles, emailing , talking to them on the phone and then eventually meeting 1-2 a week for a coffee. Its exhausting. I dont want to do it anymore..all this energy and time being invested….only to front up to the date to find a man I am not in any way attracted to, or who is anything like his profile pics.

    I could go on match.com or Eharmony, but I would be communicating with mainly Americans..and !/2 way across the planet is a little too far to go for a coffee 🙂

    Cat @ 53..I dont want to use FB as a dating site, preferring to add friends from similar interest groups. This is working well for me. I have met some great men this way and the interest and attraction has not been about dating..just similar interests initially.

    Thanks everyone for the input. Much appreciated.

    1. 50.1
      Evan Marc Katz


      Your described procedure is EXACTLY why you need Finding the One Online. The way you date is exhausting. The way I teach it is fun. Big difference.

      Good luck, no matter what you do. All I’ll say is that you don’t know what you don’t know. 🙂


  11. 51

    and either do you Mr Katz 🙂

  12. 52

    Surely there must be an online dating service in your country? Match certainly isn’t the only one. I have friends in Australia, UK and Europe that use online services in their countries.

  13. 53

    By the way, hello to everyone-I’ve been lurking and have learnt a lot from perusing these boards.
    Great blog, Evan, and interesting contributions from everyone.

  14. 54

    Great blog!
    I am doing the online dating thing, and I agree with Steve (#1). Either sparks fly on the first date or there is no second date. (And I’ve gone on several first dates where sparks DID seem to fly and we got physical, but then she didn’t want to meet up again.) This seems to be true when it comes to the women I date–I am in my late 30’s and I prefer women about 5 years younger.
    That said, my experience is that the *women* (the women in the age group I am pursuing) are the ones who make these snap judgments, as if they’re expecting the relationship that they enter to be as in a romantic comedy or something. Maybe it is just that everyone’s attention spans are shorter these days. I’m really not sure how well that serves anyone though, because first dates are rather awkward, contrived experiences.
    I see women on the site who have been there for at least as long as I have been. These women are, if their profiles are anywhere near accurate, physically attractive, educated women with their life in order. If they’re getting so many emails a day, they could be meeting a new guy every night if they had the time. And yet they are still on the site looking 6, 8, 10 months later. What, out of all the guys they’ve had the chance to meet in that time, *none* of them were suitable? I mean, I know they have had the guy not call back a certain percentage of the time, but even considering that… Is there a possibility that they did come across someone who would have been great for them, but they wrote the guy off too soon?

  15. 55

    @ Mike #61

    I’m curious, why do you prefer to date women 5 yrs. younger than yourself? Do you think that might have anything to do with the outcomes you keep experiencing?

  16. 56

    Hey Selena,
    This is Mike #61–changed my screen name because there is already a Mike on here.
    To answer your question: I’m not adamant about dating someone under 35 or even under 43. I have met a woman in her mid 40’s. I have a couple of issues here though, specific to me:
    (a) Is she physically vital? I work out a lot and I like a woman who can keep up. Also, that is just what I am physically attracted to. I’m in great shape and I want likewise. My personal preferences…
    (b) I’m not sure about having kids and I’d like to be with someone who is open to having kids but isn’t in a rush herself. Quite understandably, a woman is less likely to be this way when she gets past 35. Anyway, I really don’t want to waste anyone’s time in that regard.

  17. 57

    @Michael17 #63

    I get ya about not being sure if you want kids, but women in their early 30’s who aren’t sure if they want kids might be more into having fun, picking and choosing, rather than looking to settle down with someone slightly older like you. And those who DO know that they want to have kids with someone, may make a snap judgement that they don’t want to wait around for you to make up your mind.

    I don’t envy you being in your late 30’s and still undecided about the question of children. Even though you are male, the older you get, the harder you might find it to find women willing to have your children when you are ready. There have been a few posts on this blog about that.

  18. 58

    Going back to the whole persevering in online dating- I was just googling ‘online dating’ a few hours ago- and I found some pretty frightening stuff. Sites (and people) who’ve said that 25% of the men who use Match are married, and a good chunk of the rest are in relationships. The latter group tends to go on the site at the first sign of trouble with their girlfriends, and they want to ‘fish’ around, so to speak.

    I guess I should be thankful that my online dating experience has been…well, practically non-existent (read: guys who disappear after a couple of e-mails). Who knows, maybe they worked things out with their wives? 😉

    I don’t know…persevering in something where the odds are stacked SO high against you seems a little like beating your head against a wall (which I probably am doing)- I mean, if most of the members are married/in relationships, and the rest aren’t paying members who can respond to e-mails- that’s kind of like you’re floating alone in an abyss, right?

    I mean- of course I have met a few people who met people online- but it seems to be a very low number- a bit like winning the lottery.

    THen again, I guess the same thing could happen in real life, right? Guys pretending to be single and then a girlfriend comes into the picture later- god knows that’s happened to me more than I care to think about.

  19. 59

    @BeenThere, etc. (#52)
    I see your point, BUT…”friends first and then we’ll see” is such a stock phrase, right up there with “I know how to treat a woman,” “I love to pamper/spoil,” and “Looking for a Good Woman”.
    When I see those phrases in a profile, I don’t look twice. Why should I? Those statements don’t need to be made, they should be understood as given. So what of the actual person  is there to work with?
    I’ll admit to personal bias…every one of the stock phrases I mentioned just make me cringe.   Even so, it’s difficult to get a sense of a person from a profile made up of stock phrases. Here’s the impression I’m left with:    
    a) they don’t know what to say (which tells me they don’t know what they want)
      b)they don’t want to put any effort into writing a profile (so why would I think they’d put effort into dating me?)  
    c) every one of those phrases suggests the guy who wrote them is clueless about himself and women in general, and more than likely, way too lonely or too busy playing the field to be a good prospect.

    Instead of saying “friends first” why not try,  “I’m looking to widen my circle” or something similar?   That makes your intent clear without overstating the obvious and leaves the door to dating cracked.

  20. 60

    I should have clarified – I have never said in my actual profile that I’m looking for friends first.   I will say to a guy that I want to be friends first when it seems that he is pushing for a relationship before we’ve even met.   I guess it is a way of slowing someone down who seems to be moving WAY TOOOO FAST!    

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