Do Not Stalk Your Prey

Remember the stigma of shame once attached to online dating? Back when the tagline on every online profile was a variation of “I’ll lie about how we met if you do”? When online daters were presumed to be either old, creepy men, catwomen (old women with lots of cats, or Halle Berry after she made that bad movie), or socially awkward gamers?

I’m happy to report that over the past few years the stigma of shame has been steadily declining, while the number of men and women willing to jump on the online dating bandwagon has experienced an impressive increase – according to this site, 20,000 people join every day, and according to the writer of this column, at least 18,000 of these are safely classified as normal and non-creepy (based on my statistically insignificant experiential research by which only 1/10 guys I meet online is abnormal, creepy and worthy of a blocked profile*).

While we may feel more optimistic about joining the 20,000 and venturing into the world of online dating, some of us tend to remain cautious. Even if we feel that there may be chemistry with you just around the corner, the odd way in which we met may dictate that we prefer to get to know you as a friend before heading toward it. In my experience, it is virtually impossible to go from stranger to sixty in one date, or even several dates. Before accelerating toward a relationship, I prefer to stop at the nearest getting-to-know-you station and fill up on friendship.

This concept was recently lost to a decidedly out-of-practice guy I began getting to know after meeting online through OKCupid. While I was interested enough upon our first face-to-face meeting that I felt it worthwhile to continue getting to know him, I remained uncertain after several dates that there was sufficient chemistry for something more. The fourth time we hung out, I established that I would like to hang out as friends only. While my sentiment was mutually agreed upon at the time, he then proceeded to call, email, and/or text three out of the four days following our discussion. As nice as he may have been, I came down with a bad case of too-much-too-soon and freaked out.

So here’s my online dating tip for today. It can be an exciting surprise when you can envision your online date as a potential partner. But keep in mind that appearing overeager can be a relationship death sentence. Give that person ample time and space, meaning don’t call, text, and/or email every day. If that person is likewise interested in you, he or she will make that effort to continue getting to know you.

*Blocked profile: If you end up with your very own online stalker (and yes, it happens, I’ve had several guys repeatedly email and wink with hopes of meeting up despite never returning any indication of interest), most online dating sites have an option by which you can block that person from contacting you or seeing your profile.


  1. Thanks for the tips. Very interesting read. So many dating networks out there but many people still don’t have the skills to meet people. This will sure come in handy

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