Please note that starting in June, Erika’s dating column will run bi-weekly. Got ideas/questions/thoughts for a future article? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally – you’ve met someone online, let’s say on JDate! You went on a first date, and you kind of liked each other. Then you went on a second date, and you liked each other a little more. You went on a third date, and thoughts of exclusivity 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”? After you’ve changed your Facebook status to “in a relationship” (the tell-tale sign for many people these days…)? Or, is unsubscribing from receiving online dating site e-mails 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 e-mail from a friend saying, “I don’t know how to say this, but your new guy/girl is still on JDate and appears to have logged in within the last 24 hours.” It makes your heart sink.
I’m a firm believer in e-mailing and dating many different people initially to see who’s out there. 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 JDate 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 immediately check out your other options.
- 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) continue responding to e-mails 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 really handle the multiple communications. Thanks again for writing, and good luck to you!
My question for those of you who think you’re just being polite is: Why are you still actively answering e-mails? If you really want to see where the relationship is going, then stop logging in to your online dating account!
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 openly discuss taking your profile down. Heck, you could even have a “profile deletion party” with a glass of wine in hand. That actually sounds like a pretty fun date! In the meantime, don’t forget these online dating profile tips.
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people with all aspects of online dating. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available. Want to connect with Erika? Join her newsletter for updates and tips.
This article was also posted in JMag, the online magazine for JDate.com.