In online forums and gaming – where many people meet their partners – how we express ourselves and our personality acts as the initial attractors.Similarly, we try to divine as much of that information as possible from the dating profile photo and username even before we start in on the dating profile.
I’m going to tell you something that you already know: dating is a frustrating process of trial and error.
For a lot of people, it’s a seemingly never-ending dance of missed connections, nights you’ll never get back again and wondering just what’s wrong with you and why everybody else seems to have it so much easier. In fact, for many people, online dating is such a trial that they give up early on.
When we meet somebody in person, we have hundreds of thousands of verbal and non-verbal clues to give us an intuitive grasp of who we’re talking to and whether or not we’re into them long before we go up and introduce ourselves.
Everything from how they stand to how they talk, who they talk to, how they act around their friends, how they smell, even the pitch and timbre of their voice indicate whether or not we’re likely to have an initial attraction to them that would prompt us to make that all-important first approach.
We’re able to process all of these signals so rapidly that we’re often unaware of it; to our conscious mind, we’re just eliding over the ones who we read as “nope, not interested” while we narrow our focus on the people who do it for us.
All of this subconscious presentation and filtering is lost in online dating; all we have are our words and our photos, so we have to consider how to craft as attractive a snapshot of ourselves as possible.