Admitting defeat rails against what of us consider to be human nature. We’re try-ers, aren’t we? Particularly in the primordial soup of online dating, where relationships emerge from the ooze of random messages and selfies with cats strewn in the background.
But sometimes you have to accept that someone just isn’t that into you, that you should test other waters with a new conversationalist. Giving up the ghost is hard, so here’s how you know when the time has come to move on:
They’re short, but not sweet
Typically, woo-ing requires two to tango, even on the basic level of hashing sentences out on a keyboard. Some people like to compose elegant essays of why they adore someone’s eye colour, or relay their day in a way that shouldn’t really be detailed at any length.
God bless these Chaucerian wordsmiths, yet it hurts all the more when the reply comes to a thousand-character poem: “Really? LOL”. Heart-breaking. Don’t waste your skills on daters who don’t share your love of good conversation, and who can’t be bothered to type anything of value.
Midnight rambling, and then nothing
Okay, so we’ve all had a moment where a bottle of wine has vanished over our tongue, rendering us in the mood for love. You don your comfiest dressing gown, play some amorous music on your speakers, and hope to sway an online beauty round to a meet up with some wild, random message.
Satisfied, you hit ‘send’ and fall asleep, feeling the satisfaction of a plan well-executed. Yet, in the morning, you realise you’ve barely spoken to this person before, and everything you’ve said is achingly desperate.
You were just acting on a whim weren’t you? Now think about anyone who exhibits this behaviour on the flip-side: if you’re getting nowhere with a potential partner, and then they reach out in the depths of early morning, they’re probably just using you to kill time, or merely to entertain themselves.
Delay after delay after ….
The dating merry-go-round has to lead somewhere – very few people will admit to having a persistent user account as a joke, or a hobby, or another pointless impediment to the real deal. However, you can just easily assume that things are heading somewhere special when they aren’t, which usually can be pinpointed by stalling tactics.
This is the hardest sign to guard against, because you could be misreading the situation. A beau’s father really might be ill, cancelling your picnic plans. Their car really might have broken down on the way to your place, warranting tears of frustration.
Or, just maybe, they’re stringing you along as a backup, indulging in the worst traits of online behaviour. For some people, an online relationship is all they need; for the rest of us, that kind of behaviour is tantamount to a lie. Cue their imminent arrival in the ‘no’ pile.
Whilst free online dating lets you scour the web for suitable matches, every conversation should be approached with care. Your love life, after all, should be safe from those who don’t deserve your affection. By placing high standards on yourself, and straying away from impulsive and angry comments, you’ll gravitate towards that ultimate soul mate, the one waiting for your messages with trembling hands.
Let’s put these points into practice – join our ranks of local singletons looking for romance, and let them do half of the heavy lifting.