When online dating, if things are going well enough, inevitably you will bump up against the dilemma of if or when to remove your online dating profile. Removing the profile too soon can feel like you’re a tightrope walker without a safety net.
In the precarious early stages of a budding relationship, you may still have curiosity about other dating options on the horizon. Or you may have fear that if the relationship suddenly crashes and burns, you’ve tamped out any tendrils of interest that may have lingered with other matches you were previously in contact with on that dating site or ripped away your chances with someone even more “perfect for you” that you just hadn’t encountered yet … or your may simply be worried that the person you’re crushing on has his foot left dangling in the dating pools, if you will, by still having his own profile up on that site.
After the variety of online dating experiences I’ve had in the past, I know firsthand how tricky situation this can be.
One guy I dated found out early on that I was a dating and relationships blogger. Slightly inebriated, I was encouraged to feed him the nicknames I gave to some of the guys I’d dated in the past. This guy then proceeded to Google those nicknames and found his way to my blog—and thus my dating history.
Having come out of what he thought was a dream marriage to find his beloved had cheated on him the entirety of their relationship, he was understandably strongly shattered by her infidelity and hesitant moving forward in relationships. After discovering my blog, he immediately suggested that we both remove our dating profiles to give our dating “any real chance of working out.”
Premature Online Profile Evacuation
I agreed, and we proceeded to literally see each other every single day for the next month. It wasn’t until the day he moved into his new apartment, and out of his mother’s, that I realized part of his enthusiasm to see me all the time was motivated by getting out of his parent’s house after a while. We slowed down to just seeing each other on the weekend, which was fine, since honestly, dating him was expensive.
And then I realized we weren’t on the same page in terms of a relationship. He eventually admitted to wanting to keep me off the market to ensure sexual exclusivity. I told him that was a given, whether we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend on paper or not. A few other words were exchanged, and I prevented myself from slapping the side of his big head.
Regardless, I realized that it was time for me to move on and stop wasting my time. I reactivated my dating profile and slowly worked my way into not seeing him at all anymore. That was an extreme case of premature online profile evacuation.
After him, I began dating The European who lived in Boston. Some of you may remember that I quickly fell head over heels, but not after some heavy pursuit and wooing by him. Because of the intensity of our connection, I was ready to toss the dating profile after a couple of weeks, but something stopped me.
Living a state away, often only seeing him for a 24-hour block of time on weekends, and always hearing just how incredibly busy he was with work—yet also finding the time to frequently go out for drinks, dancing and such with friends, something niggled at me that I didn’t know the whole story about him. And what do you know? My intuition proved correct.
When things seemed to be especially splintering, I am not proud to admit that I stalked his usage on the dating site (the ability to see when a “favorite” match is online is both a blessing and a curse). I would wonder why he’d be on at such odd hours, but I never said a thing—until things really fell apart and he insisted to hear everything that had been building up on my list of grievances. Things went back and forth for a while before the final insult.
Eventually, I just began to be more active a participant on the dating site again. I was grateful for the diversion of interest shown by other men. I was genuinely intrigued (and entertained) learning about a variety of new people, and the writer in me enjoyed hearing their unique life stories. Yet I’m not going to lie—sometimes I cried, thinking that no one on there could possibly be the match that I had believed The European and I were for each other.
After the rebound dating of a seemingly decent guy who was just wrong for me romantically, I contemplated whether I wanted to delete my profile for good and just give up on online dating entirely. But I didn’t.
And then I came across The Warrior Poet’s profile, which moved me in completely unexpected ways. I simple had to write him back, and his response back nearly made me dizzy with glee. Taking one more chance would turn out to give me renewed hope in humanity and faith that real men did actually exist, and he planted the seed that unconditional love might very well be a possibility for me at long last again.
Next stop: profile delete—he told me he had already done so with his before I even brought it up. I profusely thanked the dating site as I made my goodbye. No looking back, no regrets. Once again, my gut was my compass—and this time my heart was in total agreement.