Are Our Biggest Online Dating Challenges Self-Imposed?

About a week ago,  I posted a seemingly innocent question on the Okcupid subreddit. I asked other subscribers what their biggest dating challenge was.


I got a lot more answers than I expected to. Being my typical, analytical self, I decided to spend some time grouping all the comments into categories.

It essentially boiled down into four main reasons.

  • Having high – if not impossible – standards
  • Lacking self-confidence
  • Location
  • Time constraints

Through all of these, I realized that almost all of our challenges are self-imposed. We’re deliberately making it harder for ourselves to find Mr. or Mrs. Right by creating all kinds of restrictions on ourselves.

It got me thinking. Why is that?

Sure, we are mostly to blame. I also think it’s how online dating sites are marketed to us. Admittedly, marketers behind online dating sites like Okcupid, Match, eHarmony are really good at marketing to us why we need their services.

Dating isn’t a new phenomenon like say taking selfies on Instagram. It’s a tried and true way to meet your soulmate since the dawn of modern society.

Online dating sites ploy on many of our biggest fears and insecurities.

  • What if there is no one out there for me? 
  • What if I end up all alone? 
  • Should I start hoarding cats? 

The reality is you don’t need an online dating site to meet your soulmate. Our parents didn’t. Nor, our grandparents.

These sites are engineered to make you think there are millions of people on their site – and one of them is waiting for you. This could be the case. It may happen from online dating or it could happen in the grocery store line. No matter where you find your soulmate- online or offline- it requires a certain element of fate and luck. You can’t code a tech platform that completely accounts for the serendipitous elements of fate and luck.

That brings me back to my previous points. In order to maximize all of our chances of finding someone really great, we need to stop being so hard on ourselves and/or let our guard downs. Instead of looking for the perfect person (as perfect is nearly impossible to find), look for someone who is pretty great that complements you.

What’s your biggest dating challenge? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below or you can email me directly at