Why Is It Difficult to Move from a Dating App to a Real Date?

Online dating can make it easier to meet people and easier to decide if the person we met online is someone whom we want to see in person. Specialized dating apps have simply made this process more efficient. But, some folks are stuck in the dating app, texting back and forth, mode without ever going out on a “real” date. What is doing on in these cases? Why is it difficult to move from a dating app to a real date?

Reasons Why Folks Don’t Move from Apps to Real Dates

The short and sweet reasons that people usually get stuck in a dating app “Groundhog Day” are that they have gotten burned too many times in the dating world or they think that they will. The Washington Post in their column, Solo-ish, offers 5 reasons people who message on dating apps never move on to a face to face encounter.

I hear so often from men and women on dating apps who are frustrated that they’ve ended up as pen pals, so I spoke with several daters and a psychologist to try get to the bottom of whether daters want to be pen pals, or if it’s just something that happens when you’re trying to meet your soul mate but you’re too tired to put on pants and go out.

The five reasons boil down to these:

  • Nothing else to do and texting back and forth fills the empty hours
  • Past experience was that great texting did not turn in a great date
  • Long term problem with insecurity and meeting people
  • Using the texting game to boost their ego
  • Don’t believe that online dating leads to satisfying relationships

The first of their reasons reminds us of fantasy dating. This is not really dating. It is a game.

There are all sorts of online fantasy dating games to choose from. But, if you play a fantasy dating game, are you learning about dating or living a fantasy? To an extent fantasy dating is like little girls playing with dolls. It is play acting real life and doing so in preparation for the real thing. Fantasy dating by adults is commonly just fantasy and should not be confused with the useful work that children do in preparing for adulthood. If you are a devotee of fantasy dating make sure that you understand that what you are doing is playing and not engaging in the real thing.

There is nothing wrong with playing the “texting game” so long as you do not fool yourself into thinking that you are really doing this in order to find a person, fall in love, develop and relationship, and spend a lifetime together. Number four is similar but in this case the person probably knows exactly what they are doing. Unfortunately, they will probably end up like a serial dater, alone and unfulfilled.

Numbers Two and Five are similar. In each case the person got burned. Either it was a bad first date or the dating did not turn out well. In these cases, we have to wonder about the resumes these folks posted and their choices of folks to text with. The advantage of online dating is that it can help you more effectively pick the right person and avoid wasting your time. The answer to this problem is to go back to square one, rewrite your resume, and make better choices next time.

The issue of insecurity is probably not limited to a person’s dating life. It needs to be dealt with because, aside from making it harder to find someone and form a relationship, insecurity can ruin a relationship as well. If your insecurities are minor they can be dealt with by putting yourself in situations where you will find success and less insecurity. If the problem is deeper, then professional help is probably needed.

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