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Dating Advice #146 - Online Profile Puzzle

May 9, 2009 | by Rosie Einhorn, L.C.S.W. and Sherry Zimmerman, J.D., M.Sc.

They've been dating steadily, but the website still lists them as 'available.'

Dear Rosie & Sherry,

Jewish dating sites are now very popular, and even the norm. Meeting this way has raised some questions for me that do not come up otherwise. So I'm wondering:

After how many dates should I remove my profile? When should I expect the other person to do the same? What if we have not discussed the future, but things are getting serious, and you find out the other person is still active on the site?

Thank you so very much for answering this. I really need to know as soon as possible. This seems to be such a gray area.


Dear Elana,

This is a loaded question. The answer depends on how seriously two people are dating and whether they have decided to be "exclusive." At any rate, they have to talk about the direction their courtship is going before either one can expect the other to remove a dating website profile.

In general, we always recommend that people concentrate fully on developing one courtship rather than thinking that a better person might be around the corner. First of all, it usually takes most people a number of dates to begin to develop an emotional connection. The idea of a line of other potential dating partners waiting on the horizon distracts from the energy each person should be putting into the developing courtship. And once things move past this point, the idea that there might be someone better can actually sabotage the couple. Certainly, when it gets to the point that the man and woman decide they may be moving in the direction of marriage, keeping an eye out for other prospects shows emotional dishonesty.

We've observed that if a couple is able to develop all the ingredients of a healthy and enduring relationship -- compatible values and goals, physical attraction, mutual admiration, acceptance, affection, emotional intimacy and respect -- then another relationship is generally not going to be "better," just different.

We recommend that when two people have been dating for a while -- anywhere from five to eight weeks -- they should discuss where each of them sees the courtship going. Would they both like to go the distance and see if they are really right for each other? If so, then the profiles should come down.

When you have this discussion, you might discover that while you think you're becoming serious, he hasn't reached that point and needs more time to reach the same level of emotional connectivity. Or, he may never reach that point because he really is interested in playing the field, and/or has no foreseeable goal of marriage. In that case, if you are interested in finding a spouse, both of your profiles can stay in place and you can move on without him.

We wish you all the best,

Rosie & Sherry


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