Dispelling common dating myths

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Myths arise around any area of life where people want to have some control or influence. There are hundreds of books about how to find your true love or promising to give you the key to a lasting marriage. While some of the information is quite useful there are some myths which don’t really help when it comes to the world of dating. Because we at eHarmony believe in the science behind the matching process we thought it would be useful to dispel some of these myths.

Myth 1 – You will instantly recognise ‘the one’

This is an unhelpful myth because when we talk about recognising someone most people think about recognising them by sight so they base far too much emphasis on someone’s appearance. If the face doesn’t fit their preconceived idea of their ideal partner they probably won’t even bother to approach them or read the person’s profile.

This is very limiting for a number of reasons, especially when online dating. How many people accurately resemble in real life how they look in a photograph? The photograph is a still and static image often taken at a time when the person was feeling self-conscious because they were having their picture taken. In real life people’s features look different because they are moving and changing all the time and their personality shows through their expressions and gestures.

Recognition isn’t just about sight. We can recognise the smell of someone, the sound of their voice, the sense of them close by. If you want to recognise ‘the one’ you are going to have to rely on more than just your eyes – your heart is the best judge. When you meet someone you really connect with; feel safe in their arms and who brings joy to every corner of your life, how they look becomes much less significant.

Myth 2: Real love should be left to fate

This is one of the main criticisms levied at online dating. People think that in order to find true love you just need to be patient and wait for it to come to you – they believe that the proactive approach of joining a dating site and actively pursuing what you want is somehow not as valid as when someone accidentally crosses your path.

The truth is that dating websites like eHarmony are actually introduction sites. They introduce you to a lot of people you may never have come across in any other way. Once you have connected online and decide to meet all the rest of the relationship proceeds just as it would if you had met in any other way. Fate will play a part, as will chemistry but most of all it will be your willingness to extend yourself to love someone. Sitting at home alone wondering when love will come knocking on your door is unlikely to get you anywhere but logging on and chatting to other singles will.

When you go on a date you will know much more about a match you met online than if you met them in a bar. Online dating is like attending a party full of potential matches and you are free to talk to as many or as few as you please – some people don’t get much chance to go to parties; are shy about approaching people in that situation or want the piece of mind of having the support of eHarmony staff and reading the profile of a person before they meet them. For these people online dating is perfect and puts them in the driving seat of one of the most important areas of their life.

Myth 3: It is OK to pretend to be something you are not

This myth encourages people to be dishonest about themselves at some level – whether that is telling white lies about your age, situation or life experiences or being emotionally dishonest about your feelings for someone – e.g. pretending you don’t want to see them when you do.

If you are serious about wanting a healthy and lasting relationship then remember that from your very first contact with someone you are building the foundations on which that relationship will be built. If these foundations are riddled with lies or half truths – even small ones like saying you have travelled to places when you haven’t – then there will always be cracks in those foundations. Honesty is the best policy – you don’t have to tell someone everything about yourself on a first date but don’t fill in the gaps with untruths either.


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