How to get over a bad online dating experience

Like all forms of dating, you can have some amazing experiences and some that you’d prefer to forget. It can help you meet the one, or it can turn out to be a complete disaster. The singles that cope best with the ups and downs of online dating are those that are resilient, have fun and stay positive.

But for some of you, bad online dating experiences can set you back and leave you spiraling. If this sounds like you, then use these guidelines to help you get over online dating setbacks: 1) Review what went wrong It’s very easy to simply blame yourself and say that the date went wrong because of you! Basically, you’re bad at relationships, you’re undateable, not attractive enough, too needy, destined to be alone forever etc. Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, think about the big picture. Why was this date wrong for you? How did they contribute to this being a bad dating experience? What do you want different in your next date? 2) Focus on your strengths After a bad online dating experience, you can lose faith in yourself and become overly self-critical. To prevent this negative spiral, remind yourself of your dating strengths. What makes you such a great date? What are your positive personality traits? Why makes you so good at relationships? 3) Lean on your friends Reach out to your trusted circle of close friends and get their opinion on the bad online dating experience. They can build you up, give you perspective, see the whole picture, help you feel better about the setback and get you back on track. 4) Consider you online approach Any dating setback needs to be viewed as a learning experience. You’re getting better about online dating by understanding what works and what doesn’t. Review what you’re doing online. Are your profile pictures working? Do you need to refresh your online profile or username? Is it time to consider different types of singles? Do you need to slow down the process and let them chase? 5) Avoid the wrong types If you want different you have to do different. Make sure that after a bad online dating experience, you avoid repeating toxic patterns. Know what types you need to avoid, be aware of the warning signs, and get good at politely saying no and cutting contact when you know they’re not good for you. 6) Take a short time out For some of you, it’s entirely healthy to take a short time out after a bad dating experience to regather yourself. It allows you to collect your thoughts, consider your options and change things up. But beware, don’t be out of the game too long. You need to get back on the horse. Set a limit to this time out, and then when you’re ready, jump back in with a new positivity and optimism for finding the one.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (

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