Imagine this: you swipe right on a dating app and match with a hottie who seems to have it all. He’s handsome, smart, funny, and shares your passion for travel and adventure. You chat for a while and feel a strong connection. You decide to meet up for a coffee date and see where it goes. You’re excited and nervous, hoping that he’s the one you’ve been looking for.
But when you get to the cafe, you can’t believe your eyes. The guy who shows up is not the same guy you saw on the app. He looks at least 10 years older and 20 pounds heavier than his profile picture. You feel cheated, angry, and disgusted. You want to run away, but you don’t want to be rude. So you sit through the most awkward and boring date of your life, counting the minutes until it’s over.
Sound familiar? If you’ve ever used a dating app, chances are you’ve experienced something like this. It’s called expectation mismatch, and it’s one of the biggest problems of online dating. It happens when someone presents themselves as better than they really are on their dating profile, and then disappoints you when you meet them in person. And it’s not just about their looks. It can also be about their personality, goals, interests, or compatibility. It can make you feel like you’ve wasted your time, energy, and emotions on someone who wasn’t worth it.
But why do people lie or exaggerate on their dating profiles? And how can you avoid or deal with expectation mismatch in online dating? In this article, I will explore some of the reasons and consequences of expectation mismatch in dating apps, and give you some tips and tricks on how to spot and avoid the fakers and find your true match. Whether you’re looking for Mr. Right, Mr. Right Now, or Mr. Right Swipe, this article will help you have more fun and success in your online dating journey.
Who They Really Are
Let’s face it: we all want to look good on dating apps. We want to show our best selves and attract as many matches as possible. We want to impress them with our personality, achievements, and goals. We want to make them like us and want us. And sometimes, we may stretch the truth a little bit to do that.
But there’s a difference between putting your best foot forward and lying through your teeth. There’s a difference between highlighting your strengths and making up stuff. There’s a difference between being confident and being cocky. And there’s a difference between being yourself and being someone else.
Some people don’t seem to get that. They think that they can get away with anything on dating apps. They think that they can fool you with their fake profiles and messages. They think that they can win you over with their fake charm and compliments. They think that they can hide their flaws and shortcomings from you forever.
But they’re wrong. Because sooner or later, you’ll find out the truth. And when you do, you’ll feel like you’ve been cheated, lied to, and played. You’ll feel like you’ve wasted your time, energy, and emotions on someone who wasn’t worth it. You’ll feel like you’ve been catfished.
So how can we avoid being duped by these fakers? And how can we spot the real deal? Here are some tips:
- Don’t fall for profiles that seem too good to be true. If someone looks like a model, has a fancy job, travels the world, and loves everything you love, they may be hiding something or lying.
- Look for signs of authenticity and consistency. Check if their photos are recent, realistic, and consistent. See if their bio and messages match their personality and interests. Look for red flags like inconsistencies, contradictions, or vague answers.
- Do some research before you meet them. Google their name, look them up on social media, or ask mutual friends about them. See if their online persona matches their real identity and reputation.
- Trust your gut. If something feels off or wrong about someone, don’t ignore it. Listen to your intuition and don’t let them fool you.
Look Can Be Deceiving
Another common cause of expectation mismatch in dating apps is when people don’t look like their photos in real life. They may use outdated, edited, or filtered photos that make them look younger, slimmer, or more attractive than they really are. They may also use angles, lighting, or poses that hide their flaws or enhance their features. They may also wear different clothes, hairstyles, or accessories that change their appearance. They do this to boost their confidence, attract more matches, or fit a certain image. But they also create a false impression of themselves that can backfire when they meet their matches in person.
Remember the guy from the intro? The one who looked nothing like his profile picture? The one who was older, heavier, and shorter than he claimed? Yeah, he was one of those people. He was one of those people who presented themselves as better than they really were on dating apps. And he made my friend Sarah feel awful.
Sarah’s story is not unique. Many of us have experienced something similar when using dating apps. We’ve been fooled by people who presented themselves as better than they really were. And it sucked.
So how can you avoid being let down by people who don’t look like their photos? And how can you find someone who looks like what you see on the app? Here are some tips:
- Be realistic about your expectations. Don’t judge someone solely by their photos. Remember that photos can be misleading, edited, or filtered. Don’t expect someone to look exactly like their photos in real life.
- Look for clues of authenticity and accuracy. Check if their photos are recent, clear, and varied. See if they have photos of themselves in different settings, outfits, and moods. Look for signs of editing or filtering, such as blurring, smoothing, or altering.
- Ask for more photos or videos before you meet them. If you’re not sure about someone’s appearance, you can ask them to send you more photos or videos of themselves. You can also video chat with them to see how they look and sound in real time.
Make Sure You Want The Same Thing
Another common cause of expectation mismatch in dating apps is when people have different goals or intentions for their online dating experience. They may want different things from their matches, such as a casual hookup, a serious relationship, a friendship, or something else. They may also have different expectations for their interactions, such as how often they communicate, how soon they meet, how exclusive they are, or how committed they are. They may not be clear or honest about their goals or expectations, or they may change them over time. They may also assume that their matches share their goals or expectations, without checking or confirming them. They do this to avoid rejection, confusion, or conflict. But they also create a mismatch of goals or expectations that can lead to disappointment, frustration, or hurt.
So how can you avoid being let down by people who have different goals or expectations than you? And how can you find someone who wants the same thing as you? Here are some tips:
- Be clear and honest about your goals and expectations. Don’t be afraid to state what you’re looking for and what you’re not looking for on your profile and messages. Don’t pretend to want something you don’t, or don’t want something you do.
- Look for clues of compatibility and alignment. Check if their profile and messages match your goals and expectations. See if they have any indicators of what they’re looking for and what they’re not looking for on their profile and messages. Look for signs of interest, commitment, and respect.
- Ask for clarification or confirmation before you meet them. If you’re not sure about someone’s goals or expectations, you can ask them directly or indirectly. You can also express your own goals or expectations and see how they react or respond.
What You Want Them To Prefer
Another common cause of expectation mismatch in dating apps is when people don’t find a partner who is similar to their preference in terms of interests, values, and beliefs. They may have a certain idea or ideal of what they’re looking for in a partner, such as their hobbies, passions, opinions, or lifestyles. They may also have certain criteria or standards that they want their partner to meet, such as their preferences, tastes, or goals. They may not find anyone who matches their preference or meets their criteria on the app. They may also settle for someone who doesn’t match their preference or meets their criteria on the app. They may also ignore or overlook their preference or criteria when they match with someone on the app. They do this to lower their expectations, find compromise, or avoid loneliness. But they also create a mismatch of preference that can lead to dissatisfaction, resentment, or regret.
So how can you avoid being let down by not finding anyone who matches your preference in terms of interests, values, and beliefs? And how can you find someone who matches your preference? Here are some tips:
- Be flexible and realistic about your preference. Don’t be too rigid or narrow about what you’re looking for in a partner. Remember that no one is perfect and that everyone has flaws and differences. Don’t expect someone to match your preference exactly or completely.
- Look for clues of similarity and compatibility. Check if their profile and messages match your preference in terms of interests, values, and beliefs. See if they have any indicators of what they’re looking for and what they’re not looking for on their profile and messages. Look for signs of interest, enthusiasm, and respect.
- Ask for more information or verification before you meet them. If you’re not sure about someone’s interests, values, or beliefs, you can ask them more questions or ask them to prove it. You can also share your own preference in terms of interests, values, or beliefs and see how they react or respond.
The Bottom Line
Dating apps can be amazing. You can meet awesome people, have exciting experiences, and maybe even find your true love. But they can also be challenging. You can meet people who don’t match your expectations, who let you down, or who break your heart. How can you avoid these challenges and enjoy the rewards of dating apps?
The secret is to manage your expectations well. Don’t expect too much or too little from dating apps. Don’t expect them to be easy, or to be hard. Don’t expect them to be flawless, or to find you the flawless person. Dating apps are just tools, not miracles.
But don’t settle for less than you deserve either. Don’t settle for people who lie to you, who don’t respect you, or who don’t want the same thing as you. Dating apps are full of options, not obligations.
The best way to manage your expectations well is to be yourself and look for someone who is themselves. Be honest and clear about who you are and what you want. Look for people who are honest and clear about who they are and what they want. Be curious and open-minded about people who are different from you, but also be aware and respectful of your differences. Be interested and enthusiastic about people who are similar to you, but also be careful and realistic about your similarities.