Frustrated man looking at cellphone wondering "Is online dating a waste of time?"

Is Online Dating A Waste Of Time For You? 7 Ways To Turn It Around!

13 June 2024

When my clients come to coaching, they are usually frustrated with dating and with not having had any luck finding a quality person for a life partner. Then they will ask me, “Is online dating a waste of time and should I pursue this?”

My answer is, “It can be if you don’t follow these 7 recommendations.”

You see, over 80% of my successfully coupled clients met their life partners (and yes, spouses) via an online dating site. This is only AFTER applying my proven coaching methodology. And I’ve been coaching singles for over 20 years!

Here are my 7 suggestions for you if you feel that online dating is a waste of time:

  1. Be Crystal Clear About Your Dating Goals and Share Those Goals Quickly
    If you’re dating for marriage, then say so. It won’t serve you to hide this fact. If you’re dating for other reasons, then share that too. This way you’ll attract people who want what you want. There is no judgment here. There are so many reasons that people date (I list over 2 dozen in my Motivated to Marry Dating Secrets coaching program), so you need to be crystal clear in your profile.

    However, I do see my clients afraid to put “dating to meet a marriage partner” in their online dating profile for fear of seeming too desperate. The opposite is true! People appreciate knowing your true intentions. They will respect you more for being willing to share this fact about you. They will know they have found a kindred soul.

  2. Have Questions Ready to Easily Vet People
    Through messaging, you can find out how ready for a relationship someone truly is. Are they single, and not separated or recently broken up? Do their current goals support time for a serious relationship? Think of conversation starters and questions that will help you discover someone’s true dating intentions. What else do you need to know before you would consider meeting in person? With the right questions, you can get clarity and shorten the time it takes to find out if this person is the right fit. In the long run, you’ll diminish the nagging question of, “Is online dating a waste of time?”

  3. Require a Video Chat Before Meeting in Person
    Many of my clients initially miss this step. They are messaging for weeks and months or talking on the phone with no real intention of meeting in person. This is what scammers do. Keep you going for months or a year! I’ve seen it happen. This would definitely make it seem as though online dating is a waste of time.

    However, take the initiative and request a video chat to meet this person face to face. Make sure they actually look like their picture. You’ll then be able to tell if their photo is current. Someone could be 10 or more years older than their photos! And scammers avoid video – for they don’t want to be found out. So be strong and cut off communication if someone doesn’t agree to a video chat. (Again, a phone call alone won’t help you here).

  4. Set Boundaries About Messaging
    Share with the person when you’re available for messaging and how often you’re able to message given your life situation. Some people expect immediate responses and will feel you don’t care otherwise. Respect that most people have a life beyond dating!

    Most of my clients are busy professionals and may not be regularly looking at their phone. It can be disruptive to workflow and concentration. Some secure workplaces require you to leave your phone in your car or a locker and not be available during work hours.

    Make your boundaries or limitations clear. If someone can’t respect that, then that’s a big issue and you’ll be glad you found this out sooner rather than later. In this way, you’re making sure that online dating is not a waste of time.

  5. Meet in Person Within a Month of Your First Connection
    I have an expression, “Don’t be a pen pal!”. What does that mean? It means having some limits on the back-and-forth messaging. Then you can move to video chats and then, if all goes well, meet in person soon after.

    Of course, there may be extenuating circumstances that may push out the timeframe a couple of weeks such as family events, vacations, scheduled surgeries, and long distance. I had a client who lived in DC and his connection was in Australia. They met during the Pandemic and obviously couldn’t meet up. So they maintained a Zoom relationship for 9 months before she was able to travel to the States to meet him during her winter break. Yes, they are married now!

    To make sure that online dating isn’t a waste of time, set some time limits for yourself and share that you’re not going to be communicating indefinitely without going to the next step – meeting in person!

  6. Don’t Make Snap Judgments- Seek to Discover More About the Person
    One of the biggest dating mistakes, and the reason why my clients tell me they can’t meet anyone online (or in person), is assuming stuff too soon before getting the full picture. Dating is an exploration and a chance to get to know someone on a deeper level. You’re not committing to forever love right away, so give a nice person a chance. They may surprise you.

    Don’t assume anything unless you are actually hearing something that does not sit right. One of my Boomer client’s girlfriend assumed that just because his wife died of breast cancer, he wouldn’t want to date her since she recovered from breast cancer herself. My client told her that was his choice and he was willing to take the chance because he really liked her. Yes, they are married now too!

  7. Consider This Experience as an Adventure
    You never know who you’ll meet! It’s a chance to meet someone you may never have met in your natural course of events. And if you don’t meet the love of your life, you may have made a new friend. The most important thing in this process, about doing anything, is your mindset. Try to have fun with it. Or laugh at the absurdity of it all. You may want to start your own dating blog so you can write about your dating trials and tribulations!

So, is online dating a waste of time?

If you apply some of these strategies and they lead you to “your person”, what would you say then?

Successful online dating is about dating smarter, not harder! Start by asking yourself if your online profile is attracting the right kind of people and move forward from there.

And if you need more specific help, grab my online dating checklist with tips on improving your online profile and so much more. Go to