This IS the million dollar online dating question, isn't it? So many of you have shared your questions with us about when to take down your dating profile that its clear that this issue creates anxiety for many online daters.
The simple answer is that you take your profile down only when both of you agree to become exclusive and monogamous.
Dating As A Verb
Likely, if you are doing online dating, you've been dating several people simultaneously, trying to figure out if there is someone you'd like to get more involved with. If you've met someone that makes everyone else you're going out with pale in comparison, you're probably considering how to negotiate the potentially awkward discussion of becoming exclusive with each other; in other words, a couple. If this scares you, you probably haven't met the right person, because you should be happy and excited about this decision.
How Long Should We Date Before Talking About Exclusivity?
At LEAST a month, minimum, for a couple of reasons. You need to see what this person is like under various circumstances, and there is no way that you will be seeing anything but each other's best faces in the first few weeks.
The glow of infatuation will still be there in a month, but you'll be able to use this period to see how your date deals with things, and more fully who they are.
Is she polite to the waitress? Does she gossip about her friends, make snide comments about other women? How does he talk about his family? Is his car or apartment a holy disaster? Do he carry a lot of debt, or are she overly focused on material possessions? Have you met any of her friends? Is his oldest kid a juvenile delinquent? Does he call you 6 times a day, flipping out when he can't reach you? You get the idea.
How Do I Know if They Feel the Same Way?
You don't. You don't know for sure, and this is where your angst can enter, center-stage. In fact, you may not even know for sure if the object of your affection is dating other people. You have a couple of options.
You could simply ask the following question:
- Do you have some other women (or men) that you enjoy spending time with right now, like you and I are?
Note: Be prepared to answer any question you ask of someone. And be prepared with an answer if they say, "Yes, why?"
Or, you could not ask about others, and just tell the person the following:
I've really enjoyed spending time with you over the last 6 weeks. I know this could be a little awkward, depending on your dating situation, but I'd like to see you exclusively. Why don't you think about it and let me know?
The Mars and Venus Thing
Depending how you feel about some male/female roles, you may want to think about allowing the man to lead in this direction. But this may present a challenge, since women tend to focus on "Where is this thing GOING?" vs. men, who think about the task at hand, "Where is thing going TONIGHT?"
Bringing Up The Subject of Exclusivity:
If your guy hasn't broached the subject of becoming exclusive after at least a month, maybe more, and you know this is what you want, let him know. Tell him that the other fellas that you've been dating are interested in getting to know you on a deeper level, but that you are more interested in spending time with him than you are with them. You can tell him that you can continue to date him, as well as the others if he is not ready. But if he reads between the lines, he will realize that this means that you may be swooped up by a competitor. Keep in mind, he may not give you the answer you want, but at least you'll know where he stands.
If you really like this girl, to the point that you'd like to date just her, and have her be your girlfriend, tell her that after dating other people, she alone stands out as the person you've been hoping to meet. Tell her you'd like to be exclusive with her and ask her if she would think about this and let you know how she feels.
Success? Take down those !@#$% profiles!
If you've had The Talk, and you've both agreed that you are the apple of each other's eye, it's time to honor your commitment in a classy way, and take down your dating profile without being asked. If one of you forgets or is remiss in doing this immediately, it tends to bring up doubts for your partner, and you wouldn't want to cause duress to this new love interest, would you? Take it down. Nuff said.