What was the one thing all your teachers, parents, mentors, and coaches preached to you when you were growing up? Set goals. In everything you did, they wanted you to set goals. Why? Because setting goals helps you to focus on what is important and helps you to succeed better and get what you want. According to just above every successful person in the world, they were right.
The thing is this. We seem to only worry about setting goals when it’s in a business, school, work, or sports environment. What about the rest of our lives? We’re here today to tell you that knowing what your end goal is when it comes to online dating can help make your search much more effectively and your success chances of finding love that much higher.
Why Your Goal is Important
One of the biggest areas of conflict we see amongst new couples who met online has to do with what their end goal is. People think that as long as they find each other attractive, get along well, and are compatible matches, they’re set for success in love. The problem we see, though, is that if two people are trying to run in different directions, it doesn’t matter how well you match up; you’re going to trip over each other and be fighting for different things.
People also think that they can change what their new love’s end goal is. They think “Oh they may think that they don’t want this now but once they get to know me, that will all change.” Here’s the news flash. It rarely changes. You should assume that it’s not going to change; that’s how often it does not change. What ends up happening is you work out well for just long enough to start caring for each other and then you have to endure a nasty and painful breakup because both of you have different end goals in sight.
You HAVE to date someone who has the same end goal as you. If you don’t, you’re going to be back on here in a few months looking for a new online dating site to try and put the patches on the heart scar you got. Let us try and save you from that heartache.
What Are the Potential End Dating Goals?
Let’s talk a bit about what the different potential end goals you might have when it comes to online dating. Are any of these wrong or better than the others? Definitely not. The only bad end goal for you is the one that is not what you really want.
Picking which of these fits you best is going to take a little bit of soul-searching. Yes, it’s a few extra minutes of work reflecting on yourself, but oh boy is it going to pay dividends in your love life. Let’s look at the options.
- Long-Term Dating – This is the people that are looking for something that could eventually turn into a relationship and maybe marriage down the road. Trying out some of the best dating apps for relationships is a good spot to start.
- Casual Dating – This is the singles that are looking to go on some dates but probably not in a committed sense. Keep in mind that you may occasionally find people in this category that are open to the idea of something serious down the road, but you will need to inquire about that distinction because it’s important. Most people that say they are looking for casual dating are just looking to have some fun and that’s about it. The overall best dating apps are a great spot to start here.
- Friends with Benefits – Yes, there are still a lot of people online that are just looking for a little adult fun without the rest of the stuff that comes along with it. If you agree to this with someone, never expect them to make a move to anything more serious than that. You can have exclusive FWB, but don’t expect to change that into a relationship if you get hooked.
- Friends – Believe it or not, there are some people on online dating sites that are just looking for new friends. While we don’t really think this is fair to the other singles on the dating sites, we want you to be aware that it’s out there. This is like going to a job fair and talking with recruiters when you don’t actually want to get a job. You’re wasting their time in an environment that was set up for people who are looking for jobs.
How Do You Know What Other Singles End Goals Are?
Ask. This is the easiest and most straightforward way to find out what the other person is looking to get out of your relationship. Don’t trust what it says on their profile. Too often, people will put something that doesn’t reflect in reality what they are looking for. Communicate. Ask. And when they ask you, be honest about what you’re looking for. Ask them to do the same.
This question should not seem weird or out of line. It’s a question you should ask 100% of the time when you’re talking to a new dating match online. “So, out of curiosity, what exactly are you looking for on here? Long term? Short term? Casual?” You don’t have to come out asking if they’re ready to get married. If you do that, you’ll scare away the good ones 🙂
Make sure they answer you and don’t deflect the question. If you’re looking for something that could potentially turn into something serious and they won’t answer you, chances are they aren’t looking for the same. If they say “I’m looking for something that could potentially turn into something serious,” that’s a great answer. People that say “I’m looking for something serious,” sometimes come across as being too strong. Keep this in mind when you answer the question yourself.
Know what you want. Ask what your dating matches want. Be honest with yourself and only pursue singles who have the same end goal as you.
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.