Dating as a business professional is hard. It’s tough to find other singles that understand your devotion to your work and the fact that you can’t just call in sick whenever you feel like it. There are people at work that count on you, and you don’t want to let them down.
But, all of that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to find that special someone. You deserve the same chance at love as everyone else regardless of what you do for a living. In our latest addition to our dating guides for business professionals (an awesome place to check out if you haven’t been there yet), we’re going to tackle the top 10 mistakes business professionals make when online dating.
Now, the point of this article is not to call you out or shame you into feeling bad about yourself. The purpose of this article is to build you up by showing you what you’re doing wrong so you can fix it. If you can correct even one of these mistakes in your online dating life, your chances of finding that special someone are certainly going to increase.
1. Not devoting enough time to the process.
Online dating takes time. It doesn’t take as much time as most people think it does, but it does take time to get the results that you want. What we’ve found is that a lot of business professionals are not dedicating the necessary time to the process to get the results they want.
How much time are we talking? Well, in our Time Management and Dating Guide for Business Professionals, we say that if you can carve out 20 minutes twice a week and one hour every two weeks consistently, that’s plenty to get you started. There are some caveats to that including the fact that you actually have to schedule that time, but that’s the gist of it.
We highly recommend checking out that guide if you feel like you might not be giving an adequate amount of time to the process.
2. Treating it like a job.
While we do want you to take the dating search process seriously, it’s not a job. It’s supposed to be fun. There are supposed to be emotions involved. There are going to be unknowns that you don’t understand. This is all part of the process!
It’s okay to approach the process systematically and with a sense of purpose, but you need to loosen the reigns a little bit and allow life to happen. Don’t try and control every aspect of the process. This might work in your job and is probably the reason you’re so successful, but it’s going to torpedo you in the world of love and online dating.
3. Refusing to look outside your typical circle.
Dating other business executives and entrepreneurs is a great thing. They understand where you’re coming from and have busy lives of their own that will keep them from noticing your lack of free time as much. But, contrary to popular belief, it can and does work with people outside of that circle. You can date and fall in love with people that don’t have the crazy busy, business-driven life that you have. In fact, a lot of times they can be complementary to the things you have going on in your life.
When you search for singles online, don’t dismiss people that have different lives than you. Doing so will broaden your horizons, and you just might find something or someone that surprises you. When you do this, though, make sure that you pay special attention to #8 on this list because it becomes that much more important.
4. Using the wrong dating sites.
Tinder and the likes are NOT the places you’re going to find what you’re looking for. While there are some nice people on there, most of the masses on there are not looking for the same things you’re looking for. You’re looking for something meaningful that could potentially turn into something serious. You’re looking for a partner in crime that can support you in all you do. If not and we’re wrong, Tinder away. But, we assume based on the fact that you’re here, we’re on the right track.
What are the best dating sites for professional singles? Glad you asked! Below are our favorites. Anyone or a combination of these sites will be ideal for what you’re looking for.
- eHarmony has the most marriages and one of the most complex matching systems out there. The initial setup does take longer, but you’re definitely going to save time and get great results on the backend thanks to getting only higher quality and better fit matches.
- Elite Singles is a dating site that seems to be targeted at the business types. While it sounds snooty with the title, it is actually inhabited by a lot of nice singles who are just looking for other people who have it together. This is a good addition to one of the above sites if you’re looking to try two sites.
5. Not checking their ego at the door.
This is a message for some of you, but not all of you. We get it that you crush it in the boardroom and are a master of the deal. We think that’s awesome and you should feel like a rock star. But, the problem is that sometimes this confidence and success can turn into ego. Now, we’d argue that a little ego in the business world is a good thing, but any ego in the dating world is not good at all.
You need to find a way to check that ego at the door and not let it creep into your dating. Don’t compare resumes with the person you’re dating or talking to. One of you will be more successful at least in a business sense than the other. That’s how life works. But, if you draw attention to that or think anything of it, you’re going to drive the other person away.
Remember, people can be successful at a lot more than just business and work. This is a good way to help check that ego if you’re struggling with it. You’re looking for someone to love, not someone to gloat over.
6. Not letting their guard down.
On the same token as the above tip, you need to make sure that you’re willing to let your guard down. When you’re in the boardroom or wherever you conduct your business, you have to keep your guard up. You’re constantly looking for threats and people that could hurt your business or take advantage of your position. But, if you continue this into the dating world, you’re going to have a really bad time.
Now, we’re not saying to throw all caution to the wind because that would be a much bigger dating mistake. You still need to be safe and make sure you’re following the general online dating safety guidelines. But, at some point, you are going to need to let your guard down at least a little at a time to let someone in. If you don’t, you’re never going to get past what feels like a bunch of business meetings that you happened to title ‘Date” in your calendar on Outlook.
7. Treating dates and conversation like job interviews.
When you interview clients or potential hires, you’re not using emotion. In fact, you’re trying to eliminate emotion from the equation so you can make a rational decision based solely on facts and data. Again, this is something that is great in the business world. But, when you start doing this with the girls and guys you’re talking to online, you’re going to turn them off and disinterest them quickly.
Allow emotion to creep into the conversations. Allow the moment to happen without you completely controlling it. Don’t just try and get information. Allow yourself to feel what’s happening and react like a human and not a highly-trained business person.
Is this going to be easy? Nope. Especially if you’re really conditioned to push emotion out of the equation. Just remember that you’re not looking for someone to work for you. You’re looking for someone to be your partner. By viewing them as an equal, you’re off to a good start. From there, you’re going to have to work on letting your guard down and getting out of the interview mode. Remember, a conversation takes two people, so you don’t have to run the show like you do in an interview.
“Thank you for coming in for this date. Do you have any questions for me before you leave?
Please never let a date feel like it can be closed with this phrase. If it happens, apologize immediately and explain this section to them.
8. Not being open with their matches.
This is a SUPER important mistake that you cannot be making when dating as a business professional or entrepreneur. Your time is going to be limited. You know that. You’re not going to be able to respond to messages and texts all day long. You know that. You’re not going to be able to go out on long dates late into the night. You know that.
But, does the person you’re talking to know that? They only will if you tell them. If you’re open about your time issues with the matches you talk to, they’re much more likely to be understanding and not be pushy to try and get more of your time. This is going to make for a much healthier relationship growth process which is ideally what you should be looking for.
If you need some guidance about how to do this the right way, check out the guide that we referenced in #1 on this list. It perfectly breaks down the importance of being open about your situations and how to go about sharing that with a match that you’re talking to or are interested in. It’s a must read in our opinion.
9. Bragging about their success.
It’s tough to talk about yourself when all you do is work. We get that. But, think about this from someone else’s perspective. Would you be excited to go on a date with someone who is constantly talking about how successful they are?
Probably not. It can be tempting to do because you might think it makes you look good to the other person. The problem is that it’s only going to make you look good to people who are after your success or your money. People that are after your heart and you are going to be severely turned off.
Look, we’re not saying that you can’t talk a little bit about what you do and what you’re good at. But, no bragging. As the relationship grows, they’ll start to learn how successful you are but forcing it early will cause nothing but bad outcomes.
10. Quitting too early.
We’re closing with this as our last mistake business professionals make when dating online because it just seems fitting. Was starting your business or getting to where you are in the business world easy? Did you ever get knocked on your butt and have to pick yourself back up again and again? Most likely the answer is yes of course. You see, anything worth having is going to require work and the same is true when it comes to dating and finding love.
If you run into a few bad apples, so what. If you have a few bad dates or people that are impatient, so what. All of your failures are instantly not going to matter when you find the person you’re looking for. Y
es, we know this sounds like a pep talk, but we think you needed one. Don’t give up and work hard for what you want. You know how to get success everywhere else in life; the recipe is no different when it comes to dating and finding love.
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Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a journalist and 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.