I work with many people from all walks of life — those who are recently single, those who are new to the area, those who are super busy in their lives, those who have had bad luck meeting people offline and those who are looking to meet others outside of their day to day lives. These are all great reasons to start online dating however there is a major thing you should be aware of once you create an online dating profile and start swiping like there is no tomorrow.

Once you get in the habit of taking photos, creating interesting captions and exchanging witty banter, there is a strong chance you could lose the ability to start and engage in spontaneous, social conversations. Many people get too comfortable relying on technology and guarded walls and filters that they lose the ability to act spontaneously — there is no backspace, no un-send no drafts in real life. There is just you and the other person. Too much time is spent crafting the perfect you that you may regress in your ability to make and carry a phone call, to act spontaneously on a date vs. Yelping ideas and saying what you feel off the top of your head vs spending hours if not days thinking about what to type on your phone or computer.

Additionally, online dating apps and sites provide a false sense of security by allowing for so many filters, check-boxes and algorithms that people forget to give people a chance and just take the time to enjoy the moment of that spontaneous conversation at the bar of a restaurant, that moment of connection on the bus or that sudden glance from across the room of a coffee shop. Being overly picky often results in more disappointment than a higher quality match. I am not saying you should toss your preferences and deal-breakers out the door — what I am saying is you should exercise good judgment while being open, spontaneous and unguarded.

Offline dating (or as I would like to say everyday life) allows people to take risks, be bold, be funny, be flirty, be clumsy, be scared, be adventurous, be curious, be creative, be quirky and be random — all the redeeming qualities that people love in life. Online dating can prevent you from being your best self. Online dating should be used as an additional channel for meeting people, it should never be your exclusive method for shots at romance. If you need help with initiating conversations on dating apps, check out this guide.

For additional tips about dating apps, profile photos, bios, prompts, check out my blog.