Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dating Overlap Scenario: In Depth Analysis

Written by Lauren K. of Love Kudos

So, we discussed what possibly can happen as a result of the dating overlap problem, but let's take a more in depth look at why this occurs in relatively urban populations.

First off, when you post your profile on a niche dating site like Catholic Singles or Jdate, you are bound to have at least "interest overlap" due to the limited local population with your religious requirements. However, are we supposed to completely eliminate this option to meet people if ultimately we would like to end up with someone from the same religion? I don't think so. Although I have taken holidays from the online dating world, I have found that when I meet people offline they are not always looking for a relationship. Often times, the number one thing we have in common is physical attraction or a specific sport.

I do want to end up with someone that matches my core values, and I have found luck with Jdate and through friends.  So, we know that the niche sites have small local pools of people, but what about Match and eHarmony that have tons of "inventory?" Why is there so much "dating overlap" happening with men and women on these sites too?

Lauren K.'s "Online Dating Overlap" Theory:

Part 1: With online dating, men will send out feelers, known as "winks" or "flirts", up to 20 at a time, in the hope that a few women will respond. Women tend to limit the amount of emails or feelers they send out to men. They send them to only a few at a time, and hold back before writing to more people. Most women tend to focus more on the content of a man's profile, and in contrast, men are more superficial with the online dating process and will consider writing a "HOT" woman that is clearly beneath them in education and quality. First question for men, "Am I really attracted to her?" is what they ask themselves as they browse through dozens of profiles. Next, .... what does she do and is she kind? Guys really do want someone that will be kind to them. I hear this time and again from my guy friends.

Part 2: Friends are looking for similar traits in a partner. What attracts you to a person might physically differ, but most of my friends all want guys that are well educated, financially stable, close with their family, funny, active, religiously open or Jewish. Therefore, it shouldn't surprise me that four of my friends have all hooked up with the same guy, two of which met him online. He will remain anonymous and I will not tell you even if you ask me privately. Guys, what are you looking for? I think the same can be said for guy friends as well to an extent. Offline, guys do not have the same problem girls do, because they call claims pretty fast when they meet a girl at a bar. The considerate guy will back off.

Well, what should you do if you discover that you are dating the same guy / girl as a friend? 

I think honesty is really the best policy. If you really like the guy you are seeing, but find out through a friend that he is also seeing someone in your circle of friends, talk to him / her. My first suggestion is to call them to confirm the rumor. It might not even be true. They might be just work friends and the person that saw them out together misread the signs. Don't assume what someone said. Ask ... If they don't respond, try one more attempt.  One person might decide that they are really not that into the person and will tell the other to go for it. (Remember, you need to look for both verbal and non-verbal clues here.) You never know unless you ask. 

If both of you would like to continue dating that person, you might want to set up some boundaries to avoid WW III between the two of you later on.

1) That guy or girl is off limits in conversation.
2) If either of you have the DNR (Define the Relationship) talk with the "guy" or "girl," you tell the other the outcome.
3) You have to respect the decision by both parties.
4) If the "guy" or "girl" does not pick you, then let it rest.

The reality is that neither of you will probably end up marrying the guy or girl in question, so try to maintain your friendship. Your friendship is more likely to stay in tact than the "possible" relationship. On the flip side, Lindsay K. says, "If there is the off chance that there is a real connection, I wouldn't want that resting on my shoulders if I prevented two people from being together."

Lindsay K. adds, "I was recently in contact with this guy who first emailed me around New Years.  I pointed out his profile on Match to Lauren. She informed me he had sent the same form letter to her.  Since she hadn't responded, she immediately backed down and let me continue with him because we were already 4 emails in.  He asked me out for Sushi and had a really good time with great conversation.  I hadn't been on a first date in a long time in which I could actually see myself falling for the guy.  I gushed to Lauren about what a wonderful time I had, but our fate ended when he didn't call or return an email. It was a great date, but it did not end in a kiss, just a hug good bye. I expressed my disappointment to Lauren and she stated she would contact him in a few weeks if he did not resurface with interest.  I was upset at first because I really liked him.  I gave him rave reviews, so of course Lauren would want to meet him.  If I had said he was rude and arrogant, then she probably wouldn't be interested.

I later came to the realization why I should not hold on to him if there wasn't mutual connection.  Maybe they would like each other.  I wouldn't want to be the person stopping him and her from a love connection."

picture from

Edited by Lindsay K. 

 Comments? Thoughts? We want to hear from you!




Anonymous said...

Kudos to you. Seriously, I like this blog. It's very humble and thoughtful. Also, the thing about kindness is important. I had no idea.

Anonymous said...

Nice thoughts ladies. The only thing you failed to mention was if there was "hooking up" involved. If my friend and I are dating the same guy and they for some reason get busy early on in the game (and I haven't yet), I am so not going to want to go there. I mean, if they kiss and that was it, then that is okay. BUT, if my friend is naked with him, that just grosses me out! Some people are cool with double dipping, but I am not. Thoughts?

Lauren K. said...

I agree that if my friend becomes "intimate" with the hypothetical shared man, I am not sure I could continue to see him.

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