Well firstly, it’s great news that you are considering this. Hopefully it means you have met somebody who has interested you enough to investigate whether or not you should after a date.
Removing, hiding or deleting your online dating site profile can be a big step if you have invested a lot of time and effort in making it as attractive as possible. So you should not remove it too quickly. However, sometimes it can be an essential step to take it down in order to focus your mind away from temptation.
Should I Hide Or Delete My Profile?
Many dating sites have different options for removing you from searches and from being contactable.
Whatever site you’re using, it’s important that you investigate the available options and understand exactly what they mean. A hidden profile usually means it is removed from listings but the information on it remains intact should you wish to reinstate it. Often a hidden profile does not stop people you have already conversed with from re-contacting you.
When you delete your profile data it means just that. You cannot reinstate it and information is lost forever. Of course, you could copy and paste your profile text into a document on your computer just in case. But you need to realise that deletion also means that your messages will be lost and people who have favourited you will lose the ability to see that profile.
As deleting your data is pretty unforgiving, it’s probably best just to hide your profile to begin with. But when should you do that?
When Exactly Should I Take Down My Profile?
You will get many different answers on this, and ultimately it’s up to you. A lot of it will depend on the vibe you are getting from the other person while messaging and after meeting and of course from following your own heart.
What I would say here is not to delete or hide your profile too early. Doing so can actually have a detrimental effect if the other person is taking things casually. If they are still using the site and see you have taken your profile down, it could send out a message that you are taking them far more seriously than they are taking you, making them run for the hills, or decide that they have you on a piece of string to pull any time they fancy.
The problem is that it’s difficult to keep your options open and be interested in one person at the same time. Having a dating profile active can be incredibly tempting, especially if people are contacting you.
This creates a situation that can be difficult to resolve. It is also a situation that is rarely covered by the dating sites help pages or forums. Basically, you can be on your own at the most crucial point.
There are alternatives to removing your profile too early however. Firstly, you could remove the photographs from your profile. This sort of removes you from the interest of most people, sending a message to the person you are dating that you are hedging your bets but still displaying a strong nod towards them. Alternatively, or in addition, you could block people from messaging you.
At the end of the day, everyone on the site is dating. If you have only had one or two dates then don’t feel that you should hide or delete your profile. On the other hand, after that first date you should be pretty clear on your intentions and it’s at this point that at least hiding your profile should be a step you are looking to take.
Don’t Get Paranoid About An Active Dating Profile
On the other side of the coin if you are active on the site still, you may notice that they are still active.
The first thing you need to consider is that you both need to have active profiles in order to see each other. So you are as bad as they are at this point!
The bigger problem comes when you see them logged into the site. If they always seem to be on there (although you would have to be as well, even if it is only to check up on their online status) then how can they be showing good intentions toward you?
What you should do first is educate yourself about the site itself. Match for example allows you to deactivate your profile. But if you click on an email from match to open it in your email program it delivers a cookie back to the site that shows your profile as active again. So inadvertently you could reactivate your match profile.
It’s actually crucial that you do not drive yourself nuts wondering what the other person is doing. This will just make you look paranoid and not the sort of person who trusts easily.
If you feel the need to address the active profile issue with the person you have dated then you should proceed with extreme caution. Men for example are slower to remove online dating profiles and less likely to realise that you can hide or delete it, or that any etiquette exists. So going after and demanding to know why you can still see them on the website could be a recipe for disaster.
Communication is the key here. If it has got to the stage where you are both serious about each other than a conversation around being exclusive can be the way to approach this difficult topic. If you both agree you are now exclusive, then a discussion about the active profiles can naturally follow on.
If you have not had a discussion about being exclusive then having any expectation on the other person to take the step of disabling their online dating profile is a bit presumptuous. Expecting deactivation to happen after a first date is usually far too soon and may say more about your state of mind than reality (think desperation!).
Your Best Course Of Action Is Usually To Chill Out And Enjoy Dating
Once you have met someone you are genuinely interested in, now is the time to play the long game. If they are just as interested in you then let love take its course.
Trying to intervene by demanding exclusivity, or demanding that they remove themselves from the site too early, can be hugely counter-productive.
So the advice is to educate yourself about how the website works. Don’t harass them or constantly check up on them, they won’t be aware you are, but you will drive yourself nuts doing so.
Remember the not everybody thinks the same way and although you may be keen to remove your profile get on with enjoying real life, the other person may not have even considered that they can remove their profile.
So chill out, play it cool, enjoy the experiences and keep your fingers crossed. At the end of the day, for the first month or so when meeting someone new that is all you can do anyway.