Tips for Online Dating Part 2: Setting Boundaries


This is part 2 of a six-part series on tips for online dating. Go here for the rest of the series.

Finding a match online that has the potential to result in a serious relationship can be a daunting task for many people — before you even consider the stigma sometimes still associated with online dating. Many people eschew this style of meeting people after years of navigating page after swipe after bad date after face palm. These discouraged folks are usually truly looking for a serious relationship. And, believe it or not, many of them are male.

One of the most common themes I observe in males who are looking for a serious relationship through online dating is a lack of emotional intelligence (EI). Online, just as in-vivo, a lack of EI becomes apparent through one’s insecurities and ultimately dishonesty.

In this six-part series I share — and explain!— reasonable, rational tips to help men (seeking women) succeed at online dating. Take note that many of these tips can be used for anyone—straight, LGBT, male or female. The advice here relies heavily on honesty, boundary setting, effective communication skills, and realistic expectations. Blaming “everyone else” for not being good enough in the dating world (and in other applications of life), doesn’t help change results—instead, turn inward and do a self-check up on communication style.

Setting Boundaries

Limit yourself to an appropriate amount of people to “first date” at a time
Only you will know how many women you can “first date” at a time before you convince yourself you have prosopagnosia. For me, going out with two or three people at a time, without getting past a third date, is about right. If I get past a third date, however, I generally realize I need to cut it off with the other two women. But if you’re not having any issue “first dating” a multitude of women, you’re honestly probably better off.

Identify your own “dating boundaries”
Set boundaries for yourself before going on any date. The no-kissing-on-a-first-date rule from the man’s side can come off as a test of discipline and a sign of confidence. It can also come off as a sign of shyness or inexperience, depending on the woman’s expectations and past experiences. So if you are someone who always goes in for a kiss on date one, test yourself and hold off until date two or even three. If you are more shy and inexperienced, turn inward and ask yourself, what is truly the worst that could happen, and keep digging deeper using that question. You’ll most likely take your thought process in a circle or realize how ridiculous your assumptions or catastrophization sounds. But again, focus on what you can control and be happy and honest with yourself.

Check back this week as we continue to dive deep into tips for online dating.

Tips for Online Dating

Marc Fernandez
provides therapy to individual, couples, and families at North Brooklyn MFT in New York City. Additionally, Marc is co-founder of a health and wellness blog called, aimed to help people self-educate on how to be the best version of themselves. Give North Brooklyn MFT a call at (718) 785-9718 if you think learning how to “turn inward” may be something you’re interested in
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