NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dating: Why Do Some People Prefer to Text on Dating Apps Instead of Meeting in Person?

I've written several articles about dating and the early stages of being in a relationship (see my articles: Dating: Is It Time to Have "the Talk"?Dating Again in Your 40s, 50s, 60s and Beyond, Are You and Your Boyfriend on the Same Wavelength About Your Relationship?

Dating: Why Do Some People Prefer to Text on Dating Apps Instead of Meeting in Person?

In this article, I'm focusing on one of the biggest complaints I hear about dating apps, which is that there are many people who would rather just text endlessly than meet in person.  They might come across as pleasant and personable in their text messages, but when the subject of meeting comes up, they end of ghosting whoever they've contacting via text.

Among the people who are averse to meeting in person, both men and women seem to do it, and this becomes frustrating for people who actually want to meet in person and eventually get into a relationship.

Why Do Some People Prefer to Text on Dating Apps Instead of Meeting in Person?
Let's take a look at some of the possibilities as to why there are certain people only want to text:
  • They're Married or in a Committed Relationship: It will come as no surprise that many people are on dating apps, like Tinder or Bumble, are actually married or in a relationship, which they don't reveal.  They like to fantasize about meeting someone online, but they won't actually do anything about it because they want to remain in their relationship.  So, they will string potential dates along with endless texting and eventually ghost them.
  • They Just Want the Attention:  Some people are flattered that they can get so many people to "like" them on a dating app, but they're not interested in actually meeting in person.  Texting endlessly is enough for them. This is another example of people who like to string others along.
  • They're in an On-Again/Off-Again Relationship:  Similar to being married or in a committed relationship, the person who's in an on-again/off-again relationship uses the dating app when there are problems in the relationship knowing full well that they're going to be back in the relationship again.  It makes them feel good to know that there are other potential dates out there should their actually relationship end, but they have no intention of meeting in person for the time being.
  • They Can't Tolerate More Than a "Texting Relationship:" On their profile, they say they want to be in a relationship but, in reality, being in a real relationship is more than they can tolerate emotionally, so they engage in endless texting because they like the attention and the feeling that they're connecting with someone that "likes" them enough to text back.
  • They're Ambivalent About Actually Meeting Someone: As opposed to people who know from the outset that they have no intention of meeting anyone in person, the person who is ambivalent about dating can't make up his or her mind about whether they want to actually meet someone or not.  They give mixed messages in their texts or calls and, often, ultimately decide that they're not ready to meet and disappear.
  • They're Afraid to Meet People in Person: Similar to the people who are ambivalent, the people who are fearful of meeting in person--even in a public place--feel comfortable texting, but meeting in person is too much for them to handle.  So, when the other person tries to get them to make a plan, they disappear.
  • They're Scammers: Unfortunately, are a fair amount of scammers on dating apps.  They often steal other people's pictures (often models or actors) and set up a fake profile.  They will lavish a lot of attention on you with texts, but they always seem to have a "reason" why they can't meet in person.  Usually these people come on strong and like to say that the two of you are already in a relationship--even though you haven't even met yet. Some people fall prey to this manipulation because they're lonely and an online "relationship" is better than no relationship to them.  Eventually, if you continue to engage with these scammers, they will try to manipulate you into giving them money ("My mother needs a medical procedure, but we don't have the money.  Can you wire me the money and I'll pay you back?").  Unsuspecting people have been bilked out of thousands of dollars this way.  Even after these scams are reported to the dating app, the scammers are hard to track down.  They close out their accounts and set up another fake account.

How to Deal With People Who Only Want to Text on Dating Apps
  • After a few texts and a phone call or two, if the person is unwilling to make a plan to meet in person, you might be dealing with someone who only wants to text.
  • It might seem like they're paying a lot of attention to you if they're texting you 10 times a day and asking you about the minutea of your day ("Did you sleep well?" and "How is your day going?"), but they're actually wasting your time.
  • If you can't get someone to make a plan to meet in person after a week or two, wish them well and move on.  There are plenty of people who actually want to meet and eventually get into a relationship without you wasting time on people who only want to text.
  • Whatever you do, don't send money to people who pretend that they're in a relationship with you even though you've never met in person.
  • If you do get into a situation where the other person texts you and eventually ghosts you, as frustrating and disheartening as this might be, don't take it personally.  After all, they don't know you, so it's not you that they're rejecting.  Whatever is going on with them is about them.
About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.