When to remove your online profile?

You’ve been dating your guy for a little while — perhaps 1-3 months. You like him a lot and he seems to like you similarly. You have no interest in seeing anyone else, and he says he isn’t seeing anyone else. He asks you what he says to men who email you, and you say, “Thank you but I’m seeing someone right now.” He says he does the same thing to the women who contact him.

So why is his profile still visible on the dating site? And for that matter, why is yours?

This subject of when to remove or hide your online profile is a tricky one. If one of you removes your profile and the other doesn’t, it can cause tension. In fact, removing it within the first month of dating can make him think you are more serious — or needy — than he is and may scare him. But not taking it down after having the “exclusivity” discussion can cause more problems.

I remember dating a man for a month before checking the site on which we met to see if I had any new emails to which I needed to respond “No thank you.” I was surprised to see that he had been on the site the same day! He’d told me he wasn’t dating others, so why was he online? I asked him. He stuttered something unconvincing. While I thought everything was going swimmingly, I could see by his actions that he was still fishing in the pond. I began to check the site daily and noticed he was always on within 24 hours.

So when should you hide or remove your profile? Whenever you’re disinterested in meeting others. You don’t have to announce this to your guy if you don’t want. However, at some point, typically somewhere between 1 and 3 months, if you both say you want to be exclusive, you need to remove your profile from public view. It shows the other you are serious about removing yourself from the dating marketplace. To not do so shows you are still wanting to see who else might contact you.

Yahoo!PersonalsIf you check back a week later and find his profile is still visible to the public, ask him about it. Some sites, like Yahoo!Personals allow you to hide your profile from anyone new, but those who you’ve had past contact can still see it. So don’t log in when you check or you’ll still be able to see his profile, even if he’s hidden it.

You can hide your profile without actually canceling your account. When you both decide to cancel your accounts — to all the sites on which you’re listed, not just the one on which you met — it shows a deeper commitment. No, you don’t have to be living together or engaged at this point, but sure that you want to give this relationship all you have. If he balks at canceling, he’s not serious.

And if you balk when he asks you to remove your profile or cancel your account, you are still unsure. Let him know. Don’t string him along, just as you wouldn’t want him to lead you on. The proof is in the profile — or lack thereof.

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3 responses to “When to remove your online profile?”

  1. Ally Avatar

    I’m confused – how did you know the guy you were dating wasn’t just online to check if you were still active? (Which you were, because you were checking first for contacts, and then you were checking on him.) Which is the chicken, which is the egg?

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar


    He didn’t bring it up, and he acted like he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar when I did. If he was checking on me, he would have mentioned it, don’t you think? He had no idea when I was last online.

  3. Mariah Avatar

    One case history: I turned off my profile after the 4th or 5th date when it got deeper and more serious. He started introducing me as his girlfriend and referring to things we would do in the future. I fell in total love when he said, in response to a little nothing “well, you’re with me now, babe.”

    After two months of a definately “we’re together” relationship, I looked at the site and saw that his profile was still up, although he was inactive. I asked him to turn it off but he squirmed and said he didn’t want to waste the what he had paid for and when it expired he would be off, and since he wasn’t active, what was the harm? After that expiration date had come and gone, I saw one day (as I was now checking more often) that not only was he still up, but had been active within 24 hours.

    I responded with anger and angst and said that he had to break up with me like a man if he wanted to go back to looking. He seemed to be a little blindsided and bewildered. He must have thought was okay to do a little idle looking and fooling around, but he said didn’t want to lose me over it. We made up, but he did ask me what I was DOING looking on the site.

    We each had a little moral high ground and a little slippery slope here:

    – he should have decided to turn off his profile when I brought it up. Even if he wasn’t active, as I said to him — when you’re seeing someone and you do a little flirting when no one will know, maybe there’s no harm done and you’ve let off a little insecurity steam. BUT, when you’re online – you’re out in public. It’s like were in the same room when you’re chatting up another woman. Just being visible is inviting women to get in touch with you.

    – he asked me how I know he’s still on and why am I looking at the site? (although he never brought up the fact that I am not visible on the site). Why I’m looking at the site (here is where I know I have the problem and not him) – the absolute truth is that I sometimes idly wonder if so-and-so from my past (there are several men) are on and seeing if they are on or not gives me a clue about what they are up to these days. Sort of cyber-stalking, if you want to stretch it that far. However, he had also become one of the men I was trying to figure out by checking up on their activity on the site.

    We were both poisoned by the way online dating changes you. He couldn’t let go of the excitement of getting attention from women long enough to allow our relationship to develop. I couldn’t resist looking at the site fairly constantly to check up on him. The relationship lasted 6 months. One thing that doomed it was that after he told me he would turn it off (finally!) I went to the site and saw his face on my page of saved profiles. When I tried to click on it, it wasn’t available, so I believe that the site had a glitch, or the site operators were trying to entice me back on by showing one of my old “Favorited” profiles. Before I figured this out, I blew up again at him and he lost patience with my obsession with the site. It went downhill pretty fast after that.