Discreet online dating

Many people are nervous about having their dating profiles openly online because they are worried that someone they know might recognise them. This seems an over-reaction as anyone viewing profiles is obviously keen on online dating themselves and unlikely to care too much. 

Yet if you really feel that you can’t cope with this type of exposure, you can manage the whole business far more discreetly. You will attract far more attention if you are willing to put your photos up online, but it is still possible to do well if you keep your photos and profile hidden.

I have many clients who have good reasons for keeping the whole business under wraps – they are well-known figures about town or working in a prominent job. For example, there’s a Melbourne woman in her early sixties who’s been online dating for almost a decade – with some great relationships in between. She moves in a pretty select social circle but no one knows that the occasional new man who enters her life is the result of online dating. Many people tell me how surprised they are to meet high-profile people via online dating – but believe me, they are out there and it works well for them. 

With my dating coaching clients who need privacy, I often suggest that they use RSVP because key features of the site make it the stand-out for people in this situation. For a start, you can hide your photos and only make them available to people who you choose – something which you can’t do on most dating sites.

Most women find that if they hide their photos they get very little response – as most men search only for women who show their pictures. This means that these women have to approach men themselves, ideally allowing the men they approach to immediately see their photos. It can be tough for women to get replies unless they let men see what they look like.

The same isn’t true of men. Plenty of women realize some of the more interesting men, the men in professional or high-profile jobs, will hide their photos. These highly desirable men still attract a good response, even though some women wrongly assume that such men must have something to hide if they aren’t prepared to be visible. Many men get swamped with responses, particularly men who tick lots of women’s boxes, like older, handsome, well-educated or successful men. I’ve known men who have received over fifty kisses and emails each day, which makes online dating hard work. It’s a job in itself sorting through such a barrage and, unfortunately, many men just opt out.

But there is a solution. There’s a special section on RSVP – called “RSViP” which allows people to keep their whole profiles hidden and simply choose to reveal themselves to people whom they find appealing. It gives them more control but also means that they have to be active and willing to make the first approach, but that’s far less time-consuming than trying to find suitable matches in a tsunami of kisses. I’ve talked to many people using RSViP who find that it offers the protection which they need – such as a doctor concerned about his patients knowing too much about his personal life, and a company director nervous about his professional reputation. 

So, there are ways of handling the online dating process if you are feeling anxious about letting the world see who you are, or if you find being too popular makes the whole thing overwhelming. Discreet dating can be a great way to go and the day may come when you are ready to show your face!


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Written by Bettina Arndt