Advice from a Matchmaker: Stop with the PBO

The Scourge of Love in the Age of Dating Apps

Waiting in line? Swipe. On the toilet? Swipe. Boiling some pasta? Swipe. Out with friends? Swipe. On a date? Swipe!

Hey, why not? How else are you going to find Mr. or Mrs. Right? Right!?


What you’re doing with all that swiping and string of first dates is PBO-ing and you will never fall in love while in that frame of mind.

“Pending Better Offer” is the equivalent of channel surfing. The moment a show gets boring or annoying we change the channel because we think we can find something better.

Those TV shows don’t have feelings but we are PBO-ing people. Who have hearts, emotions, and hopes of finding someone with whom they can build a committed relationship.

And, of course, if you’re doing it to others then you know people are doing it to you too.

The quote, “We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love,” hits the nail on the head. In the age of swiping, we are so focused on the looking we have a hard time contending with the possibility of creating.

So, how to stop looking and how to start creating?

I have some ideas:

  1. Slow down with people’s profiles. Read the profile, look at the photos, and start a real conversation.
  2. If you have mutual friends, ask them if they think you two would be a good match and why. This will help steer the conversation between you and your match into territory that brings you closer (or shows you that this isn’t a realistic match).
  3. Whittle the number of apps down to one or two. Don’t worry about FOMO because it’s the same guys on each app.
  4. Two date minimum and make each date different. For example, if the first date is dinner make the second date a hike.
  5. Remember that people are fragile and have emotions. Don’t treat them like objects and be firm that you will not allow anyone to treat you like an object.

Will slowing down your swipes find you love? Not necessarily. But by slowing down and changing that PBO state of mind you will see the hidden beauty in each person. That hidden beauty is exposed with time and a conscious effort to get to know one another. This goes both way. I know you have more to offer than just your looks and I think you deserve people to take the time to see it.

For more advice on dating (specifically in Hong Kong) click here.

xo Ariadna

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