Online dating is considered by many a necessary evil. Most people I’ve met that have tried various online dating services were annoyed, disappointed and discouraged. Although there are apparently a few “happy endings” to “online stories”, a growing number of people are simply giving up on the online version of “happily ever after”.
I believe that in this day and age, with constantly growing demands on our time and energy, most people don’t have many alternatives to “online dating”, especially if they are in their 30s, 40s or 50s and their high school and college friends live far away or are too busy with their lives. Most people these days are not surrounded by a close circle of friends and don’t have a vibrant social life. Unless you work in a “gender-balanced” office or like to hang out at bars or do weight lifting in a local gym, your chances to encounter a life partner are very slim. It is very helpful, of course, to have various hobbies like tennis, skiing, or dancing because this gives you an opportunity to join some special interest groups and meet people with similar interests. However, online dating is a reality of our time and I think you better learn how to play this game.
Having a “playful” attitude, as opposed to a serious stance on online dating is one of the most important factors of this endeavor. Perceiving these efforts as an opportunity to meet new people, possibly likeminded individuals, having no expectations, and having an attitude of adventure will allow you to enjoy this “game” and have fun in the process. To some extent, it’s like having a shopping experience online – just browse leisurely and one day you’ll come across an item that you need. Just kidding!… not.
To be clear, I don’t advocate “random browsing”. As a mature and confident woman, you need to know very clearly Who you are looking for – what qualities you want to see in your partner and what your most important values are. We habitually compromise in life, at work and at home, and it is healthy and often necessary. However, each person needs to know for him or herself what are the character traits or personal values that she holds dear to her heart and cannot compromise on. Sometimes you simply have to say “NO” to yourself and others and not waste each others’ time. Listen carefully when people are telling you who they are through their words and ACTIONS or a LACK of ACTIONS.
Self-respect and self-confidence exude energetic vibrations that all humans are able to pick up on even over phones, IMs, Skype or emails. It’s amazing how both women and men can quickly sense a lack of confidence or self-doubts, let alone neediness or desperation. The more you worry about your profile, your pictures, your responses, etc, the more serious and intense your attitude toward this “online dating” thing becomes. You unconsciously start building up expectations and endlessly analyzing what he could have done differently, and how you should not trust his words, or even comparing yourself to your girlfriend who has no problem with flirting online… Although you know by now that self-comparison is a fast track to misery!
By the way, the #1 word that kills relationships and happiness is “Expectation”. Guess which word is # 2? Right, it’s the word “Should” – this is the word that you beat yourself and others with until it hurts… Expectation is a distinction between what you want and what the reality is… Therefore, Peacefulness is Detachment from Expectations! Let go of your expectations and “shoulds” and watch your relationships expand because you don’t need to be right anymore and things don’t need to be perfect either.
If you tried to “IM” (instant message) him and he didn’t bother responding to you – smile to yourself, feel sorry for a shmuck who missed the opportunity to learn how fabulous and passionate you are. Say to yourself “NEXT” and move on! The worse thing to do in a case like that is to start doubting yourself and think that this online dating thing doesn’t work and you will never find your “soul mate/twin flame/beshert”. Ultimately, the most important relationship you have in life is the relationship with yourself – all other relationships are simply mirrors of the one you have with yourself.
It is always wise to filter what you choose to share about yourself. Although it is ethical and fair to be honest in your profile, be smart about things that you want to disclose or omit while communicating online. “What happens online stays online”. Ask more questions and get to know him better – let him worry about getting to know you. Unfortunately, too many women carry their hearts on their sleeves – this is not a winning strategy for dating online. Give yourself time to get to know the other person before you open up your heart.
Do you feel worthy of love and respect? Do you feel that no matter what happens this particular time, there is a person out there that will cherish and adore you exactly the way you are? These are important questions to ask yourself… Be authentic; be confident and happy with yourself! Happy and vibrant people are the most sexy, attractive and irresistible! Laugh out loud at your baseless attachments to the wrong guys… It’s really interesting how so many women often fall for complete jerks and pass on the real “gems”…
Pay attention to “red flags”: signs of drug abuse or any other major “show stoppers” you may notice. Play the game of “online dating” on your terms because you are a lady – set up to meet with him so it’s convenient for you and safe, don’t call or check your emails all the time, no need to be anxious or worry. Let him “chase” you a little, don’t be too “easy to get” – most people like more what they can’t get! Although a physical attraction is very important – don’t rush into an intimate relationship, allow yourself to really get to know him first. Women often feel more attached to their partner once they have intimate encounters. Teach him how to treat you but gently;>). One important purpose of a relationship is to help you grow. There are no failures in life – only learning experiences.
Perceive online dating like life itself – it’s about the process, not the destination. Follow these simple guidelines below and “enjoy the ride”.
- Be Authentic, confident and positive
- Detach from or Remove expectations, You always find when you least expect
- Be happy with yourself and your life, practice an attitude of gratitude
- Be clear about your own core values and goals, know what is most important to you
- “Choose your battles” but do not compromise on important stuff
- Know and keep your boundaries, Learn to say NO
- Allow yourself to really get to know him, don’t rush into something that you may regret later
- Lighten up, Have a sense of humor and laugh much
- Know (not just think) that there is someone out there who will “make your heart sing” and it’s just a matter of time until you find love
- Relax, see this online dating stuff as a fun game – no need to add stress to your life over this one