In Life Coach, Relationships

Are you feeling timid about trying or re-trying online dating?

I can understand why. There are so many dating sites to choose from. Between Tinder, Bumble, Plenty Of Fish, OkCupid, Elitesingles, it’sjustlunch, Eharmony, online dating can be overwhelming. It is shallow as it is firstly based on photos and initial impressions. Online dating is also full of creepy men and questionable women. It does attract all sorts of people, many of whom are not people you’d ever want to have anything to do with in any area of your real life.

You may have gone on so many bad dates that you have given up and are feeling so demoralized that the idea of striking up yet another conversation with another strange man or woman fills you with dread or anxiety. Or maybe you want to meet someone naturally.  You think finding a partner should be organic and just happen when you least expect it (like walking down the street or in the grocery store) without putting much effort into it. The truth is if you haven’t met someone yet and you aren’t meeting many new people you could be waiting a long time. Online dating can really help with this.

The most valuable thing that online dating offers is it gives you the potential to meet many new people. I know you’re hoping to meet that elusive and much dreamed about ‘soulmate’ or ‘the one.’ When this doesn’t happen immediately the process can become discouraging but there are ways to take control and make it (dare I say) a more pleasant experience. Some ways to take power over the situation and begin dating ‘smart’ range from writing honest profiles and practicing open communication, setting boundaries, to having the right perspective or not wasting your time on the wrong men or women.

The tips below can help prevent and minimize a lot of the negative experiences that most go through while online dating:

Write exactly what you want in your profile.

Imagine your profile is a chance to ask for exactly the kind of relationship and person you want.  Don’t play games and pretend you don’t want a commitment or kids and hope that he/she will meet you and change his/her mind over time. If you are a homebody who loves spending their time watching Netflix or reading a good book do not pretend you are huge extrovert who wants to be out socializing every night because this will only get you someone who you are incompatible with.

This is setting yourself up for a world of hurt, wasted time and regret. Be brave and trust that the right person who wants similar things will respond. You don’t want someone who isn’t interested in who you are.  It saves you so many bad dates with all the wrong men and women. It’s good online dating strategy to filter out the individuals you won’t work with.

Practice open and honest communication

Tell your date the things you like, don’t like, want, need and desire. Give your date a chance to treat you the way you’d like to be treated. Do not expect your date to read your mind. You will always be disappointed if you treat others like that. If you are happiest and feel cared for when your partner tells you that they love you often than he/she needs to know that. Or if you prefer lots of physical affection. Or maybe you need quality time with your partner. Whatever your preferences are tell them so they can make you happy. Set them up for success.

Set a lot of boundaries for yourself

Online dating can take control of you if you don’t set boundaries. For example, I will only respond and write messages once a day for 20 mins. That way I won’t become obsessive or allow it to interfere with my life. Don’t go on too many dates. Go on as many as you would if you were in a relationship with someone (maybe 1 weeknight and 1 weekend). Keep dates short (1 hour first dates) and simple. Keep dates convenient to you by asking your date to meet near where you are located. Set boundaries and stick with them so that your dating is a way that works for you.

Don’t waste time on the wrong men/women

If we allow ourselves to waste time chatting with men and women who are not good for us than we will not enjoy online dating. Individuals who are being sexual, not available, don’t make us feel important are not right for you. The best way to determine if someone is right is to listen to how you feel when you are with him or her and when you are not with him/her. If you feel safe, secure, at peace, cared for, special, important, then that is someone to give more of your time too. If on the other hand you feel anxious, you don’t know when he or she will see you next, or if he or she will call, that is someone to not spend any more time with.

Online dating is a process and might take time

Having the right perspective can help keep online dating bearable.  The one perspective that will help the most is remembering that online dating can be a lengthy process. Most dates are going to be failures so remind yourself over and over again that this is a process and it might take time. Try not to get angry and upset about it or take it personally. Accept it. You have to kiss some frogs to find your prince. Expect 90% of your dates to not work out but remember that the 10% you’ll meet is worth it.

Imagine you are giving advice to your best friend who is in this situation and take that advice. Try to have fun and enjoy your dating experience by following the above advice.

Have you tried online dating? Did you have a positive or negative experience? Share you story in the comments! 

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