15 to 20 years ago, online dating was frowned upon. It existed, it was secretly popular but it was also a scary world. How could you possibly trust all these weird people that were probably mass-murderers or just after your money? There was quite a lot of social stigma attached with meeting online and we would certainly not freely admit to it… how many hundreds ‘met in the supermarket’?
Nowadays, it is pretty much the norm and totally accepted across all age groups. It is a necessary evil, a little bit like having to put your CV online when we are looking for a job as well as telling everyone we know to make us aware of any opportunities.
Online dating is here and most probably here to stay. It is far from perfect but definitely has its place and many couples have met through it. However, it needs to come with some warnings as it can very easily get us down so it is important to remember not to take anything personally.
Online sites give us access to hundreds of single people who are looking to meet someone special. We can hide behind the computer screen if we are a bit shy and can feel safe from the comfort of their own homes. We can look at people’s pictures, see what they have written about themselves on their profiles, what they like and dislike as well as communicate with them in a safe environment to see if we would like to know more without actually having to give any of our details out.
And whilst that’s great, we need to know that a lot of people will not reply to our messages. They will look at our profile then not respond, which can leave us wondering what on earth is wrong with us… But we must remember that it happens to everyone, we all have different tastes and we don’t always reply ourselves either (especially after a while).
Another thing is to always listen to our gut instinct. If we feel something doesn’t add up or it’s just that we can’t put our finger on it, we are probably right and should back off. It is easy to create an online persona and not everyone on online dating sites is as honest as us or has good intentions.
The main warning though is that email communication can lead to the perception of a quick romantic attachment. When we meet someone in the flesh and then enter into a regular contact through email or text, we already know the person. We will have picked up whether there is some chemistry or not and will know a little more about them. Therefore, any attachment formed as a result is probably likely to be ‘real’ as we already have a rough idea of what the person is about.
When we have never met and enter into an intense email communication, we rapidly feel that we know the person and can easily develop feelings for them. It is important to pay particular attention to this, as we are more likely to feel disappointed or let down when we eventually meet them in the flesh. It won’t always be the case but most of the time it is.
The secret to online dating is to take it with a pinch of salt. It is a great way to meet single people but you should know and expect it to be trial and error.
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