According to forbes.com, a third of recently married couples in 2013 met online. It has also been predicted, that in 20 years time over half of us will meet our partners online. In light of these growing statistics and my own personal experience; how do you make your online dating experience more positive and importantly more successful?
After talking to friends, listening to the online experiences of my clients, as well as strangers, plus reflecting upon my own personal experience, I have created a short list of tips and secrets to ensure your online dating experience is both positive and successful.
1. Be a Chooser
Do not wait for men to find and email you online. Waiting around puts you in a passive position, where you have to choose from the select few who were proactive and decided to email you. How many times have you seen a profile online and though this person seems amazing but got too scared to send them an initial email? Both genders are not immune to this fear, we all feel it; this is especially true of men. At some point in time women developed a belief that if a man liked her then he would make it happen, but rarely are things this black and white; this belief implies that if he’s not making a move then he’s not interested. This is one of the biggest misconceptions, the more a guy is attracted to you the less likely he will be to approach you, this is especially true for online dating. The majority of guys that I know who are smart and accomplished, never approach women when they go out. It’s been my experience that the handful of guys that do make the first move are amongst the 1% of the male population who approach a lot of women. When you adopt the mindset of a chooser by searching and contacting a potential online date, puts you in a more approachable position, thus, moving in closer proximity in a similar way you would do in a crowded bar.
2. Develop Thick Skin
Matthew Hussey once said online dating is like being in the best bar and the worst bar at the same time. Online dating is a crazy world where you will be messaging and trying to get to know a great guy who is online looking for the same things as you while receiving creepy messages filled with sexual innuendoes from another. In the online dating world, it is common practice to ignore or simply not reply to messages from someone whom you are not interested in; however, be aware that not everyone on a paid website like match.com will have a full paid subscription, some people are extremely busy and turn to online dating for this reason but are not regularly online. Do not take a lack of reply to an initial email person. Be persistent, continue to search for an online date who both matches your own personal criteria for a potential date and who is also looking for someone like you.
3. Ditch Limiting Beliefs
At some point in time, we have all held limiting dating related beliefs, or at least know someone who currently has a limiting belief. If you hold a belief that all men are cheaters, or all men online are creepy, or something similar; my only advice to you is to ditch this belief right away. Your opinions and beliefs are the results of years of conditioning or paying attention to information and events which confirmed what you believe while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions. In psychology, this is referred to as the frequency illusion. This means if you believe that all men online are creepy, then all you will notice is the inappropriate messages from creepy men and all interactions or message from men who might be right for you will go unnoticed because this challenges your preconceived negative beliefs. Buddha once said, we are shaped by your thoughts we become what we think. I am not promoting blind optimism, nor fluff filled positive thinking, but a health positive mindset. The simplest way to change a negative mindset it to focus on the present and stop dwelling on past negative experiences, because your past does not determine your present or future.
4. Do not make it your only method
It might seem strange that I have included this in a list of online dating related tips, nevertheless, if you’re just online dating you are in essence limiting yourself to one social circle. If you are only meeting one or two new men a week whom you are attracted to how long do you think it will take for you to meet a man who is right your you? The odds of finding someone who is right for you increases when you are habitually meeting more men, thus, your life needs to serve this purpose. If you work long hours, study, then go home and crash on the couch and watch embarrassing bodies or east enders every night, how likely are you to meet someone this way? Not at all. While internet dating may be a good alternative for someone with a super busy schedule, there is no real substitute for a flesh and blood experience.
Start by making small changes in your daily schedule make a mini goal of talking to one or two new men each day; this should not include men whom you come in contact with on a daily basis at work, or at university. The point of this exercise is to get comfortable interacting with people you do not know and strengthening your social muscles.
Another way to meet more men is through classes or meet up groups. What are three activities that you have been putting off, that would serve your love life? Enrol in that filmmaking course, join that foreign language meet up group or that cooking for one course. Do these three things within the next 30 days.
The benefit of adding these habits into your daily schedule is when you finally meet a potential date online, you are well practiced at making small talk, thus, you are presenting the best possible version of yourself to your date.
5. Don’t assume you’re the only one
Online dating can be one of the greatest dating tools. It gives you immediate access to a pool of guys, whom the majority of them are single, potentially like-minded and are seeking the same thing as you, with that being said, it is highly probable, that the guy you are talking to could be messaging a variety of women at the same time. This is not necessarily a bad thing but if this is the case, it is less likely to change until you meet up in person and make a mutual decision to move forward. If you suspect that the guy you’ve been dating for some time is still chatting to other women, just establish boundaries once things get more serious. There are men online in both free as well as paid dating sites, who are there purely to chat, and, as a result, can lead women on. Do not take it personally.
As always, insight without action is futile. Which one of these tips do you plan on putting into practice this week? Or do you have insights on your experience with online dating? Please let me know by using the comments box below. Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting with such kindness and enthusiasm.
Photo Credit: STEEX, iStock Image: 23306503