It’s hard to imagine that only a few short years ago most of us were embarrassed to say we had met someone online.
It was almost as if we were admitting we couldn’t find love the ‘normal’ way, and we were somehow ‘less than’ those of our friends who had met their partners in high school (or sleazy night clubs!)
The fact that we needed any ‘help’ at all, when it came to hooking up, was the giant monitor-shaped elephant in the room.
Fortunately, that’s no longer the case! These days online dating has become a more than acceptable way to meet a new partner. In fact, it’s the new ‘normal’.
But with all this access to potential suitors, it can be a daunting and overwhelming task for any single. So to help you get more out of your online dating efforts I’ve put together my five top tips to help you navigate your way through the world of online dating.,
- Easy does it
With instant access to literally hundreds of thousands of online dating profiles via apps on our phones, we’re now able to filter through potential mates anytime, anywhere. So just like scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, people can scroll through dating sites to “check out” who’s there.
But like the saying goes – ‘don’t go shopping when you’re feeling hungry’, the same can be said for online dating – don’t go scrolling when you’re feeling bored, lonely or sad. Trying to cover up any feelings of sadness or loneliness by searching for a partner online only leaves you open to lowering your expectations, or choosing someone unsuitable just to fill the void.
Try to be mindful of how often you’re checking out your account. If you’re at a friend’s BBQ and you’re on Tinder seeing who’s around – ask yourself why you’re disconnecting from your friends.
- Be patient
Some people are lucky to find someone special early on, others aren’t.
Online dating can be exhausting. I’ve heard countless people say they’re giving online dating a rest. They might have had a series of horrible dates, they haven’t had any luck with any dates, or they just feel disheartened because they haven’t met anyone special yet.
Time is definitely something that’s out of our control, and there’s no standard length of time it will take before you find someone.
Be prepared for it to be a slow process. If things happen sooner, great! But don’t lose heart, and whatever you do, don’t settle – you’re worth so much more than that.
- Play the field
Have you ever been house hunting? It can be exhausting, and quite often disappointing – a bit like online dating. To avoid being disappointed have a few potential dates lined up rather than just focusing on one. Be prepared for the real thing to look less “glossy” than the photos and know that there are going to be preloved areas that are well worn.
Know how many people you feel comfortable dating at the same time, and be clear about it. By “dating at the same time” I mean going on first or second dates.
- Don’t leave ‘em hangin’
Once you find a connection with someone special, it’s time to let the others go, and start focusing on growing that relationship.
Letting people down is hard, no one wants to have that conversation, but it’s important that you have it. If you’re no longer interested in pursuing the relationship, let the other person know.
Whatever you do, don’t ghost them and disappear. Everybody who is trying their luck in the dating world is taking the courage to meet others, be respectful of that and show them the courtesy of letting them know it just wasn’t working out.
If you get any backlash from people who are feeling insecure; don’t take what they say personally. If they come back to you in a mean or desperate way, then you’ve done well listening to yourself and choosing not to continue the relationship.
- Take notes
Treat the first few dates as an experiment and observe your date. Watch how they behave in situations, and what they say. Notice how they talk to the waiter, how they speak about their family. Do they order food for you, or do they constantly default to your decision about where you’ll go or what you’ll do on the date.
As lovely as it is to get caught up in the banter and good feelings, their behaviour and the way they talk about things will be little hints about their nature, and will give you little insights into your future together.
Whatever you do don’t take yourself too seriously, enjoy the process and have fun.