Have you been trying to meet your special someone online but finding yourself increasingly frustrated at the process?
Online dating can be ridiculously frustrating, yet it's still worthwhile to add this tool to your toolbox if you're looking for a serious partner.
Here are a few ideas to consider for making online dating work for you more effectively:
1. Treat online dating as online meeting
The power of online dating lies in the possibility of getting in touch with more people, in less time, and without having to rely on chance encounters. That’s awesome but that's it, really.
Therefore, once you got a promising match with whatever website or app you are using, you must move the process into real life to check in person whether you could indeed become potential partners.
We can meet online but we don't date online. We date in real life!
2. Stay focused on your intention
If you are serious about finding a special someone with whom to spend the rest of your life (or at least a good chunk of it!), you must use online dating to find that partner, and not allow the process to divert you from your goal.
Do not let yourself become a pen pal, a booty call, a shoulder to cry on, or… the other man/woman while they try to figure out if they’re going to leave their current spouse!
The best way to figure out if you truly are a potential match is meeting your prospective dates in person and see if you can get mutually invested in one another.
Newsflash: People genuinely interested in someone want to meet them! They make the time! They are excited to make plans! They can't wait to see them!
Do not become a texting buddy to some stranger you have never met. You already have friends. You are using dating apps to find your special someone, someone to share your hopes and dreams, to snuggle with, to cry and laugh with and hopefully to grow old with. That person is not a pen pal, a booty call, a texting buddy or someone already in a relationship.
3. Screen matches diligently and refrain from taking things personally
People don’t always remember that real people with real hopes, dreams and feelings are behind those hundreds of online dating profiles and photos. Sometimes this lack of humanity shows in how some people make contact, and other times it shows how others choose to respond to – or ignore new messages, even thoughtful ones.
Let's not judge them – people want what they want, and after months or years of frustrating experiences, it can become tempting to let our worst instincts take over.
Online dating is very effective to maximize your chances of meeting the right person sooner rather than later, and it allows your profile to work for you while you do other things. But it’s going to take you nerves of steel to deal with the creepy one-liners, the lack of responses, the dry spells, the dick pics, and all the other frustrating aspects of online dating!
Because of this, you will have to screen matches diligently and categorically avoid people looking for a quick and lazy hook-up, people who use impersonators and plain scam artists.
Your best chances are people who write thoughtful profiles, upload tasteful realistic photos taken in various surroundings and people who write you messages that show they have read your profile and invested a bit of time to think about something valuable to say.
Do the same and without taking things personally, and simply delete/ignore anything that comes from users with generic profiles, inappropriate photos or one-liners that could have been generated by robots or impersonators.
4. Strategically move from digital communication to in-person meetings
Because a happy, healthy and real relationship takes place in person (duh right?), once you are in touch with a potential match, you must move from online to real life in a reasonable amount of time.
You want to spend enough time to do a basic screen of compatibility, chemistry, safety and interest before meeting up in person, but not so long that excitement has time to wane, that other options distract their attention or that you become the aforementioned pen pal/text buddy/shoulder to cry on, etc.
A good rule of thumb to get started (but with flexibility depending on circumstances) is to have a couple of exchanges through the dating app, then a couple of exchanges through personal email or messaging app, then a couple short-ish phone calls. After 5 to 7 back-and-forth exchanges, both people should know if they want to meet up in real life and organize an in-person date if that's the case.
Rushing to meet up too soon (trying to meet up as soon as the app matches you for example) can lead to two problems: 1. Intentions have not been screened yet and you might be considered for a quick and lazy booty call, 2. Although there might be genuine interest and online chemistry, you’re still going to meet a complete stranger, which is not the most effective way to shine on a first date!
It pays off to build a little rapport before meeting up in person, just enough to make a first date a bit more emotionally satisfying than meeting with a stranger. It also allows you to screen your match for intention, ability to focus, willingness to invest a bit of time, etc.
On the other hand, spending too much time online before meeting in person is a complete waste of your precious time and energy. Becoming someone’s pen pal/text buddy/shoulder to cry on is the surest way to kill off chemistry, become needlessly emotionally invested in someone you have never met and… potentially become involved with someone who is not as free as they should be.
5. Invest time and see it as a practice for the future
With social media and dating apps, people have become lazy. Again, let’s not judge – life is more complex than it's ever been so it’s normal to simplify things as much as we can!
But we must resist our tendency to laziness when it comes to relationships. Real relationships require some time and energy to build, nurture and enjoy! Even couples made of people who like doing their own things and who don't need to spend every free minute with one another will end up spending a few hours a week talking with one another, working on something together or doing something fun together. It's a relationship after all!
People tell me that they will make the time when they will have found the right person. Never mind that the right person is not going to magically show up at their front door, but even if it ended up working out that way, having a packed schedule and needing to be inspired to make time for something are not compatible with the needs of a long-term relationship. Real relationships need time and energy, even when there are competing commitments and even when when feelings of love come and go.
So you're better off starting to practice while single by making the effort to create time and energy for finding that great partner! Energetically you will be communicating to yourself, your future partner and the Universe that you are truly ready for the greatest love of your life.
Please be in touch if you'd like personalized support. I'd be honored and delighted to support you in this crazy adventure!