Online dating : Fear or Fun

Remember when first dates came from chatting to someone you’d met in a bar, club or even bumped into down the supermarket and you arranged to meet for the evening? Oh life was so simple then because although the follow up date may have given you butterflies, at least you partly knew what you were letting yourself in for.
 
These days the whole dating scene has changed. We rarely meet people in the old traditional way unless we meet them at a party or introduced to by friends, nowadays it all comes down to profiles and photos with the dating scene becoming almost disposable, so how on earth do we really ensure we meet the right kind of person?
 
The dating scene has been turned on its head!
 
We used to meet someone when our eyes met across a crowded room, the attraction was instant, chemistry followed as we spent time getting to really understand what makes them tick, where they were raised, likes and dislikes and so on. Today because of our busy lives, we spend time to getting to know someone before we meet face to face and when we do we realize there’s no spark or chemistry and end up feeling really disappointed.
 
Truth is it’s all about expectation and how we deal with them.
 
I remember when I divorced, the mere thought of dating terrified the living daylights out of me, so much so that as I’ve mentioned in my early column, I built a barricade around me without realizing it. Then when I took my first steps into internet dating, I took everything so personally I’d end up so down and depressed, coming to the wrong conclusion that nobody wanted me, I was too fat/thin, not pretty enough, too old, in fact every insecurity you can think of I believed was the reason it hadn’t worked.
 
The good thing is that you do come through it and reach the other end and trust me, many women AND men go through it. That’s life.
 
Remember the old saying ’Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?’ This is what you have to apply with online dating and stop taking it so personal. Let me put it this way. You’ve seen the photo and like the look and their profile so you start messaging, from messaging you exchange phone numbers and start texting, from texting you start talking.
 
You might communicate in this way for maybe a few days or a couple of weeks after which time you arrange to actually meet. By then you’ve decided you like a lot about them and look forward to the date hoping that physically you’ll click at which point it’ll all be a bed of roses and you’ll live happily ever after. Unfortunately life is never that simple most of the time and it ruins everything.
 
We go on the date, we think it’s going great only to find the following day our dreams are shattered when
 
We don’t get a reply to our messages,
 
Our number has been blocked
 
They’ve deleted us!!
 

 
If there is any decency, you may be fortunate (or not depending how you look at it) to get a message along the lines of ‘I think you’re a really nice person and enjoyed our date, however I didn’t feel any chemistry’. If you do get a message like this at least they’re being honest. I’d much rather get this than be completely ignored without knowing the outcome.
 
This is life and look at this way, what if it was you that didn’t feel the chemistry? Would you continue something that wasn’t right? I doubt it but somehow we feel we are different and we take it all too personally and worse, we sometimes even try to analyse it! If I advise one thing for your own sanity, DON’T analyse!
 
Analysis creates doubt, it raises questions you normally wouldn’t consider, it creates insecurities and more importantly… it solves nothing!
 
Don’t get me wrong I’m human too and I can only say this to you because I did the same until I realized that human beings cannot make themselves want something or someone if their heart is not in it. Dating is meant to be fun, it is a journey of exploration and discovery, it is meeting new people, it is opening our minds, it is meant to be exciting so enjoy it and if it doesn’t work out then graciously move on with your life.
 
I have had a divorce and a long term relationship with people I loved, split up and on both occasions after the initial shock of the split, we remained friends. If you allow yourself to be bitter, the only one who suffers is you so why be bitter in the first place? Save your energy for moving forward, save your pride by not making a fool of yourself and save your analysis for working out your phone bill instead!
 
We are all beautiful to someone as they are to us and whilst we may have to kiss a lot of frogs, one day we’ll be kissing the love of our life.

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