Have we ever stopped to think, just how unnatural online dating is? I’m sure, many of us have. But I’m not here to disparage online dating, I’m just merely stating that everything looks good on paper, ahem, can look good online, and we could still be light years away from finding our true match.
Dating sites go the extra mile to make it easier for us, with online assessments, match affinity tests, questionnaires, to name a few. I cannot count the times the email message I received from a guy was nothing more than a series of “yes” and “no” replies to the “take my quiz” option on the site.
Long hair on men: YES or NO? Why don’t they like long hair on men? I do. Ok, that sounds like a deal breaker. Just kidding. What the deal breaker was, was the guys’ inability to communicate.
But we shouldn’t be surprised. After all it’s a cold and removed environment.
Thus it’s no wonder men find it so difficult to communicate. Most of them must have tried endless variations, endless times, only to be ignored. It’s much safer to send a quiz. This way rejection doesn’t feel so personal.
Why Rejection is Not Personal
I’ve done my share of online dating, and I was just as confused as the next person when, say, communication dropped after initial contact. I felt rejected. It felt personal. It took me a long time to think about these online chance encounters as a mere “shopping around”. Because, indeed, what do we see and what do we know about that other person apart from a few images and a few words carefully or less carefully scribbled down? Nothing. What drives us to shop around? Our ego, our instincts, our need for a connection. And as human beings, we are fickle and manifest shopping behaviour where possible and where nobody holds us responsible. How many items do we usually take to the changing rooms when shopping? How many times do we return an item to the shop because we have changed our mind?
Of course there is one thing the rejected person can do about the situation. They can make sure they portray the best version of themelves. They can choose the best photos and they should have an engaging profile. Because, just like in every area of our lives, others do it better and we can be left behind, in obscurity. How to achieve that? Dating photography is a new and emerging service, there to help people raise our chances of finding the one. And so is dating profile writing as such. If we have difficulty finding our words.
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What Happens When We find a Connection?
Well, we get really really excited. Because, ah, the wait was so long. We can’t find fault with him or her. We feel as if the weight of the world was taken off our shoulders. We can now stop looking.
Maybe that weight most of us feel when looking, pushed some to enter such an extreme experiment, like “Married at First Sight!
But guess what? Apparently all four couples of the original Danish series have already filed for divorce. By the looks of it, science cannot tell us who our match is. Can we?
It turns out, when online dating, even connections seem fickle. Why? Because we might want to be “off the market” so soon, we ignore the red flags. Truth is, many of us enter this battlefield called “online dating” unprepared. We might be still reeling from a break up, we might use it as a distraction from whatever else is going on that we don’t want to think about and for a while we play game with whomever seems fun to be with. For a while. But then reality hits and the bubble bursts, because we were nowhere near being our true selves. Thus, whatever connection we seemed to have, was with the version of ourselves that we made up and “sold” to that other person.
All We Need is Love
And here’s why dating complete strangers seems so impossible. We are supposed to see clearly, when all we want is to allow ourselves to see the world, at least for a while, through rose tinted glasses.
But do not despair, because it’s a numbers game. Think of your college mates. You were in the same age group, with similar interests and similar backgrounds. Just how many of them seemed like a perfect match? Best case scenario, one or two. That’s what online dating is about. It’s about conquering the impossible, the improbable and the least likely. Knowing this, we might not despair so easily.
All we need is love. Even when seeking love, we need a big dollop of love for ourselves. We need to feel “sorted”, in a good place and ready for the journey. Because it’s the most exciting journey of all. Even more exciting than visiting Peru. The best we can do is to never ever ignore our inner voice. That’s our best barometer. It tells us who our match is, or even matches, as there isn’t just one match out there for us. What makes one the best match for us is usually timing. Yes, timing is king. It means that we both are at the same stage of our journey in life. Also, never fail to ask yourself if you can imagine being good friends with your potential match. Friendship is a crucial building block in relationships. If you have enough things in common to be friends and there is that spark as well, you can’t go very wrong. And the rest is history.