When you were younger and fantasized about how you were going to meet your special someone, you might have pictured meeting the “old-fashioned way.” Maybe you envisioned yourself locking eyes with this person from across the room, being setup by your best friends, or turning an intense attraction with a stranger on the street into a beautiful relationship. You might not have included online dating as a potential way to meet someone, but does that mean you should not try it now?
All too often I hear single clients and friends resist online dating because it does not feel romantic or natural and instead feels like work. Yes, it might feel incredibly overwhelming to have to “sell” yourself and make a lasting first impression from behind a computer screen, but I’d imagine that you did not let overwhelming feelings and thoughts hijack your ability to achieve other personal and professional goals. Dating is the same — it takes effort, time and investment in your present and future, as well as perseverance and courage throughout the difficult moments. Like most parts of life, dating comes with challenging moments, excitement, ups, downs, and learning.
Holding onto inflexible beliefs about how you are going to meet someone and excluding online dating and non-traditional methods as potential ways to meet your ideal partner might be doing you more harm than good. We all have different preferences, values and personalities so it makes sense that some single individuals use and highly recommend online dating and others are drawn to other avenues. However, you are more likely to find a loving relationship with a great partner if you put yourself out there and use a variety of methods to meet other singles. The good news about online dating is that it matches you up with other singles that you would not have known existed otherwise and broadens your network.
While it is always important to do what feels right for you and find ways to make dating an enjoyable experience, readiness and openness are essential in creating and maintaining a loving connection. After all, if you are single, but not actively putting yourself out there and are hoping to magically bump into Mr. and Mrs. Right, you might be waiting awhile.
If you are hesitant to online date or use non-traditional ways to meet potential partners, it is important to understand why. Is fear, anxiety or insecurity getting in your way? Do you consider yourself the opposite of computer savvy? Are you embarrassed to put a profile up on the Internet? Do you believe that you take horrible pictures or struggle to describe yourself in written words?
Once you honestly assess any barriers between you and online dating, it is important to remember that you are in charge of using online dating in a way that works for you. If you know that you are not the type to do well scheduling three dates a week, own that and go at your own pace. If you know that you will only feel comfortable meeting someone in person after a phone call, ask and make that happen regardless of anyone else’s recommendations or advice. If money is an issue, join a free site instead of letting finances be an excuse to not try at all.
Be empowered to turn any excuses or doubts into opportunities to conquer your fears, grow as a person and be open to love. When dating becomes exhausting or intense, remember the pros and cons of online dating and don’t make things personally. For example, instead of letting a date with someone whose picture looked more attractive than they actually were upset you, visualize yourself moving forward and don’t allow bad experiences to color the quality of your entire dating life. That was just one date. The next one could be amazing!
In this day and age, using a variety of dating methods is key to increasing your chances of meeting someone great. Regardless of if you meet or begin a dialogue from behind a computer screen, the key is to create an initial spark and connection that flows and grows into a satisfying relationship in real time, face to face.
Don’t hold back, start online dating today, and enjoy every second of it!
About the Author:
Rachel Dack is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Nationally Certified Counselor and relationship coach, specializing in psychotherapy for individuals and couples via her private practice in Bethesda, Maryland. Rachel’s areas of expertise include relationships, self-esteem, dating, mindfulness, anxiety, depression and stress management. Rachel is a co-author to Sexy Secrets to a Juicy Love Life, an International Bestseller, written to support single women in decreasing frustration about single-hood, leaving the past behind, cultivating self-love and forming and maintaining loving relationships. Rachel also serves as a Relationship Expert for http://www.datingadvice.com/ and other dating and relationship advice websites. Follow her on Twitter for more daily wisdom!