We live in a freaky, social media-obsessed world, where it often feels like a ‘meet-cute’ is nothing short of impossible.
Sure, I’ve met dudes at bars. Through friends. Once on the train.
But the majority of guys I’ve gone on dates with I met online.
Do I revel in this fact? No. But it feels unavoidable at this point. We’re a generation obsessed with having access to everything at our fingertips. Why not dating?
And while we’re at it, we’ve got a multitude of options. Match is DEFINITELY for those lookin’ for marriage. JDaters take it pretty seriously too. OkCupid’s a fuckin’ free-for-all. Bumble feels like a semi-classy free approach? Tinder is semi-desperate, but #GGE.
No matter which poison you pick, perusing these sites AIN’T EASY. As Samantha Jones once said, in reference to a different type of work “…they don’t call it a job for nothing”.
Because that’s the thing-if you’re seeking love, this is how online dating must be approached: AS A JOB. Put some time and effort into it, and you’re much more likely to get something back in return.
Over the years, I’ve dabbled in Okcupid, Jdate, Tinder, and Bumble. Of course I have horror stories. But I’ve had success too! It was all about weeding through the fringe to get to the good stuff.
And yes, the fringe once included a man I’d met on JDate asking me out on a second date via voicemail (after an entirely unimpressive first date in which he’d divulged that his all-time favorite bands include Maroon 5 and Linkin Park), but letting me know that it would have to wait until the pink eye he’d just picked up in Mexico had subsided.
BUT I DIGRESS.
I recently put out a social media blast asking to hear from folks who’ve been in a long-term relationship with someone they met online. The response was genuinely overwhelming. THANK YOU, READERS AND PALS!
After consulting with them, here are some of my deepest online dating beliefs:
Guess they just weren’t worth your precious time.
11. Keep your options open! Don’t get too caught up in one potential suitor before meeting them. You have no idea what they’ll actually end up being like. Which leads to…
12. MEET IN-PERSON SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.
^^^This is my #1 online dating tip. The longer you spend chatting, the more time you’ll put into building this person up in your mind. What they’re like, what they’ll look like, and HOW YOU’LL FEEL once you meet them.
You become invested.
THIS. IS ALL. BULLSHIT.
It’s fine to be excited to meet face-to-face. But there is absolutely NO substitution for the chemistry you will or will not feel upon meeting someone in person-no matter how much you’ve enjoyed chatting with them online.
The longer you spend texting with someone, the more excited you get about the potential. The more excited you get, the more you’ll naturally start building someone up…before you’ve even met them. This is dangerous, dangerous territory for multiple reasons.
What happens when you finally meet them and you feel disappointed? You might try and trick yourself into feeling a chemistry that just isn’t there because of the time and effort you’ve already put into them. What a waste. Not only the date, but the weeks spent chatting prior.
Or, what if you do end up hitting it off? You go on a few dates…and then it ends, for one reason or another. The potential hurt is so much greater because you’ve invested so much more deeply, both emotionally and time-wise. This just isn’t fair to you. You’re playing a trick on yourself, and acting as though the ‘relationship’ became far more serious than it ever did.
Because here’s the thing: with instant access to thousands of potential suitors at our fingertips comes instant access to mass rejection. There will be times when your dates simply can’t get enough of you. And there will be times when you can’t get over that first date hump. It comes in waves; ebbs and flows.
But guess what: that has nothing to do with you.
My friend Breanne brought this pattern to my attention and she is so right. Her advice: try and separate your self-worth from your current success/failures (Breanne’s one smart cookie).
Why did several guys in a row seem disinterested? Why can’t you catch a break? What’s wrong with you?
Nothing. I promise you, with everything I am: the answer is nothing. You just haven’t found the right guy yet.
IT’S THAT SIMPLE.
Think about your dearest friends. Now think about their significant others. Do you love each and every one of them? Probably not. But do your dearest friends who you love, love them? Yes (hopefully). There’s someone out there for everybody.
So, do yourself a favor and keep the pre-date chatting to a minimum. This will allow you to develop the most honest and genuine reactions to a person when you meet. Come to a first date as a clean slate and, I promise you, the results will be healthier, more fun, and the most honest.
Bottom line: online dating isn’t life or death here, people. But if you’re looking for a mate: take it seriously. Invest a little time. Use it as a resource and a filter to weed through potential matches. Keep going. It’s all about connection, my friends. Let me know how it goes!