How to online date successfully

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Before writing this article I had to think if I wanted to do it as a therapist or as a person. And I decided to do it as both because it is impossible to split myself anyway. As a person that met my husband through online dating I am very much in favor of trying new ways of finding what you are looking for in life. As a therapist I become much more worried with what is out there and if people are ready to do what is best for them. Like with anything else in life, things aren’t totally good or bad. They depend on who, how and when we use them. So here some thoughts about how to turn online dating into a positive experience in your life, regardless of the outcome.

  • Approach it as regular dating. Remember the online is just the channel or tool that directs you to a person. The basics of human relationships remain the same.
  •  Be aware that dating __ traditional or online__ can bring up a pile of issues: “Am I lovable, attractive or good enough, would I find somebody to love me, independence vs. dependency balance etc.” The best way is to keep these fears in check. We all feel them but if they take over you, you can end up in trouble.
  • Be yourself. You are looking for someone to spend your life with, so think about it when stretching yourself to pretend to be somebody you are really not. The best question according to Dr. Phil is to ask yourself is: Can I do something over and over for the rest of my life?
  • Empower yourself. Think of yourself as the one choosing not been chosen. It is like been an HR director and you are looking for the right match for your company.
  • If you keep dating “the same devastating person”, figure out his/her profile (and, often, which parent that is) and avoid that person. For me it was distant guys with intimacy issues. I still like them but it takes a conscious decision to choose a healthy relationship in your life. If you keep picking the old inadequate mommy/daddy/same boyfriend, you might need to do some personal work.
  • Know your criteria. Be clear on the most important issues and know in advance what’s negotiable and what’s not.
  • If you are a person sensitive to rejection, know that you are not going to please everybody. Every person has different needs and a specific profile in mind. For example in my case if the guy likes blonds, I was not going to be his choice and it doesn’t have anything to do with who I am, with what I say or do but with his preferences. The same with other personality traits or life values. It is not personal.
  • Meet as many people as you can. Sometime you will meet people’s criteria but they won’t meet yours and vice versa. I think that when it comes to dating the definition of luck also applies: “Luck is when preparation and opportunity meet.” So be prepared and wait for that opportunity.
  • Be methodical in your approach. It is the same that when looking for a job. In a job search, you don’t stop because you’ve been turned down. In internet dating, keep your profile on line. If you’re not getting the responses you want, ask your friends to help you update your profile and consider other internet services. And remember, it is not personal.
  • Look for professional help. Sometimes while dating you may want to work on self-esteem, self-awareness, assertiveness and boundaries (how to say no while respecting others), emotional balance, and differentiation.
  • Be responsible for yourself. Many times we are looking for a parent or somebody to take care of us in the other person. If that is the case, you will need to look into your adult self and be sure you’re the one your inner child needs to turn to.
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