I believe in online dating. It allows you to access huge numbers of potential partners. It allows you to get in touch with people who have your interests, your values, your approach to life. It’s quick, easy and often has a great success rate. Which is why I developed and teach a class on Getting Better at Online Dating at The School of Life, and offer personal coaching in online dating success.
That said, online dating has its traps.
– it can tempt you into dating too early. Because online dating is easily accessible, you can rush in when you’re not over your last relationship or when you’re not yet confident enough to make love work.
– it can raise your expectations far too high. Online dating services promise you love overnight. But as with every dating method, finding a partner – the right partner – takes time and effort.
– it gives you too little information. Getting to know a potential partner by email and phone can mean you don’t really know who they are, and they don’t really know you who you are.
– it can get you over-excited. The speed of online dating, the buzz of getting and sending emails, the adrenalin rush of the process can mean you fall too far, too fast.
– it can make for bad endings. It’s easy to dump online – and people don’t always do it well; online relationship breakups can be more brutal than ones in ‘real life’.
– it can be a steep learning curve. Online dating has only existed for a few years, so hardly anyone knows protocols – and that can mean you make mistakes.
These are the traps… but there are ways out of all of them. A colleague and I recently got fascinated by finding the ways out – the result was not only a series of courses on online dating, but a coaching programme to help you succeed step by step. (My colleague got married recently – to someone he met online.)
Here are some of the things you need to do to avoid the traps of online dating.
– instead of dating too early, be sure you’re ready before you go online. Be over your past relationship, feel good about what you’re doing, be confident in yourself.
– instead of too-high expectations, be realistic. It can take a while to find the right partner – so don’t feel bad or give up if you don’t find perfection straight away.
– instead of too little information, get to know people Learn how to best use your profile, your partner spec, then your emails and phone calls in both giving and getting information.
– instead of getting over-excited, keep a cool head. However well you get on with someone online, as with ‘real life’ dating only let yourself fall in love once you’re sure.
– instead of suffering bad endings, make good endings. If you’re dumping, be kind and considerate. If you’ve been dumped, don’t take it personally – the other person doesn’t really know you.
– instead of expecting to do it perfectly first time, be prepared for the curve. You – and all the potential partners you meet – need to learn how to date online. So accept the bumps along the way, They’re not your fault.
If you’d like support with online dating, please email and tell me about it. If I feel I could help, we can arrange for an initial coaching session to explore how we would work together. I’d love to hear from you.