Online dating: it’s happening, it’s expanding, and it’s a very big deal in today’s challenging world of relationships. Seeing that I’ve been writing a lot about the beginning of love relationships (the Honeymoon Period), it’s impossible to ignore the obvious connection between the search for love and internet dating. So, having previously tried my hand at online dating, I’ve come up with a few perspectives and hopefully helpful insights on the subject.
1) There are now literally hundreds of online dating sites – something for everyone!
Online dating is everywhere! Only a few years ago, there were only a handful of online dating sites; now the number has expanded, almost exponentially. New “specialty sites” are sprouting up all over the place. Are you a horse lover? Into kinky fetishes? Tennis anyone?
Online dating’s increasing popularity is a testament to the powerful draw that all of us have toward love, companionship, and meaningful connection. So, take your pick, and customize your search or stay with the larger, more general, sites. Either way, there’s an online dating site out there just for you!
2) Online dating is fairly easy.
Internet dating can provide you with a legitimate and easier way to meet that “special someone” from the safety of your home or wherever you might travel with your computer. The convenience of e-dating can offer the jumpstart, the self-empowerment we need when searching for new love, especially if we’re somewhat shy, or new to the dating world. It makes meeting people a bit less risky.
3) Online dating is safe.
The relative safety and initial anonymity associated with online dating can take away the initial tension and fear sometimes associated with this otherwise nail-biting endeavor.
Elizabeth, one of our interviewees, states:
“I like it that you already have a lot of personal information as opposed to blindly meeting someone at a party or a bar. You already know something about the person when you read the profile.”
4) There are psychological game-players & manipulators out there!
Although online dating is a fairly safe pursuit, searchers of love, beware! Unfortunately, there are those, for whatever twisted reasons, that would prey upon, deceive, and mislead you out there in the computer world. (It’s like the Wild West out there!) This is where online dating can turn into a game of deception, in which human beings (including you!) may be regarded as easily manipulated, two-dimensional commodities on the “cyberspace meat market”. Be open, but not gullible!
5) We attract those people at our same level of mental healthiness or unhealthiness.
There’s always a reason why we attract who we meet, whether online or in person.
As Elizabeth puts it:
“With online dating, you get what you’re ready for, a la the ‘Law of Attraction’. You learn the lessons you need to learn. It’s all reflected back at you. If you have a pattern of meeting abusive people, then you will attract them wherever you are, online or not.”
Just some wise words to keep in mind as you search for love.
6) Be clear about your dating needs and wants before hitting the sites.
Too many online daters don’t take the time or make the effort to be really clear about what they want and need in a love relationship. Neediness, loneliness, or financial necessity may drive some to blindly pursue the exact wrong person for the wrong reasons. Online dating works great if you’ve done your homework, and know the type of person that would fit you best.
7) Internet dating can be a gateway to the Honeymoon Period – if you take action!
Essentially, we see internet dating as an “open invitation to love”. It’s a good way to initially connect; to meet someone in a way you wouldn’t normally meet – if you take the initiative to act and to respond. You just can’t be passive when it comes to online dating; it begs for active participation – from you!
8) Ya gotta meet!
Although the initial contact between you and a potential partner may be exciting and initially promising, it won’t mean much if the back-and-forth emails don’t lead to an actual, face-to-face meeting. If you never actually meet, then your communication becomes limited, and nothing will progress. There’s nothing like an “in-the-flesh” meeting to see if there’s a possible love connection.
9) Stay safe and have fun!
If you do chose to enter into the promising waters of dating sites, we urge you to keep things in perspective and always stay computer-safe. So jump in and have fun, but always with your eyes open.
Having said all the above, online dating is definitely a valid and immensely useful tool (an art?) for personal and social exploration on your path to long-term love – your Honeymoon Forever!
*For more discussion about online dating, the pros and cons, and how it relates to the Honeymoon Period of love relationships, check out my latest book, Honeymoon Forever: Secrets to Long-Term Intimacy.