But grab yourself a seat, because there's a whole lot of opportunity in store...
Whether you are a virgin or have been doing it for years, there are certain things you can do to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to online dating.
Despite what we all believe, online dating sites and apps aren't really "dating sites" — they're introduction sites.
Online dating sites greatly increase your chances of meeting someone, but they can’t do the dating for you.
The dating part is 100% up to you.
Logging into an online dating site is exactly like going to a party or a bar. You can stand in a room full of singles, but that doesn’t guarantee you'll hit it off with someone, leave with a number and magically find your soul mate.
To make the most out the time you invest combing through these sights for introductions, here are 4 ways to readjust your dating mindset.
1. Don’t judge the people you encounter too harshly.
Slow down and keep perspective. Unlike face to face interactions, online it is easy to swipe past potential partners, overlooking the fact that every person you pass by is a potential match — a person who may share your quirky humor, hold your hand on the beach, and put up with your mother.
Is he bald? Overweight? Does his profile seem "dorky"? Does he seem like he isn't smart enough or successful enough? Reign in your petty judgments.
Save your non-negotiables for things that really matter, like whether he's kind to the wait staff and whether or not your dog loves him.
You simply can’t get a true feeling for someone in a profile, so keep an open mind.
Don't look at their profile picture and assume there will or will not be chemistry. Chemistry can be built over time. Humor and compatibility cannot. Give the person a chance.
2. On your first date with someone you met online, be fully present. Truly listen.
Most of us listen only enough to respond, and this is especially true when we're on first dates.
Instead of being present, we formulate intelligent responses or witty comebacks in our heads while the other person talks.
We judge. We talk out of nervousness.
This time, be present.
If you know you're a nervous talker, be extra aware to make sure you let your date have space and time to talk also. Be more present, more grounded, and more humble. Let conversation flow naturally without feeling a need to quilt your successes or accomplishments.
When you are truly present, you won’t have time to over think or be too quick to judge. After all, it's a first date, not a lifetime commitment.
Be open to the moment.
3. Make sure not to bring up past relationships.
"Why bother talking about your former lovers with a new one?" Helen asks. "You are who you are now. That’s what the new partner is interested in."
This is a fresh start. A potential partner is not looking to hear details of your previous relationships.
Resisting the urge to talk about your ex or blame someone else for your situation is important for all sorts of reasons. Not talking about past relationships shows you have moved on. You are ready for a new relationship. You are accepting of and happy with who you are. It also demonstrates respect for the person sitting across from you. If your previous relationship is over, it has no bearing on person sitting across from you today. Not discussing it shows you are mature, mentally healthy and able to move into the future.
4. Share multiple experiences.
Studies show we develop increased closeness and attachment the more experiences we share together.
Avoid sitting in one place for too long. Have drinks in bar, dinner in a different restaurant, take a walk after dinner, and then maybe even a night cap in yet another location.
Movement also has a remarkable way of calming our nerves, helping us bond more quickly.
5. Give the date another chance.
Fisher also suggests it can take up to seven dates to feel relaxed enough to let our true personalities shine.
Chemistry does not develop overnight. Think about all those friends who, in time, became lovers. Chemistry often, and usually, comes later.
Be open, be present, withhold judgments and have some fun on your dates.
Your life-partner is out there looking for you, too.
If you are tired of the online dating scene and would like a new perspective and a fresh approach, call or shoot me an email anytime. I'd love to talk with you. Visit my website at www.tapintopurpose.com for more information, or call me at 847.730.7531.