Does online dating really work? I get this question all the time from my clients. The majority of them do some form of online dating and are feeling pretty discouraged by it.
The short answer is "It works sometimes." I advise the women in my F.L.I.R.T. Course for Dating and Relationship Mastery, to use online dating only as a tool and not the end all be all of dating avenues.
It appears that there is a epidemic happening within the general public; everyone is constantly hanging out in cyber space, causing real authentic connection to go into extinction.
Many of my clients are frustrated with online dating and sometimes even hit levels of depression because of it. I even had one of the women I work with swear off online dating for her new years resolution last year. After a year of false starts and no real connections, she was depressed and feeling hopeless. A week after going "cold turkey", she began to feel better and actually started to go out into the world and enjoy life. Where then, she did meet someone at an event that she is still with today.
Two pitfalls seem to contribute to the frustrations of online dating. First of all, you can not really "know" someone from their online profile. When words only make up 7% of how our brains receive communication, it is impossible to really get a clear idea if someone is compatible with you or not.
Many times people will see someone's profile, start a line of communication with them that goes on for a week or so, and the hope begins to grow. "Maybe they are the one?" Then comes the time to meet, and you get excited and nervous: "I mean this could be the guy I am going to marry!" And then you meet up, and the disappointment sets in as they walk into the restaurant. They might not be as attractive as you thought, or having a conversation with them is awkward or they turn out to be really opinionated and argumentative. Heck, back in the day when I was online dating a lot, I even had to rule someone out because he kept trying to convince me that aliens were watching us at the restaurant.
Whatever the reason, your week long online romance comes to a screeching halt, and your hope turns into hopelessness. This hope/hopeless cycle can go on over and over again. What this does to our belief system is that creating a lot of evidence that it's hopeless and that you won't ever find anyone. Then depression begins to sink in.
The second reason why this hopelessness happens is because of the sheer number of single people on an online dating site should have a high probability that you will meet, connect, and live happily ever after with one of them. When this doesn't happen, once again it begins to do a number on the beliefs: "What's wrong with me? Maybe I'm not meant to have a relationship?"
On the other hand, I have met people who have found their "soul mate" online. So it must work some of the time, right?
Because having a healthy attitude and positive belief system about yourself and dating is key for success; there are a few tips I give to the women in the F.L.I.R.T. Course about "how" to do online dating in a way that doesn't leave them depleted.
#1.Use online dating as only one of your dating avenues.
As discussed before, meeting someone out in the world can give you a lot more information about who they are right away. Chemistry can only be felt in person.
#2. Have a tough exterior.
I find that the lack of real connection that happens online, can sometimes cause people to treat others poorly. They might just stop communication all of the sudden. They might say things that are rude that they normally wouldn't say to someone if they really knew them. And words can be misinterpreted and often feelings get hurt or there is confusion of what someone really means in there emails. So take online dating and what people do or say with a grain of salt.
#3. Have fun.
The only way I see online dating as constructive and helpful is when the person has an attitude of non-attachment. If you can be unattached to the outcome of every encounter, then you can let yourself have fun! I tell the women in the F.L.I.R.T. Course to use their online experiences as a way to practice the dating sills that they are learning in the class. If their focus is the process and not the outcome, they tend to have a lot more fun with it, even if they aren't meeting their perfect matches.
For more information about the F.L.I.R.T. Course for Women and how it can help you master dating and relationships Click here.
*Good news, even if you live outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, you can still participate in the F.L.I.R.T. Course online!
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