Online dating sites, dating apps, text dating, etc…etc. I think we have complicated dating so much that the person we go on a date with isn't even that important anymore. In other words, we give technology much more importance than we should in dating. Technology should only be used as a means to an end — not the end. Unfortunately, many of us have become so dependent on technology helping us to find someone that we have become totally helpless without it.
As a late bloom Gen-Xer or early bloom Millennial, I often find myself reminiscing on the days when there were no cell phones, no dating apps, texting hadn't been invented and online dating was but a blur. In those days, outside of meeting someone in school or at work, you either had to schedule a week's worth of events or activities to go to or you had to ask your family and friends for help in finding someone. Both of which yielded great results because in the first case, you got to meet the person on the spot and you knew, right then and there, whether the person liked you. In the second case, your family and friends were your best kept secret for helping you find someone because they knew your heart and would only do what was in your best interests.
It's actually not the technology itself that is the issue but more so that we are still human beings learning to operate in a system that does not include chemistry, feelings, or even a simple gut feeling if someone isn't right despite what the "algorithms" say is a great match. Of course, if and when they do develop computer systems with feelings, then we'll revisit this issue…LOL! But seriously, nothing will replace our intuition and how our body language changes automatically when something's not being said in a conversation with the person we just met. No computer can compare to the spiritual intuitive capacity human beings have when it comes to picking the right mate.
So am I against online dating? Absolutely not! I would be a fool to "throw the baby out with the bath water" because there are so many great features about it that have proven to be a great alternative. I believe the keyword here is alternative. I don't think online dating was ever meant to be the only method you use for dating. A potential mate who lives a couple blocks away from you in your own neighborhood that you see every day at the local grocery store (or gas station or Wal-Mart or the local mall or at your child's school or at church or at the library or at the gym) may not be on any online dating website. If all you're doing is online dating then you will have missed out on a great opportunity to meet someone in person who probably has more in common with you than anyone you meet online.
What I am advocating is that we challenge ourselves to go back to our roots in dating. Here are 4 things to consider:
- Try doing it "old school style" by going out to places that interests you. This way you will have a lot in common with the person you meet making the beginning conversations a lot easier to navigate. Reflect on your hobbies or interests and see if there are groups and associations who share those interests. If there are no groups or associations with those interests, start one and that way you will definitely have an advantage of meeting like-minded people.
- Be more observant of the people around you. I can't tell you how many singles I see on a daily basis sitting alone, eating alone, or just casually waiting in line. This is a perfect time to meet people. If you're a guy, this is the perfect chance for you to meet her because she will probably be more open to you when she is alone rather than with family, friends or co-workers. As for women, I'm a little traditional and not a big proponent of women approaching men or being overly flirtatious with them but if you're at least being open and friendly, then hopefully he will see you and want to strike up a conversation (which is why you should always look great!). Keep reading...
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