How to survive online dating – be yourself.
We’re all looking for ‘the one’, the ‘perfect partner’, the one who always makes us smile and sometimes when you’re dating it is really easy to lose sight of the simple things that make you unique and what you’re looking for in an ideal partner.
When you start dating you quickly realise that there are timewasters, those who will mess with your head and heart and lead a double life, fly by nights, and those with more drama than a soap opera, but there are also emotionally healthy people who really do want something lasting.
The problem is that we disillusion ourselves into what makes the perfect Mr or Miss Right, and the illusion of enhanced perfection is all too readily purported.
Many of my female friends have delusions about finding a Tom Hardy or Ryan Reynolds lookalike in their local and will instantly discount any man that attempts to chat them up who doesn’t fit this bill. Equally, most of my male friends admit that its looks they go for, several of them were more open minded and admitted it would be the way a woman dresses, the way she carries herself and even how much makeup she’s wearing that would determine if they asked her for a date.
Some of them even admitted that for the average Joe it is intimidating at the best of times for them to approach a woman but even more so when she’s dressed up like a cast member from Real Housewives of Cheshire. Why….because they can’t see who the real person is.
Why….because they can’t workout who the ‘real’ person is that they’re looking or talking to.
This week on First Dates Hotel there was the most adorable guy in Eddie the electrician. He was a real man’s man and got matched with a beautiful girl. Despite his nervousness his personality shone through. He made witty jokes, he paid compliments, he was a gentleman, for me he would have been the perfect date. He told an emotional story and opened up to his date – a brave thing for guys to do. However, his date for the night felt the need to make him feel uncomfortable by making reference to his nerves, she led him on with flirting, swam in her bikini in front of him and then benched him to the friendzone. Ouch.
I take my hat off to Eddie – he admitted that the girl was ‘out of his league’ but that he’d love to date her and see her again. He told her so and although his being honest and open didn’t work for him it was his natural persona that made him so endearing to the viewers.
Hang in there Eddie.
Don’t get me wrong it is natural to put on a different persona when you go out on a date, to behave a little differently to when you’re at home. You’re nervous. There is anticipation. You’ve probably been chatting online for weeks and have heightened expectations of what you want from each other. There’s the hope that you really want this to be ‘the one’.
On dates you’ll give typical responses during the evening such as ‘it was nice to meet you’ or ‘thanks for a nice night’. You do this because you put up a wall that says ‘be cool, be casual’ that way you won’t get hurt.
STOP….if you had a really nice time and there was laughter and eye contact and flirting and the awkward moments didn’t last long ask to see that person again! Be brave, take a chance – if you really want to find someone that’s what you have to do. Lay yourself bare (not literally as that would be strange and weird) and throw caution to the wind. Sometimes a connection doesn’t happen on the first date.
If you don’t be brave your date will just think you’re not interested and both of you will fade into the night, opportunity missed.
Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket when you start dating. You might meet some great dates over the course of a few weeks, be open to going on multiple dates but be upfront if they ask if you’re dating anyone else. Don’t think dating is now your life….it isn’t. Organise nights out with friends, if you’re on your own at home enjoy the time to yourself and do things for you.
The saving grace about internet dating is that it’s a sea full of fish and there are a lot of fish to catch. Always though be clear to yourself and your date about who you are and what you are looking for. Compatibility isn’t about being two people being the same it’s about two people just finding one thing that gives them a connection.
It could take one date or fifty to find that connection but the more honest you are to yourself and your date the less exasperating the whole experience will be.