My experience with online dating has really been a mixed bag. I’m sure anyone who has tried it can relate. Sometimes it’s been fun and exciting to chat to new people. Other times it’s been disheartening and frustrating and felt like a completely pointless exercise.
I think it’s safe to say that online dating is not for the faint hearted!
I’ve found that I’ve had to adjust my attitude to keep a healthy mindset in the world of online dating. I have a few takeaways and tips to bear in mind if you want to give online dating a shot.
These are not your typical online dating tips, like- use decent photos or write an interesting profile.
This is more about how to look out for yourself mentally and spiritually because even though online dating can go really well, it doesn’t come without hurdles and mental challenges.
1. Consider which platform you use
You don’t have to use what’s popular. The platform can affect your experience and how likely you are to meet like-minded people.
Find out what you can about the platform before you use it. What are its users generally looking for? And does this align with your wants? You can get a feel for this with a little research online and by checking out reviews.
2. Manage your time
You’ll need to spend some time looking at profiles, swiping, clicking and messaging- but don’t let it consume you. It’s ok to pause or take a break. Perhaps limit how many new profiles you are looking at each day. Some platforms automatically do this for you which I’ve always found helpful. It can be so easy to spend hours swiping or clicking through profiles.
Sometimes too much choice can take away the value and humanness of the people behind the profiles, so bear this in mind.
3. Know your boundaries
The people you connect with online are essentially strangers so it’s sensible to have boundaries.
Maybe you don’t want to share your social media or your phone number? Perhaps you don’t want to meet someone right away? Even if they seem like a great person you should never feel pressured into doing something you’re unsure about. If they’re really a great person they should understand and respect your boundaries.
4. Get comfortable with rejection
Rejection will happen to you and you will do it to others.
It doesn’t say anything about your value as a person. It just means that there’s a better match out there for you.
If you feel bruised, or negative for any reason, know that it’s OK to take a break. You can hide your profile, delete the app and come back when you’re in a better place.
5. Have fun with it
Don’t take it too seriously and try to have fun when you talk to people. You’re more likely to make a real connection this way and you’re less likely to get hurt. Remember it can be fun to get to know new people even if nothing comes of it.
If you’re not having fun then leave and maybe try again later.
So don’t be afraid to give online dating a go- you never know who you could meet! Just remember to check in with yourself as you go and take a step back if it’s bringing you down for any reason. If you do return, do it because you want to and not because of societal expectations or pressure.