As I have written about before, online dating is so not a thing anymore. So many people meet online - many of my friends are now married as a result of meeting online. While the gold standard for dating is still the 'chance encounter' (read about why I think that is a load of BS here), I also think that the invention of dating applications like Tinder and Bumble (and now, the Inner Circle?) has meant potential mates become more disposable.
People with hearts and souls and dreams and feelings become items on a shopping list known to you only through photos and a short description, which no one knows how to do so they end up sounding boring AF - gym, travel, just looking for fun - or is it just ME??.
But all that said, I still think meeting online is a great way to get out there again. Here are my tips if you are single, and either using dating apps or thinking about it:
Give the person you are connecting with online the same presence that you would expect on a date in real life. Often (and I am guilty of this too) we treat dating apps like social media. Every time we are alone in public, bored or lonely, we go on to see what's 'on the menu'. Think about it this way - if you went out in public feeling like this, what kinds of people do you think you would attract? Our energy, and our thoughts about ourselves and others permeate online just as effectively as in real life.
If you are serious about meeting someone online, DO NOT swipe and message when you are bored, lonely, sad, fearful of being alone forever. Instead, set aside a specific length of time every week to connect with people, and give them your full attention and presence, like you would expect if you were on a date in real life with that person.
Get real with what you want in a partner and BE HONEST about this in your profile. I'm not saying to write 'looking for a husband' on your profile, but if you are looking to connect with people in real life who have similar interests to you, that want an exclusive, monogamous, conscious relationship, then WRITE THAT. If you scare people off with your vulnerability and openness, GOOD. You don't want to match with those people anyway (I got significantly less matches when I wrote this on my profile, but I ended up meeting some really beautiful men as a result).
Perhaps you don’t know what you want yet. That’s great! Dating is your opportunity to find out. Go into it with an open mind, and open heart
When you eventually meet in real life, let go of the mental 'list' and be present with the person in front of you. Whether they are your forever partner, a lover, or it is just one evening together, let it unfold exactly how it should. Use it as an opportunity to see what they are reflecting back to you, and be kind. Despite whether people say they are looking for a relationship or just some 'fun' (can’t they be the same thing?), EVERYONE is looking for connection.
Go for quality over quantity. There is a tendency in online dating to compare people to each other and want the most attractive, funny, witty one. But you saw, or felt something in that person who is genuinely interested in you, even if you matched with someone hotter or funnier or who seems more interesting online. Give the person a chance, instead of chasing someone who is just trawling for matches. 90% of the people you meet in real life will not be a match. And that’s ok! Be present, give them the respect and integrity they deserve, and just see it for what it is - a chance to find out more about who you are, and what you want in a partner.
Bring some awareness and consideration to who you are attracted to.What specifically about their photos, their profile, makes them attractive to you? Write these things down for future reference. This will help you to start becoming aware of patterns in the people you attract, and once you have contacted by potential partners or been on a couple of dates, you can start to bring awareness to these. What kinds of people do you keep attracting? How do they treat you? Do they ask questions and seem interested? Or are they aloof and disinterested? What do they do for a job? Are they interested in getting to know you or do they just want to hook up?
We show other people how we deserve to be treated. So know that whoever you are attracting into your life is a direct reflection of your self worth. Sometimes it can take a while to uncover these patterns, but just try to remain curious.
Feel in to your body when you are looking at potential partners. Instead of swiping unconsciously, look closely at their photos, read their bios with presence and openness and feel the yes or no in your body. And then LISTEN TO THIS. Often our heads get in the way with thoughts like 'he isn't attractive enough for you' or we match with the same 'types' of men (unavailable, bearded, emotionally closed is my type, generally).
I don’t think being on dating apps makes you any less likely to find love IF there is presence, awareness and a willingness to be vulnerable and honest with what you want. Human beings are hard wired to connect, and technology will continue to follow this trend. My experience with online dating (and lets be honest, my life generally) completely shifted when I started to use conscious relating and tantra in this way.
If you think you would benefit from a one-on-one session with me, where we can dive deeper into some of the reasons behind your relationship patters and define exactly what you are looking for in a partner, then feel free to email me to set up a time.