Monday, April 20, 2015

what is the goal of online dating?

I did online dating for 6 months last year.  The response and amount of messages sent to me was really intense.  I might get a handful of messages on any given day or I just might be overwhelmed with as many as 65 messages in one day!  I had no idea this many people participated in such a platform.  Yet the longer I did it, the more I realized how vast the amount of people online are!

And just as vast as the number of people online, were the ways I got messages.  90 percent of guys simply said something simple like "Hi!"  Maybe with a smiley face.  Or "You are really cute!"  Or some generic question like "Hey, how are you?"  Very few guys actually took the time to write something of significance, to write a paragraph about themselves, something either about what they do for work and things they enjoy in life, to create more of an introduction, something to establish and create a connection, build a foundation of a relationship.  A few just said check out my profile and message me back if you are interested.  Some guys simply had no class and were all out in your face just hitting on you making it clear that building a relationship was not their focus.

I purposed to respond to each and every single guy that messaged me.  Intentionally.  With class.  With my personality.  Being open, authentic, genuine, loving and courageous.  Asking questions to create a dialogue.  Being firm in my boundaries.  Not allowing myself to be put down or belittled.  However, I simply wanted to leave a mark on them they would remember.  My goal was to achieve this in every way possible and grow me in the interim and face my fears of men and dating, to learn more deeply about relationships.  And maybe even create some guy friends in the process.

There are people who have met online and gotten married and had successful relationships and marriages.  There are people who met alone and haven't achieved successful relationships or marriages.  There are people who think that an online presence is fake, unrealistic, and living behind a mask.  There are others who approach this as just another form to meet people and have another type of method to create a connection and approach a dating relationship.  There are people who think this is scary and risky beyond words.

So I would ask:

  • Is meeting online going to decide whether your marriage is successful or not?
  • Is meeting offline going to decide whether your marriage is successful or not?
  • Is meeting online risky?
  • Is meeting offline risky?
  • Is an online presence fake, unrealistic, and living behind a mask?
  • Is an offline presence fake, unrealistic, and living behind a mask?

So which is it?

To answer that question, you must look at a two things.  

  1. What you have experienced.
  2. What you believe.

If all your experiences online, especially when it comes to any type of relationship, have been horrific, tragic, difficult, painful and unsuccessful, you are liable to believe that this method of dating will be exactly the same.

If all you have experienced is difficult dating relationships, you will believe online dating is exactly the same.

If you believe that any negative experience or challenge that you faced wasn't the results you wanted means it wasn't right or good, and therefore was wrong or bad, then you will believe this about online dating too.

In reality, it is your choice.  Whatever you want to experience, you will.  Whatever you want to believe, you will.  

You can choose to believe your previous experiences will always define your future experiences, or you can be open to something different, new and be receptive to different results.  You can choose to believe whatever you want.  But remember, not everyone has experienced the same things you have and won't have the same beliefs you do.

In the time that I did online dating, I didn't meet my prince.  But I met my goals with online dating and got what I was looking for.  

I faced my fears of men and dating.

I learned a lot about relationships.

made some great guy friends, all of which I am greatly thankful for!  Because a year ago I didn't have single guy friends that stayed in touch with me in my life.  

I consider my online dating experience to have been a huge success.  How about you?  Have you done online dating?  If so, what did you learn?  What feedback would you give someone else?

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