News flash: Online Dating is a great new way to meet the love of
your life! The problem is that no instructions were given to understand how it
all works. You might be thinking, “How complicated could it be? It is all about
love, right? Online dating is no different than how I have always dated, even
before the Internet, right?” As all of these self-affirming questions run
through your mind, you know deep down that there is something familiar about
online dating, yet there is something oddly unfamiliar. Sort of like an episode
of The Twilight Zone. There are people involved, but everyone is acting a little
different. Fret not. You just need an adjustment in your thinking and you’ll be
on your way.
How is online dating different from the dating of your mommas and poppas? Well,
for thousands of years, people have pursued love and created loving
relationships in the same manner. People who lived near each other, whether it
was in their neighborhood, place of work or place of worship, sought out others
in order to take a chance on love. This method wasn’t perfect, but it served
mankind for quite a long time. Now here comes the Internet, with all the
promises that every would-be lover desires, plenty of eligible mates
congregating in the same place, ready to be heart-struck.
You start to think, “Sign me up! And sure, I’ll fill out that questionnaire
too.” But before you rush to do all that, let me explain to you some of the
unique aspects of Internet dating so that you will begin your journey with the
Requires Effort – Contrary to popular notions, not only does Online dating take
some effort, but it may also take a little time. If it were so easy, all of the
Internet dating sites would have put themselves out of business long ago.
Reading and Writing is essential – This is the lifeblood to your Internet dating
experience. Unlike before, when your first interaction was face to face, now you
have to communicate the delicate facets of your personality and thought-life in
written form in order for someone else to have an accurate view of you.
Many more options available – Getting the telephone number of someone when out
for an evening used to be considered a successful effort. Forget all of that. On
any given night, you can identify 20 or more people who seemingly meet your
reasonable criteria for a mate. That was just for the people in your zip code.
The good thing is that your chances of finding a good relationship go up
dramatically just because of the law of large numbers.
People are very uncommitted – During the first several weeks of making contact
with people, you will find that there is a good amount of churn. It will seem
like you have snagged a good catch and then, without warning, they wiggle free.
The truth is that people believe that they have several equally viable
alternatives, so they tend to be less committed early on. When this happens to
you, and trust me it will, don’t get down about being tossed back. It happens to
the best of us. People normally just continue to fish for love on the Net until
they snag the one that they are looking for.
Women have more control – This is a good thing. I am woman. Hear me roar. Or at
least hear me click. More power has been put into a woman’s hand to decide with
whom she will initiate a contact. If there is a guy that is doing it for you
ladies, you are free to say, “Hello there, Mr. Right.” This changes the dynamics
for men who have traditionally held hunter’s position in the arena of love.
This brief list gives you a clear sense that Internet dating is a different
world that requires a different approach. You should be encouraged. Now that you
are better informed, you are a few steps closer to snagging a great catch.