Last month, dating expert Elizabeth Lewis highlighted a few common myths of online dating and what really might be happening in these scenarios. This month she dives into two more myths and shares her expertise on how to navigate these common online dating concerns.
1. I’ve tried online dating before, but I just couldn’t meet anyone worth dating.
First, when I ask people how long they had an open online profile, the answer is often a month. In my head I’m thinking, “Wait. You wanted to log online during the exact same month as your future spouse. Meet this amazing woman/man right away. Fall in love and you’re all done? THAT is what you would define as ‘successful’ online dating?” (OK, I was at one time hoping for the same thing. Truly. So, I get the frustration.)
Secondly, online dating is just an introduction service. There are no promises of meeting “the one” when one goes online. It is simply a way to introduce you to other singles. A place to go where others are looking for love who are also single in your age and distance range. In real life, a good comparison would be going to 5-6 parties in a week (I know who could do that, but stick with me for analogy sake). At each party you might find 1-2 interesting people that you might want to talk to or perhaps take out for a drink. As you go out with each new person, you figure out if they are a good person for you to hang out with or not. Then you keep going to parties to meet new people. So, when you go online (let’s say to 3-4 different dating sites) and you find a few interesting people with whom to chat. You might have coffee or a drink and do the same thing—figure out if you want to spend more time with that person or not. Online dating just increases the amount of people you wouldn’t normally meet in your daily routine. So, a “successful” online dating experience is NOT did you meet the one; rather, is it helping you meet new people? If you’re having a few too many meet-and-greets, then you ARE having a successful online dating experience. I’d say stick with it. If you’re online and NOT getting ANY meets from being on a few sites, then there are a variety of things you can do. (A good list of this is in my book First Date Next Mate). But giving up and thinking you’re a lost cause is not one of those things.
2. Is online dating safe?
You must have common sense when dating online. This includes not giving out any personal information (address, where you work, etc.). Only give your cell number to those you’re going to meet (although you don’t have to even do that). You can communicate through the site because many have the dating site app on their phone. Giving your cell number enables the man/woman to call you for a phone conversation before you meet. Phone chemistry is a thing, so if you struggle talking on the phone, conversation in person might also be a struggle. Go by your own comfort level with giving your cell number. Online dating is as safe as any other method for meeting strangers. If you meet someone at a bar or party, you still have to go through the same process of getting to know them and they might be telling the truth or lying to you. TIME is what you need to know if this is a good person for you.
By Elizabeth Lewis, Life Coach/Relationship Coach/Author
Learn more about her at Loveandlaughterlifecoaching.com.
P.S. Check out these myths people have about dating.