Happy 4th of July weekend! However you’re celebrating, I hope you are having a fantastic time. Last night, my husband and I went out with an old friend of mine, and one of our conversations actually inspired this blog post. This friend has been in the military since age 18, constantly moving or on deployment, making dating and maintaining a relationship nearly impossible. Thankfully, he will soon be in one spot for an extended period of time, and he is looking forward to getting back into the dating scene!
That conversation reminded me of a concern that pops up in my office quite a bit. Many of my single and dating clients are struggling with that transition from online dating to offline dating. While the idea of swiping left or right to find your one true love sounds great, it is only one small piece of the puzzle.
If you are online dating right now, here are 4 things to keep in mind:
- You connect online, you meet in person. Two online profiles matching up is a convenient digital connection. No matter how many times you text/email/call one another, you still haven’t met until you interact face-to-face. When you meet someone, you are able to use all of your senses. When you are with one another, what do you feel? What do you hear? What do you see? What do you smell? (Yes, smell is important too!) Real, honest, raw chemistry between two people can only happen when all of your senses are involved.
- If you are not kind online, you are not kind. Remember, there is a real person reading the messages you send. Sending crude or hurtful messages tells the recipient that you are a crude/hurtful person. Remember that the way you conduct yourself online represents how you are most likely to conduct yourself offline.
- Challenge yourself to remove judgment. Yes, this piece is tricky. The very nature of online profiles practically screams ‘Hey! Judge me!” Remember, when you look at a picture (or read an “about me”), you are only using your sight and your own initial reactions to determine whether or not this is a person you could get along with. If you are looking at a profile and judgmental thoughts are entering your mind, (“this person looks weird, this person sounds dumb”), those are judgments, not facts. At the same time…
- Trust your gut. If anything makes you legitimately nervous, whether on their profile or in their messages, remain vigilant. You do not have to meet them in person! While not an exact science, our instincts are usually accurate. Above all else, make sure you are keeping your safety in mind.
Please note that this content is for informational purposes, and not a substitute for treatment. If you are in need of mental health treatment, please seek out a provider in your area.