Top 5 tips for internet dating — fresh off the keyboard

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After some small attempts at Internet dating many years ago that left me uninspired, I decided to give it another go. Back then Internet dating was like a battlefield for me, trying to avoid the hurts, disappointments and rejections that I commonly faced, and then having to deal with thoughts of ‘what’s wrong with me’. Well no more, as I see things so much more clearly now: I no longer allow others to define me as now I am able to appreciate a newly found level of self-worth and value.

Not only have I learnt a truckload about myself, but also that Internet dating can be a great insight and snapshot of where we are at, and how we are relating to each other.

We can learn so much from communicating with each other — the reflections of how we are with people are there for us to see all the time. Every message and text we send or any expression to a potential mate is an opportunity to see, feel and understand more about ourselves and others. As we are able to make ourselves more available from a place of honesty, openness and vulnerability we have an opportunity to let go of any pockets or guards that we may have.

Now I realise that Internet dating is not for everyone and it certainly is not for the faint-hearted as there is so much that comes up to look at and deal with. And it wasn’t that long ago that you would have heard me say that I would never look for a partner via the Internet!

So what has changed?
  • I know who I am
  • I know my value
  • I am open to meeting people and for them to meet me.

Now these are not prerequisites for Internet dating, but they sure make it a whole lot more enjoyable, providing more ability to objectively observe others and how interactions play out. What I have realised is that shopping for a potential partner requires some stamina and heaps of understanding. I joined a new dating site recently and one of my first messages was from a younger man asking if I was a ‘Domme’. I appreciated the opportunity to expand my vocabulary as I had to look the word up on the Internet to understand its meaning. But I had to reply to this young man with a reality check to ask him what was it about my profile that would make him think such a thing. There was nothing in my profile at all that would allow him to assume such a thing. It was an example of many that could be listed that shows how the proliferation of pornography is distorting perceptions.

At first I did question myself and my dating profile, but then soon realised that this man was living in a virtual reality of his own making. This experience didn’t deter me like it would have in the past as I now know my value, and I was not about to tar all men with the same brush based on one experience.

It has only been 1 month, but already I have much to share.

Here are my top 5 tips for Internet dating, fresh off the keyboard . .
  1. De-personalise the riff raff that will come your way.

Internet dating is not devoid of trolls and you will get your share of rude people, reactive communication and those that are only interested in sex. Even though my profile and photos screamed ‘woman of substance’, it does not stop those that are only looking for a ‘good time’ to make contact. One man sent me a message asking ‘why I was wearing my pyjamas’. Now at first I was puzzled by this comment as there were no pyjamas in sight amongst my many gorgeous photos, but it soon sunk in what it meant. You see my body was not for sale — he mistakenly thought it might be! Now it is a very different story from the past, when I used my body to hook men in and have them look my way. The objectification game was something I could easily play as I had (and still have) the body and the looks to do well. But this was all being fed from my lack of self-worth and an emptiness that was just pandering to the pictures that men wanted to see.

2. Don’t use ‘protection’!

I am serious here — so many try, but always fail miserably. Ha — I know what you were thinking and it ain’t that kind of protection I am talking about. So many are afraid of being rejected so their expression is loaded with protection (just in case they get rejected). But here’s the reality . . . when we express with protection this guard is very much felt, and most likely the response that you will get back will also be protected, until someone decides to drop the guard . . . if you are lucky enough that they have stuck around. And most don’t — so voila — rejection, your worst nightmare and you’ve only been online for 2 minutes! We are so well practised at creating the very thing we are trying to avoid! It’s nuts isn’t it? So drop the guard and be yourself. The truth is, no one can reject you but you.

3. Feel a person’s expression.

You can feel a lot about someone in the way that they express in their profile. Yes photos say a lot, but words also carry energy, so allow yourself to read between the lines. What a person doesn’t say also says so much. When writing your profile — go for it, don’t hold back — show the world who you are. Everyone is reading the energy whether they are aware of it or not.

4. Drop the pictures.

Most of us have a picture of what a man, woman or relationship should look like. But hanging onto ideals and beliefs means you are limiting your options and glancing past what could be a match made in heaven. Everyone has issues not yet resolved and so we cannot write people off because they don’t tick all the boxes. Dropping the tick list and feeling your way may be the best dating tip to come your way. Stay open and see what unfolds. Dating can be very character building as you learn about yourself in the process, including your own level of value and self-worth.

5. Forget about finding a partner.

You see when we put so much focus on finding ‘the one’, we put so much pressure on ourselves. What could be fun turns into hard work and a task. Dating can be an enjoyable discovery about yourself and other people . . . and if we just see dating as a potential for meeting new people who we feel we have a connection with, it becomes an enjoyable experience. It doesn’t mean we drop the intent of wanting to be in an amazing intimate relationship, we just open it up for so much more to unfold and experience. It’s not unlike looking for a house to buy . . . it may require many months of looking and learning until we find the one. Some may become friends, some you will only meet once, and some may fire up a spark within that then leads to an intimate connection. No expectations, and thus no disappointments — just an open heart and a willingness to connect.

It is our interactions and relationships with people that bring great opportunity for growth. I love how Internet dating has been such a great marker to gauge my level of value and self-worth. If there is a willingness to develop and learn you will enjoy Internet dating.

If you stay open you may be surprised who you will meet. There are some lovely people out there genuinely wanting to connect.

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