08, 10, 2015
Before Tinder there was Yahoo!Chat and as someone who began exploring her options in a Teens chat room back in the day I’m allowed to say I have quite the experience of online dating. Compared to what it is today it wasn’t always a normal thing to meet up with some stranger you just met online – in fact it was always seen as desperate and very dangerous to do. It has now turned into something that almost everyone does and talks about whether it be from a good experience, bad experience, or just an experience.
I’ve had about 90% of my relationships start from online and I’ve been asked many times why I just don’t find someone through friends of friends or out in a social environment where it is more safe and convenient. My answer – There are billions and billions of people out there, why settle for just anyone? I’ve always been one to think outside the box and explore new things that I haven’t encountered before, so dating someone from online always intrigued my interest.
So where did I meet these guys? Honestly I’ve never used a site or app that was specifically for online dating. Once I pasted my early teen chat days I simply met new people though friendly messages on MySpace, Livejournal, Facebook, and language exchange websites/apps (if you didn’t know I learned Japanese and Spanish on my own). I’ve reached and have been reached out by guys just a neighbourhood away and even as far as Europe and Asia (you can read about my LDRs here and here).
If you’re new to online dating or just want some extra tips on the do’s and don’ts, here are some things I’ve learned along the way when exploring the online market.
Online gives you the power to be whoever you want to be but at the end of the day you’re only fooling yourself. First dates can be super awkward but I personally feel getting to know someone online first has its benefits. It’s a great warm up to loosen up before you officially meet offline, especially if you’re the type who needs to break the ice a bit before you feel comfortable around someone new. Don’t be afraid to be your true self, someone out there is going to love every quirk of you.
Lying is the worst possible way when starting any new relationship. The truth always comes out eventually so be to true to who you are and remember that no one is perfect or has the perfect life. You don’t need to create a make-believe world to have a lasting impression on someone – instead concentrate on all your wonderful attributes, achievements, and upcoming goals.
It’s very easy to hide behind a screen, and there will come a time when texting just isn’t enough and you need to pick up that phone and dial. Conversing for the first time over the phone or Skype can be a bit nerve-racking but hearing and interacting with someone by simply just heading their voice can bring you guys a lot closer together. Hearing my crushes voice for the first time actually brings a lot of excitement and butterflies to my stomach!
I know it can be tempting to spy when you’re curious to know more about someone since social media makes it extremely easy, but looking deeply only creates paranoia and distrust. Ask yourself – is it really that necessary to try and scoop up old photos of who they’ve dated in the past or which girls are communicating with on their wall/comments? Although it’s out there a lot of the times it’s not what it seems, and remember there’s a reason why they call it the past. If you really must know though and are that curious all you have to do is ask them yourself.
The truth is not everyone is looking for the same thing. A lot of us use the digital world to find true love while others may just be looking for just a bit of fun. Make it clear to the other person what you want and if there happens to be a mutual agreement then all the better.
If you just don’t see a relationship going anywhere don’t let it drag on. There are many times where one person starts to develop strong feelings while the other is no where near that and possibly even still “shopping around”. No one wins when you play games so when you don’t see any type of future with someone you meet it’s time to man/woman it up and be direct with them.
Creating a bond with someone takes time no matter what. You cannot know someone completely in just a few days of talking online so take the time to get to know them. At your pace move from texting, to talking on the phone or Skype, to actually meeting up in person. Once you do take that final step in meeting face-to-face you will learn a lot more, and the fact that you can interact in person will make your time together even more special and exciting!
When you think you may have finally found “the one” sometimes our imaginations run further than our reality. Expectations may arise as well and when those ideas go wild and if they don’t happen it can be a shatter and disappointment to what you thought could be. We sometimes forget to go with the flow of relationships which often takes the fun out in building a true bond. Just like with anything in life – learn to relax, enjoy, and take whatever comes at you.