Last week I had a long talk with a woman who was upset because of a less than ideal encounter on an online dating site. She couldn’t get over the feeling of rejection, compounded, she said, by her thinking that she’d already “lowered” herself by using online dating in the first place. After all, if she couldn’t land a guy there, what hope did she have?
Have you ever felt that way? Ashamed of dipping your toe into online dating?
Stop right there!
Online dating isn’t for people who are desperate, it’s for everyone. In fact, a 2015 Pew Research study showed that nearly 60% of Americans agreed that “online dating is a good way to meet people,” and at least one out of every ten people have tried it.
And I’m one of them! That’s right—online dating changed my life. My husband is proof that quality men are on dating apps looking for that special woman. I met Michael online and after two years of dating we were married in a gorgeous ceremony on the beach. And I’m hardly the exception.
Two of my clients in the last week became engaged to men they met online, as well. And a growing body of research reports that couples who meet online tend to marry faster and the marriage is less likely to end in divorce compared to couples who meet offline.
But maybe you feel embarrassed about online dating, or are upset that you got rejected by someone online or didn’t find the perfect match on your first try.
To help you maximize your online dating experience and to have fun while doing it, here are a few things you can do:
Reframe the experience.
I want you to remove the word rejection from your vocabulary and replace it with something else—redirection. Online dating is a veritable clearinghouse of eligible men (in fact, more than half of the people on dating apps are me). No, you won’t click with every guy you find interesting. You may even get some less than charming responses. But instead of taking this as a gut punch, something that sets you back to square one and makes you wonder what the hell you’re doing there, think of it as re-focusing your search. Meeting and releasing people is just a part of your journey towards finding the right person for you.
Trust in yourself.
Your BS meter is finely tuned. You’ll know sooner rather than later which men are quality ones who you want to meet, and which aren’t worth more than a click of the delete button.
Release the need for approval from others.
Who cares what others think about your use of dating sites? The only person you need to answer to, is yourself. If I had worried about how others would perceive me for being online, and decided they were right, I would have missed out on meeting the love of my life. Doesn’t that sound insane? These sites are merely another tool in your toolbox. What if you live in New York and your potential soul mate is in Colorado? Short of bumping into him on a flight, or on a trip, or some other one-in-a-million shot, online dating is your best way to find him.
Give yourself a break.
Especially if you’re just dipping a toe into the dating scene, checking potential mates online is not at all questionable behavior—It’s smart. You can really hone in on qualities you’re looking for without wasting your time.
We are well into the 21st century here, ladies. Online dating services empower us to seek out what we want and make the first move. The possibilities should excite you, not fill you with shame and dread. Start thinking about this outlet differently and results will follow.
Remember, I’m not asking you to do anything that I didn’t do myself. Your future could be waiting for you on the other side of that screen.
Jaki Sabourin was voted “Best Female Relationship Expert” by her peers and is a coach, speaker, author, and CEO of Engaged at Any Age®, a company that helps women consciously create the man of their dreams. Her wit and no-nonsense attitude has led to hundreds of clients meeting their ideal man. She married her soulmate at 50. Follow her on YouTube at Engaged at Any Age , Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Take the SoulmateIQ quiz and for more information visit: www.EngagedatAnyAge.com