Also featured at Online Dating University
I am constantly approached by people asking me to give them the secret to finding someone online. Unfortunately, I must slap them back into reality when I reiterate what I always say, “There is no magic formula for online dating success.”
I know, I know, there are a myriad of books on the market that say that they know how to guarantee you will find your mate online, but it’s not true. Well, it might be… a little… but I need to break it down a bit here.
1. You are impatient
Remember that place called Rome and those things called pyramids in Egypt? Not built in a day, right? So how can you honestly expect that you are going to read the magical online dating book you bought on Amazon and find your soul mate after one click? I know you’ve been on a gazillion sites over the past five years, but it’s not like a bat signal has been put up into the sky for your soul mate to hone in on. It takes time, and it takes numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5.
2. You lack structure
Imagine these two scenarios:
a) You’re bored and decide to go window shopping at the mall. As you wander aimlessly around said mall, you happen upon a lime green throw pillow that has “Just breathe” embroidered across the front. You think to yourself, “That’s a really neat saying. Even though I don’t need another throw pillow, I’ll get it anyway just because I think it’s neat.” You get it home and realize that the throw pillow should really say, “Just Gag,” because it looks disgusting against your powder blue micro-suede sofa. Over time, you begin to loathe that pillow and toss it into the back of the linen closet; but only after uttering, “Why the hell did I buy that stupid pillow anyway?”
b) You are suddenly struck with a desire to add a salmon pink blouse to your wardrobe. Not just any salmon pink blouse. You want one that’s very feminine and flowy (since you partook in a little too much wine and comfort food since your break-up last year). You go into the same mall that has the “Just Gag” pillow and you leave empty handed two hours later. Frustrated, you almost go back in to buy the baggy taupe sweatshirt in the clearance section of a men’s store, but you stop yourself and stay firm to your salmon pink goal. Three weeks, and five malls, later you finally find it. It fits better than you ever hoped, and you are hard-pressed NOT to wear it every single day to work. You look amazing in it and are so glad that you didn’t compromise.
Do you get the drift of my analogy? Most people who go online, don’t have a clear vision of the traits of the mate they want. They don’t take the time to establish what their non-negotiables are, so they cry in their wine to their friends every time they have to carry that damn lime-green pillow around with them.
3. Wrong place at the wrong time
Read number one again. I know that your friend Josh found the love of his life after only three dates, but not everyone’s stars are aligned that way. My friend went on about a hundred dates and is now happily married (ten years later) to the yin of her yang. I think I went on seven dates before being swept off my feet by my forever-husband. Do you feel me? No one can guarantee that your soul mate will be ready to cross your path just because you threw a cyber-temper tantrum and shouted, “I want love now!”
4. You are not being honest with yourself
It is crucial that you first establish what your goal is, and what you are looking for in a relationship. If you allow your friend Penny to convince you to put your status to “dating” instead of “relationship,” so that you can “cast your line out further,” then you risk the chance of spinning your wheels when the guy across the table gets a deadened look on his face as your biological clock drowns out the music at the restaurant on your first date. I understand that you must “date before you can be in a relationship,” but if the other person is just looking for fun + no commitment (versus your coffee date = marriage) equation, then you might be frustrating yourself (and others) unnecessarily.
5. You are impatient
Okay, so some may think that I’ve duped you on the “Top 5” thing, but bear with me and keep reading. Go back and read numbers 1-4 again and then meet me back here.
The universe does not punch a clock in the world you think revolves around you. Take a step back and make sure you have all your ducks in a row, so that when your soul mate comes into the picture, you will actually recognize him or her.
The bottom line is: online dating is a process (just like bar hopping, except you’ll get carpal tunnel syndrome instead of a hangover). You could be online for years and then meet your soul mate in the emergency room of your local hospital (him: an unfortunate incident with a weed whacker; you: waiting for your nephew to have a peanut removed from his nose because his brother convinced him to “eat it like an elephant does”).
Be patient. Be honest. Be true to yourself.
You’ll get where you need to be, if it is where you are intended to be.
No sooner. No later.
Just be patient.