When entering into the dating world, especially online and actually committing to the idea of exchanging a tonne of personal information, be aware there seems to be a rule book or instruction manual that has been lost along the way. Is there a disclaimer on the online dating sites that no one ever takes the time to read, or some unspoken rule that perhaps needs to be spoken aloud? While I certainly have not given much personal time or attention to the online dating culture, I am beginning to observe the effects of this style of interaction where there is a wealth of options, an advantage of learning years’ worth of insight in only a click or two, plus the convenient ability to move on the minute a more suitable match is…well…matched to you.
In today’s world of technology at our fingers and the access to information about one another, we are able to sit back and practically shop online for a potential mate if we so desire. What a time saver and relief for some, to be able to do this all from the comfort of home and really zone in on what exactly you are looking for and in fact be able to communicate live once you make your selection known.
Where I have concerns and feel responsible to add some rules to this style of online mate shopping, is what comes after initial contact.
In my attempt to relate to a number of my close friends who swear by online dating, I once took the time to go through the pages and pages of questions about myself to build my profile and set up my filters. It felt like days before I had searched every corner of my mind and soul to be not only honest, but perfectly datable for this road test and get signed up. Once online the views, emails, winks and outright invitations for more than I had bargained for, began to flow in…success! Then, technology advances even more when recently I was introduced to a new gifting and dating application on my iPhone where you can sign up and send drinks, gifts or messages to anyone else on the network and, thanks to GPSm, see exactly where they are hanging out in real time. So easy, so convenient, and so accessible.
It all sounds good, harmless, and voluntary, so what could possibly be the issue? Well that’s where we are missing the next step of face time and courting that takes place in dating, or at least used to. By this I mean the time where you get to see what really makes the other person tick, observing them in their daily life, organically joining in and seeing how their world works. Just because we are able to filter the results to meet the right match, doesn’t mean you now know all there is to know. Yes, I agree there are the sites that spend a great deal of time learning every possible detail about you, to best match you to like-minded people, but we are still on a first date or in the courting phase. Just because it is sold to you as open book access, it does not mean you have nothing more to do to find out who we really are and to be a part of our world. News flash: the work has only just begun! There has to be passion and excitement, not just a higher number of boxes check marked to make us compatible obviously. Where too many in the dating world are going wrong, is believing that once you connect and even have face time, you are already past a lot of the initial dating stages and you already know this person’s inner soul, you are already so well matched, you know what they are thinking….why would you even need to ask questions?
So as you begin this new, exciting phase of dating with that one who you are moving out from behind the computer screen for, also consider that you have to now find out what is beyond the online profile. You had easy access, the work was done for you by a computer to get here, so this is that that disclaimer you didn’t read earlier warning you that it’s not as easy as it seems and you can’t take for granted the work that now needs to take place to date and live up to the profile and person you met online. It may have been a fast track getting to this step but moving too fast and forgetting courting will have you back searching your next best match faster than the click of a mouse.