Paul Castagno believes that when it comes to online dating, the biggest thing to consider is this: Be mindful.
I was inspired to write this article after reading some recent posts online about the reactions of some men towards women they met online. As you can imagine, these reactions ranged from rude to downright crazy and appalling. Now I know that these are extreme examples, but I can’t help but think that we could save both men and women a lot of grief if there we could bring a bit more mindfulness to the situation.
After I opened my business in my mid-twenties, online dating was mostly how I met women. I have learned many things over that time (some the hard way) and I believe I can give men a few things to think about that they may find useful. When it comes to online dating the first step is getting your mind in the right place. You have to know what you are getting into. Once you do then you will be better able to deal with the challenges that come with taking that journey. So without further delay, here are some things to think about.
Women get way more first messages than men
I once asked a female friend of mine how many emails she got each day. I think the max I ever got in one day was three. I figured hers would be more, but her response blew me away! “at least thirty, but I have gotten over one-hundred before.” As a inquired further I learned that the majority of these messages were short and uninspired. The time it would take to email every person she was not interested in (which was most of them) would have taken more time than any average person has in their day. So if you don’t hear back, don’t take it personally.
Don’t put them on a pedestal
No matter what you may have read in their profile, do not build someone up to be more than they really are. Which is, basically, someone you barely know. My point is that you should not get too disappointed over them. I am not saying it won’t hurt a little bit, but just because their profile makes them seem awesome, doesn’t mean there would have been any chemistry should you have met.
Realize that people have lives (and they don’t revolve around you)
Lack of a prompt response does not necessarily mean disinterest. If you send them an email it may take them a few days or more to respond. If you send a text don’t expect them to respond right away. This can be especially hard if the message you sent is asking them out, but if you freak out and start hounding them to give you an answer you are going to sound obsessive and, frankly, a little crazy. If she is truly interested she will make a point to respond in a reasonable time frame. But….
Know that “Poofing” is extremely common
Turning someone down is hard for most people, especially if they know the other person is more interested than they are, and especially if they have had negative experiences doing so in the past. So vanishing, or “poofing” as I like to call it, is the easiest thing to do. I am not saying it’s right, but it’s going to happen. Heck, chances are you probably did the same to someone else. I know it doesn’t feel good, and you are going to wonder what made that person disappear (there can be many reasons for that that may have nothing to do with you personally), but continuing to send messages (especially ones lambasting them for not responding) will not change their minds. If anything, it will prove to them that they made the right choice. This brings me to my next piece of advice.
Take rejection gracefully
This seems to be the one many men struggle with. If someone pulls a disappearing act, let it go and move on. If someone is kind enough to let you know they are uninterested, thank them for being upfront with you and wish them luck going forward. Maybe you even make a great friend (who may have other awesome single friends). If you are feeling especially dejected, don’t take it out on them. Vent to your friends, write in a journal, or see a therapist, but leave that person out of it. They are looking for the right connection just like you and have a right to be a picky as they desire.
Learn when to take a break
In the end—a person can only take so many unanswered emails or go on so many dates that don’t pan out before it takes a toll on them. If you find yourself getting easily frustrated, pessimistic, or just plain jaded, give yourself a break. Stop reading profiles or sending messages, spend more time with friends, and pursue activities you enjoy. One of the best ways to meet someone awesome is to get yourself into a good headspace. If you continue to date with a negative attitude it is going to come out in your interactions, often in ways you may not even realize. Online dating can be challenging enough, no need to make the experience harder on yourself.
Keep your head up
Even though dating can be really exhausting—compassion, understanding, and patience should always be part of the process. Remember that the things that are the most challenging can also be the most rewarding. If you can keep a positive mindset and take the journey with stride you will eventually meet someone who will blow you away.
Photo: MattyFlicks / flickr