Advice from Jennifer Boon, life coach and author of Survive & Thrive:Dating and Being Single.
The Internet has opened us up to the possibility of finding love in so many more places than just the local pub and nightclub. It’s great we have access to a much wider pool of people, but it also means that we can get into choice overload. It can feel shallow and we can become picky, dismissing people for the smallest of things. It feeds into our culture of getting everything now and making decisions quickly.
Commandment One: Be thoroughly true to you.
Listen to you instinct and listen to how something feels within you. If something feels wrong or is out of harmony with who you are and who you want to be, then please don’t sacrifice you just because everybody else is doing it. Having a strong foundation of what is you is fundamental.
Commandment Two: Your online profile is key.
Your online profile needs to portray who you really are. The best way to do this is to ask trusted loved ones what they love about you. Write down what you want from a potential partner, and what you can give them. Not in terms of ‘good companionship, I am affectionate,’ but more paint a picture of what life with you is like.
Commandment Three: Avoid game playing.
Online dating can make us feel vulnerable. You can see when people are online and if they haven’t responded to your messaging then it can feel like rejection and make your self-esteem plummet. It can feel like the only way around this is to join the game playing, but resist. If you begin game playing where does it end when you find the right person? Stay authentically you without the game playing.
Commandment Four: Don’t be so hasty rejecting profiles!
I saw my husband’s profile after we married and I definitely would have dismissed his profile! Sometimes it is hard for a person to express themselves in a witty and light-hearted way but don’t write them off. Listen to your intuition if you get a nudge to give someone a chance.
Commandment Five: Limit your time spent on it.
Whether it is an evening or two a week, setting parameters from the outset helps us not to get hooked spending all our time online searching through potentials. We can be driven by the fear we’ll miss our match if we don’t spend every second online, if it’s meant to be it will happen.
Commandment Six: Look after yourself.
Putting ourselves online can open up a host of vulnerabilities and insecurities within us. Make sure you take time for you to recharge
Commandment Seven: Take a break.
It can sometimes feel overwhelming and feel just too much. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to take a break from online dating and get back out into the real world. Make sure you stay in touch with what is important to you.
Commandment Eight: Keep other channels of finding love open.
Despite the huge selection of online dating resources, there are still plenty of other ways to find love. Singles’ events or starting a hobby could open you up to meeting new people. You might not find a man there, but maybe a new friend with a brother you can date.
Commandment Nine: Spend time on dates, rather than messaging all the time.
Spending time messaging back and forth with a person can lead you to build a picture in your mind of some sort of perfect man. Which can lead to disappointment when you meet them in the flesh as they don’t live up to the perfect story you’ve created about them. It is good to message, but make sure you find that balance.
Commandment Ten: Be safe.
It goes without saying, but let loved ones know where you are going. Meet in public places with good transport access and ask someone to check you get home ok.
Jennifer Boon is an experienced life coach who has just published her first book Survive & Thrive: Dating and Being Single. To find out more go to: www.booncoaching.com