When I ask single women who want to be dating why they aren’t, I often get a reply similar to, “Well, I’m not interested in online dating.” I sense that underneath this response is the assumption, “If I don’t want to do online dating then my other option is to sit pretty and wait, right?”
And I agree, that online dating is one of the most accessible and direct ways to currently find available singles these days.
And I’d like to suggest a better question.
First off, I understand that the “how” of dating has lots of challenges these days.
I get that there is a lot of potential for the “ew” factor with online dating. “How can I be judged so quickly by a few pictures?” “How do I respond to invitations for a hookup?” “If I only hear from 1 or 2 guys that completely aren’t my type, what does that say about me?”
After experiencing a few of these “snags” in online dating, especially in your tender heart space, it’s easy to presume that continuing online dating will only bring more “ew” without certainty of any “ahhh.”
I also get that in person opportunities have increasingly decreased because of the way we now spend a large percentage of our time in the day in front of some form of screen. We go to work or work at home, run some errands, do some activities, but for many of us we see the same few people everyday. When we are in public at various social events, many of us check our phones in lieu of striking up some small talk.
All these are factors make online and offline arenas challenging to connect with good dates.
So if you want to be dating and you’re not, I’d like to suggest a better question:
Is the door to your heart open to love? (Sounds like an 80’s pop song, right?)
But I’m serious, I’ve been around the dating block for a lot of years and I’ll be honest with you, there are a lot of times when I do online dating as a distraction and my heart is not actually open to welcoming a serious partner into my life. There are also times when I go out to meet people socially and I answer their questions as if I’m dragging a ball and chain behind me. My posture in the method led to undesired results.
I may be taking the right actions to meet potential guys for a relationship, but my heart is as closed down as the bank at 6pm.
If you ask yourself whether your heart is open to love or not, your answer starts to focus on your state of being and it’s less tempting to focus on the “methods” for why things aren’t working. (ie. Online dating sucks *&^%$#)
So I want to offer you two considerations for the week (if you want, take out your journal or chat with a friend about them):
Is your heart open to love? If not, how can you explore the reasons why you’re keeping it shut?
(This is not always easy, it requires giving ourselves time and space to process or maybe do more serious work like forgiving a past partner.)
2. Then if and when you are open - ask yourself - Are you willing to play with and be adventurous about the possible ways of meeting someone?
With your heart open it’s easier to see online dating as more of an adventure or a tool that will give you experiences that could be fun or help you to grow—no matter what the result of the date is. Also, you can open up your range of experiences in real life that lead you with a curiosity towards men who will find your open heart fascinating.
With an open heart it’s easier to see many experiences (positive or negative) as part of the journey towards the relationship you desire, the same way that you expect to see briers or weeds on a hike, but it doesn’t detract from the overall beauty of nature you experience.
If you find yourself in a place where your heart feels closed and would like help to explore that, I would love to chat with you for a 30 minute call to see if I could be a good fit to help.