In movie after movie we see characters who seem to make dating their career. Male or female – they never “find the one” (well, at least until they meet the other star of the movie!) and instead move from one conquest or short term relationship to another.
Though you may have met people like that, this sort of character is not one most of us relate to. If you are trying to stop the endless cycle of online dating – then you likely identify with the character that feels they have been dating forever and it just isn’t going anywhere…
Online dating (or any dating) is not meant to be a career. It is a means to an end: getting the relationship and love you deserve. It can be challenging, frustrating, and tedious, but remember it can also be a fun, interesting, and engaging process to be enjoyed. And most importantly: there is a goal. Keep that goal in sight!
If you feel as if you’ve been on a way too many dates with every type of person from the geek to the malignant narcissist and still haven’t found anyone right, don’t despair. Remember there are over 110 million single people in the United States. Yes: ONE HUNDRED TEN MILLION remarkable, exciting people with love in their hearts to give; who are also on a hunt to find YOU!
If you have been on this journey for a long time and are getting discouraged and start to believe that there are no decent men/women out there, or that the world is filled with commitment phobic serial daters, or that you are not worthy of love, you will act according to those beliefs. When feelings of discouragement set in, it’s time to see yourself and the world with fresh new eyes.
Once you are clear on your wants and needs, dating can be broken down into 3 steps. And no, you cannot skip one!
Step 1. Meeting people.
When looking for compatible people, choose dating sites based on religious affiliation or other interests that match yours. This could include chat rooms and other sites specific to animal lovers, music lovers, outdoorsmen, wine connoisseurs etc. This is because your greatest likelihood of success will come with someone who shares similar core values, life goals, and interests. And you will never run out of things to talk about or activities you enjoy doing together.
Step 2. Getting acquainted.
If you’ve been on online dating for a while, you may find you have become cautious with new people. We’ve all been there: either not letting people in at all, or acting like the person we think they want rather than ourselves. When you hide your authentic self, you live in fear of being “found out.” This doesn’t mean you have to tell your life story on a first date (in fact don’t do it!), but it does mean that you need to behave in a genuine manner. Being yourself will attract the best partner for YOU.
This second stage is also important so you can share insights, outlooks, experiences, and histories, while observing one another. How does your date treat the staff at the restaurant? Interact with family and friends? Spend free time? Handle money? Perceive the world?
Get to know each other. Use your exit strategy if and when you realize this is not the right person for you.
Step 3. Finding your ideal match.
YIPPEE! You’ve been dating for a while, you are feeling: this is the one!
You know because you share values and goals, lines of communication are open, your needs are being met, you feel seen and heard, both physical and emotional chemistry is great, and you can see a future together!
There is nothing more beautiful than love. It is worth the time and care you give it so it will flourish and sustain you throughout your life.
But if you feel like a career dater, take a look at which aspect of dating is causing you to get stuck, and at which step you tend to falter. You might also consider contacting a dating coach to help you work through the obstacles that are getting in your way. Here’s to arriving at your destination in the near future!