How to switch off
With the use of smartphones it is now possible to be online 24/7 even when you are at work or out with friends. Online dating can be extremely exciting especially when you have started communicating with some of your matches – seeing a message in your inbox can give you a thrill which is so pleasant you want it again and again.
This is great if you don’t have anything else to do in your life, but if you have a job and family commitments it can become a real problem. Your attention is distracted and your mind is elsewhere daydreaming about the blossoming romance or obsessing about whether a match will respond to your icebreaker. It is really important, if you want to keep your life on track and give yourself the best chance of success with dating, that you learn how to switch off occasionally, so here are our top tips for doing just that.
Set time aside
If you really want to succeed with online dating it is vital that you do give it proper time and attention but we suggest that you allocate this time in your diary rather than trying to squeeze it in amongst all your other commitments. Devote time in the evening, or whenever you are free, when you can give your full attention to answering messages, updating your profile and looking at the matches that you have received from eHarmony – really reading them rather than just dismissing them because the photo doesn’t appeal to you. An hour of concentrated attention is better than a dozen five minute checks during the day.
Be honest with matches
If you are a busy person it is better to tell your matches that you will only be available for chatting online or responding to messages out of work hours and stick to it. The first thing you give to a match is time – you need to set clear boundaries right from the beginning and be realistic about how much spare time you actually have.
One of the most common problems people encounter is that at the beginning of the relationship they are in touch 24/7 and other parts of their life like friendships and hobbies get neglected. It is natural to want to be in touch with a new love interest all the time but it is also very healthy to have some space between you where you will get a chance to miss each other and for the anticipation of the next date to build.
The person your match was attracted to probably had a full, interesting and rounded life – make sure you keep it that way rather than making them the sole object of your existence. Stay in touch with friends; talk about things rather than just your love life; keep up with hobbies and other interests and stay focused and professional at work – in the end it is all an investment in your relationship and if things don’t work out you won’t be left with a big chasm in your life because you gave up everything in the name of love.
Move from online to face to face
Move on to face to face communication as soon as possible. It is all too easy to let your imagination run away with you when you are only communicating online. Giving your imagination too much rein to build up a mental image of someone can mean that when you do meet them your initial feeling is one of disappointment because, just like when you read a book and then see the film, the picture you have built up in your imagination is likely to bear little resemblance to reality.
When a date ends allow yourself some time to process it but try to avoid spending all your waking hours daydreaming about the future or boring your colleagues to death with your love life – keep it real.
Have some down time before bed
As tempting as it can be to stay chatting with your beloved online into the wee small hours research is beginning to find a correlation between the use of smartphones/laptops, and insomnia.
It is suggested to have at least 60 minutes technology-free time before you go to sleep. This will help your mind unload all the information it has processed during the day and help you wind down before your head hits the pillow.
Never go to sleep with your smartphone, laptop or iPad switched on beside you. This will help you to need less REM (dreaming and information processing) sleep and have deeper sleep which helps you feel fully refreshed the next day.
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