How not to see through rose-tinted glasses
Deciding to start online dating is exciting, especially when you begin to get the first few matches in your inbox. While optimism is by far the best approach, it’s important to keep your feet on the ground if you want to avoid feeling quickly disillusioned.
Accept it may take time
People sometimes fill in the questionnaire, pay their subscription and then expect instant results. While the matching process used by eHarmony is scientific and will link you with people with whom you’ll be compatible, it’s not a magic wand.
Some people seem to think that every match should lead to a date or that every date should lead to a relationship, but the matching process is only the beginning of the story. Just like in any other walk of life it takes time to get to know people, to build up trust and to eventually develop a relationship.
Working on a realistic time frame is important. Giving it six months or a year is far more realistic than signing up for one month and expecting to be happily in love by the end of that month.
Be prepared to have some not-so-great dates
Nothing in life that is worth having is without the risk of failure or disappointment. Some dates may be fantastic fun but with no chemistry, others may have everything go wrong but you still manage to form a connection. You may meet someone you really like but who isn’t into you or you could get a match who thinks you’re their dream date but you don’t find them attractive.
If you know all of these things are possibilities and have the resilience to persevere rather than be deflated when things don’t go according to plan – you will have much more fun with the whole process.
Don’t let your imagination run away with you
Talking to someone online is a little bit like reading a book – you’ll get a lot of written information and your imagination will get to work filling in the blanks. You may imagine what the person looks like, how they dress, what it will be like when you first meet etc. The longer you only have written communication, the more vivid your picture of the person will become. When you finally do get to meet it can be just as disappointing as seeing a film of a well-loved book – the characters never look how they did in your head.
Moving from guided communication to phone, Skype or face-to face meeting as soon as possible will prevent your imagination having too much time to form romantic fantasies and allow you to get to know the person as they really are.
Have no expectations
It sounds like a strange thing to say because if you’re signing up to a dating website you will have expectations – that you will get matches; go on dates and eventually find a new partner – that is the point of it, after all. These are realistic expectations but alongside these there are often expectations about how other people on the site ought to behave.
People often get discouraged when matches don’t live up to these expectations e.g. they may believe that if they send an ice breaker people should respond, that people will always act with respect and integrity or that all correspondence will end with an explanation as to why it isn’t a good match.
Although it can be difficult to not be affected by other people’s behaviour, it’s important not to have expectations about how other people should behave. By conducting yourself with openness, honesty and acting with integrity you’re much more likely to attract the kind of relationship you want and deserve.
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