Being married for 30+ years, it’s been interesting hearing about my adult children’s and friend’s dating issues over the last decade. Online dating has become the go to source when looking for that someone special, but at the same time both a blessing and a curse.
In the beginning everyone was thrilled with the coverage, imagery and ability to communicate in such a simple fashion that the platforms provided. Later becoming disillusioned with the dehumanizing feeling of being treated like a commodity (some platforms more than others), along with the difficulty to commit due to so many options. The surplus of users along with photoshop has not only made the competition fierce and less personal, but even worse exposing us to fake profiles, scammers and trolling. Have we forgotten there are real people with interesting personalities and thoughts, behind each and every picture that we swipe away in a fraction of a millisecond?
My solution is to meet others in real life situations. It has its advantages. “But Mom, you don’t understand, no one meets at the park or while waiting at the vet/ for an oil change / at the dry cleaners… Well, why not, we did before?
The point I’m trying to make is that interesting people are all around us and we don’t need to go out of our way to find them. What we need to do, is put down our phones and start up conversations with the everyday people we come in contact with. It might seem cliché, but what makes the stranger on the internet a better choice? Everything is difficult at first, so start right away by practicing striking up a conversation with the person behind you in the grocery store (or anywhere). It will get easier, so when you do cross paths with that that cute guy/girl, you’ll be more confident with your ability to make small talk. Who knows where it might lead?
The best thing about meeting in real life is that you have all your senses with you to help you evaluate the situation. When meeting IRL we jump right to the front of the line when it comes to using our instincts, which we will eventually need to do with a match met originally online.
Is there an attraction to the other? What are they saying with their body language? Do they talk nicely with others around them or do they seem arrogant? Is there a smell in the air that I do or don’t like? How are they dressed. Are they wearing more makeup than I like? Height and weight situations are typically clarified on the spot. Do I sense a chemistry when we speak? Do I possibly feel butterflies? Even though our senses can fool us, we are better armed to protect ourselves when meeting a stranger, than we might be when meeting a match on a planned date. The fact that a date is planned gives the other a chance to put their best foot forward, which might be great. But having that candid view of a person without a planned meeting gives you a realistic insight. It also largely eliminates disappointing blind dates because there was not chemistry to start with or they didn’t match the preconceived idea that was developed numerous texting.
So, get out there and strike up a conversation in real life!