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Kavita on computer

Do I have to date online?

Have you given online dating a shot and resisted every minute of it?

I had an interesting conversation with a client recently, let’s call her Shondra, and I knew I had to share it with you because what she was feeling will resonate if you’re also in the online dating world (or thinking about it).

Here’s a basic paraphrase of her question:

Kavita, I thought online dating might be fun. Everyone is doing it so why haven’t I tried it? But every time I go to log in, I feel this sense of dread.

I know a ton of people have found love this way. But there is something happening where I feel like all the guys I’m meeting on there are totally lame. Am I doing something to attract that in? Oh, and it also doesn’t feel very romantic.

Why does online dating feel so bad?

I totally got what she was saying.

While there is a plethora of men online and that sounds fun and exciting at first, I also know so many women that feel overwhelmed by it and literally look at profile after profile just saying, “No, No, No”.

They’re usually thinking, “This person isn’t cute enough, smart enough, tall enough, or seems boring”.

And I hear them say to me, “Will I ever meet the man for me?”

But there was something to Shondra’s question that I knew was deeper than the idea that there aren’t any good men online.

Online dating doesn’t feel romantic.

When you were younger and thought about meeting your future husband, did you ever stop and think, “Hey, I think I’m going to meet him on Match.com”?

Probably not. But that doesn’t mean finding love online is impossible or unromantic.

I asked Shondra some questions to dig a little deeper and see why she felt this way.

When I asked Shondra what she thought her love story would be, she confessed that she thought it would be something that just happens. They would meet each other randomly in the world and lock eyes and just know (even though she also admitted she doesn’t believe in love at first sight!)

I asked her if there were any relationships around her that she saw happen this way.

Shondra revealed that her grandparents had met when they were young. They went on a double date (with different dates), and once her grandfather saw her grandmother, he pursued her. They’ve been together ever since.

This was the love story she was operating from and had always imagined for herself without being conscious of it.

I asked her what actually felt wrong to her about online dating versus love happening serendipitously the way it did for her grandparents.

She said, “Online dating feels too aggressive. The fact that I have to make such an effort and announce to all these men online that I’m single feels so unnatural. It’s like it’s against the way it’s supposed to happen.”

I totally understood what she was saying but also that she was limiting herself.

Shondra believed that looking for love and SEEKING it out doesn’t match with being romantic. To her, romance is that serendipitous, random meeting where everything falls into place.

But this is simply a belief. She believed this because she grew up hearing her grandparents story.

For me, I grew up around couples in arranged marriages, so romance can come in so many forms.

Everyone has their own definition of romance, and if online dating doesn’t match up to your version then you aren’t going to feel motivated or excited to try it out. You may even be attracting in the losers because of it.

The truth is that when you are open to online dating, all it says is that you are open to meeting your love match.

All it takes is this one mindset shift:

It isn’t about trying to control how you meet him, but simply that you are open to meeting him. When you’re open to all possibilities, it usually does end up serendipitously because you weren’t planning every last detail.

I typically see my clients meet the man of their dreams out in the world simply because they finally released the control of how they thought it was supposed to happen.

And the funny thing is I have heard so many online love stories that are super romantic. Like my brother and sister in-law for example. They met online and he proposed to her in Paris under the Eiffel Tower (although that sounds super cliche it was VERY romantic!)

So the real reason that Shondra was dreading online dating wasn’t because of the selection of men.

It was because the love story she planned out for herself didn’t involve online dating.

After I let her in on this mindset shift, she immediately saw she could still have her love story. It was just a matter of not trying to control it.

So, if you’re also having some resistance around online dating, I have some Lovework for you.

Tell me in the comments below:

What is the love story that you’re operating from right now in your head? Does it include online dating or does that feel icky?

I really want to know your thoughts!

In Love,
Kavita

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  • jill

    I think that on-line dating is difficult because usually you are talking to more than on person. He usually is too. You might think he is really interested to find out that someone else is more aggressive or they have gone in another direction really not giving you the chance for them to get to know you. I also feel that you get guys on-line who are just getting their feet wet in the dating scene. I seem to attract guys who have just gotten out of long-term relationships. I must be the kind of woman guys marry but when you are just getting out of a relationship you want to explore.
    On-line gives you the opportunity to meet someone you would never normally meet in our lives because of our busy schedules

    • Kavita

      Thanks for your comment Jill! Yes online opens a lot of possibilities. There is lots involved, of course, but it’s important to have a profile that really speaks to the kind of man you want to attract. That’s a great place to start. And yes online dating is great especially for the woman on the go! I love that you’re staying open. xoxo

  • Cari

    Good point on the romantic reference! I have set up an account at least 6 different times only to take it off _ I am in business in a small town and feel very exposed for one thing, although I stated I was in another town once – which felt wrong too! I just feel like men are window shopping and not choosing me (I am window shopping too per se) it made my usually high self esteem take a dive that I never want to feel again. Not sure I will try it again. Plus I don’t drink, so bar scene is not mine, so I may have to enjoy my single time longer than I expected 🙁 thanks for being there!

    • Kavita

      Thanks for sharing Cari. It’s good to know how you feel about it and gave it a shot. It’s okay if it’s not for you. There are plenty of other places to meet a high-quality man outside of a bar or online. Do you enjoy running or tennis or an activity with a club? Give those a shot!

  • MJ

    I am uninterested in online dating because of my direct experience with it. I’ve tried it a few times at different stages of my dating life, including a few months last year. It was most useful when I was looking to start dating again after a long-term relationship ended. I had not dated in over 10 years and I needed to get back in the habit of meeting men.

    As I matured and shifted my priorities, I did not find it as valuable. I met a few men who were nice enough, but not for a continuing partnership. I am clear on what I want in a partnership, and am open to meeting compatible men. I am focused on character and integrity, not superficial or “romantic comedy” illusions.

    I am open to meeting men in a variety of situations, and am not tied to a ” meet cute” scenario. Online dating has not been an efficient tool for my needs.

    • Kavita

      Thanks for sharing MJ. It’s okay if you’ve given online dating a try and it wasn’t for you. There are TONS of other ways to meet amazing, high-quality men.

  • Nancy

    Online dating is good and bad. It gives me the opportunity to meet people I might not otherwise ever meet. It really opens up my world. It can be frustrating when I get a lot of messages from men I have no interest in meeting, though. A really bad thing about these dating sites is they can be, in a way, addictive. Men can be like kids in a candy store. There are so many options and they keep thinking, “I like her, but maybe there’s someone even BETTER!” You have to have kind of a thick skin. I’m not having a great experience online, but as you said, Kavita, I stay on as a gesture of keeping myself open to all possibilities. I’m planning to get out more this year and meet more people naturally.

    • Kavita

      YES that’s really great Nancy. Congratulate yourself for opening up to the possibility and seeing that love can happen in a bunch of different ways!

  • http://gabriellecosco.com Gabby

    I can totally relate to how Shondra feels. That is exactly how I feel and how everyone in my family (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles) have met. It feels really unnatural to me to window shop for a mate. LOL

    • Kavita

      🙂 I totally get it Gabby! Online dating IS extremely different than how relationships of parents and family members probably met. But it can definitely happen. Thanks so much for sharing xoxo

  • Christing

    I have totally resisted online dating because of the belief that love should just happen. Like Shondra I am looking at the love stories in my family (parents, sister, cousins, grandparents) and all of them met by happenstance out in the world. The crazy thing is that I followed my fantasy all the way into a marriage with a man who I met in a romantic place serendipitously. The marriage ended after just a few years and I am just now recalling that while in that relationship I heard of online dating for the first time and it sounded like the best idea in the world to me. I felt like I had settled for whatever came along my path when I could have really been proactive about finding someone with common values and interests from a much wider pool. Thanks for reminding me to question my assumptions about online dating. It still feels like a lot of effort and I’m not sure I’ll dive in right away but this post makes me see I am stuck in one way of thinking about how relationships happen–and it has not been working for me so far.

    • Kavita

      Thanks for sharing Chris! I’m glad you were able to shift perspective xoxo

  • Karin

    I am trying online dating and it can be defeating. Many men are recently seperated and not ready for a committment. I have been single for three years and am. As much as I want to have an open mind, it can be hard to send emails and get no response or receive emails from prosepectives who are far out of my designated age range. And my age range is 38-52 so it is not narrow.

  • Patrice

    Your article was interesting to me, because I have been in the same mindset as the woman that you are talking about, due to how I met my x-partner. If feels so analitacal to date like this…like grocery shopping, but I also realize that in doing this I will at least get some life lessons that will benefit me when I find the right man. I am just in a place where I need to learn to trust myself again…maybe this is a good way to do that. Can anyone recommend a good dating site?

  • http://Match.com Julie

    I don’t think I’m that much different about how I feel about on-line dating, but I’ve tried it a few times now and “this time” I have a different mindset. For me, it is more about getting myself back out there (after a one year relationship with a guy I met on Match.com) and what better way than to practice on a few men who may / may not end up getting to know me. Plus, let’s be real – the entertaiment value alone is sometimes worth the hour or so of just logging on and reading profiles! (you think you’re having a bad day and then you read some of the crazy stuff people post, photos included) and you realize your problems are way less of a disaster!

    On a serious note though…while I’ve not met my lifelong partner (yet?) online, I have met some quality men and who’s to say that the right one isn’t online or offline? I’m not giving up meeting men at any opportunity, but I’m also not just relying on the online dating pool to find “the one”. I used to think I had to respond to every email and wink – Nope! Don’t do it – that is guaranteed to make you want to run from online dating. I’ve found that if you focus on those potential men who really strike a cord with you- even one thing in common is a good place to start a conversation. As you move into phone discussions, let your instincts kick in – and TRUST them!! If it is a struggle to speak to someone on the phone, then it will be 10X worse in person… so remove yourself from the painful and unfruitful conversations as soon as possible and move on about your day.

    I had someone recently share with me 2 good pointers about online dating and I think they are great reminders…so I am sharing here too:
    1) There are 7 words you can use when you realize things are not going to work out and they are “I don’t think there is a connection” – plain and simple! It’s not about looks or money or job – it’s a fact. Say it and move on. It works!!
    2) Think of on-line dating as your baseball team… the guy “at bat” is the one who’s front and center right now and you are giving most of your attention to. The “line up” are those on the sidelines – you’re emailing, texting, but haven’t given your number to yet. If the guy at bat “strikes out”, then pull from the line up and start the process over again. Replace the guy in the line up with another potential batter. I’ve found by using these 2 options has really given me a more relaxed and confident position in the world of on-line dating!

    • Kavita

      Thanks so much Julie xoxo

  • kali

    I agree with Karin and my experience has been very similar to her’s. I’ve always been a fan of online dating, even when it wasn’t as popular and still have not found the one. After many years (15 or so) of trying I’m feeling that online dating just isn’t the way I was meant to meet my match.

  • Jennifer

    My love story definitely does not involve ‘we met online’. I actually know a lot of people who were quite successful with online dating. My father and step mother met online and they’ve been together for many years. I’ve just always envisioned meeting ‘the one’ at university or through friends or family. I can see how this is a really limiting belief but based on what everyone is commenting about online dating it seems even less likely that I would try it out… Oiy. Never say never! – as quoted by the Biebs.

    • Kavita

      Thanks Jennifer! xoxo

  • Mae

    I guess the love story I am still operating on is the love story of the first and so far the only relationship had. This was where I was introduced to my ex by mutual friends, but come to think of it what did that give me; heartbreak. Having just come from a 9 year relationship where I thought he was the one, but he ended up cheating and getting the other girl pregnent, I don’t know where to start. Admittedly, I don’t know anything now about dating or even mingling with the opposite gender socially. Work situations with the opposite gender are okay, but after that I am at a loss. I am hesitant to start online dating since it might be too forward and it is very new. How then do I start meeting new people?

    • Kavita

      Mae, I believe you were on the call with me last night and I hope you got some answers there. There are great places to meet men like higher end hotel lounges, upscale restaurants, or sporting events and activities.

      Like I said, you by no means HAVE to date online, but it may be a good place to start getting your feet wet. Sending you love and support. xoxo

  • Margarita Arbelaez

    Well, I’m giving online dating a chance. Let see how that goes. But I’m sure, as you said, that love would show up for me when I least expected.

    • http://kavitajpatel.com Kavita J Patel

      Margarita, it’s just about being open to all channels of meeting someone.

  • jenaya myvett

    I think i still have the” randomly meet someone and things magically work out” idea going on in my head. Im not online now but I have tried online dating. Thats where i met the only guy i ever had a relationship with that was mutual on so many levels but still didnt work out, devistatingly so. I guess Im operating from the idea of “is this possible again, with some one else?” Or even wanting him back but have no means of reconnecting with him. I dont have an icky feeling about going back online. I just have no real desire to do so but should i anyway since my regular life is smothered by women children and married people?

    • http://kavitajpatel.com Kavita J Patel

      Hi Jenaya! Thank you for sharing. It is totally possible again to have a great connection with someone online. By dating online, you are opening up to many opportunities. Since you don’t feel icky about it, give it a go again.

  • T Fisker

    I always thought it would be with someone I ran in the same circles with or had an opportunity to see somewhat regularly and then a spark would happen and well.. cue the music. I’ve done a lot of online dating, I mean really put myself out there and nothing has materialized. I’ve inspired several friends to do it who were really resistant and poof! they’re in a relationship. So I guess at this point I remain hopeful but don’t have a lot of hope it’s going to work.

    • http://kavitajpatel.com Kavita J Patel

      T Fisker, thanks for writing me! Not having hope isn’t a bad thing. Do you feel you are more in action because of this or you feel it is stunting your ability to be in action? What’s important is to believe your desire is real and that you’re committed to that. And allow that to guide you in love.

      • T Fisker

        Kavita- That’s a really interesting question! Yes, I think I do sometimes feel that I am more in action because I have no hope, perhaps like I’m trying to prove this will never happen by trying everything to make it happen. Not sure how to get out of that head space. I do know that something you said in another discussion really resonated with me. That love can find us whatever place in life we are in. That I don’t have to all figured out or have myself “fixed” for love to come into my life. I’m trying to stay focused on that.

        • http://kavitajpatel.com Kavita J Patel

          That’s totally right! Would love to meet you if coming to Worthy From Within is something that calls to you. http://www.worthyfromwithin.com