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!