When I started dating online, I would drag my feet before meeting a woman. I wanted to make sure she was exactly what I was looking for before we met. Whenever I did finally meet someone I would almost always find out within the first few minutes of talking that she wasn’t the match I believed her to be. My first dates were stressful, disappointing, few and far-between. In the second phase of my online dating life (the phase where I started to get my act together), I was meeting women with in the first few emails. I actually asked the woman who would become my wife out in my first email. During this time my dating was fun…even if not always successful.
I’ve covered this topic extensively in my guide but I bring it up again because of the article I read over at NationalPost.com.. The article discusses two women with very different approaches to online dating. The first, Annie, was dating exactly like I was when I started: not meeting until communication had been happening for a very long time because she wanted to make sure things were “perfect”. She, just like me, was experiencing frustration and failure:
But Josh must have been on a different page. Not long after that second date Josh called Annie, told her he’d met someone else around the same time and “decided to go with that instead.” They never saw each other again.
This isn’t the only time Annie, 26, would spend months online with one man, only to be rejected shortly after meeting them in person.
The second woman in the article, Tricia, is much more aggressive in regards to how quickly she is meeting men. And just like my experience when dating this way, she’s actually enjoying it!
Tricia Smith, 35, has been dating online for several years. She says she doesn’t have a single tale of rejection from her years on Lavalife or Plenty of Fish.
Sure, she has had surprises, but she takes it all in stride, she said. She’s able to do this, she said, because she approaches online dating with “realistic frame of mind,” and doesn’t hold any expectations for people she doesn’t know.
When Smith is contacted through her online profile, she said she never spends much time sending messages back and forth with a man.
The fact that these two examples match up perfectly with my personal experience is no accident. This is how things work. If you try to learn about a person through instant messages or emails, you’re going to be surprised in one way or another when you actually meet. Hopefully it’s a good surprise but, as often as not, it isn’t. I suspect that if both women in the article continue to date as they have been Annie is going to continue to be disappointed and Tricia is going to continue to have fun. Tricia also has simple odds on her side for meeting the right guy.
If you are having trouble working up the nerve to meet people in person, you’re not alone…trust me. I dated for six full months using the get-to-know-them-slowly method. In retrospect, it felt like years of painful dating. The “fun” dating on the other hand seemed to fly by. Take it from someone who’s been there: please consider changing your dating style. Just try it for a month, see how you like it. If it’s not for you, no one is stopping you from going back to the misery of once-a-month-dating.
Remember: online is where you start, not where you finish!