After hitting it off on a few stellar dates, you’re finding yourself smitten by your new date. You’re compatible, attracted, and ready to invest in what it means to go deep together. Approaching that conversation about exclusivity isn’t always easy, as that topic of “what are we?” has a way of inducing an intense case of the butterflies. But would you jump into this conversation if you knew he or she was still active on their online dating profile?
When you meet someone from online dating and you’re ready to take things to the next level, it’s not uncommon to wonder if they’re still scoping out their prospects and messaging other people online. In response to this curiosity, you either talk about it together (which is really the most mature course of action), or you hop online to check out the situation for yourself. Queue sinking heart when turns out he or she has been recently active.
Now, I’m not going to tell you what it means when your date remains active online, nor am I going to make an opinion about whether or not this is acceptable or “normal” behaviour. You can check out Brad’s article to get a feel into that.
What I’m interested in is taking responsibility over ourselves and exercising our personal power as far as it truly extends: tuning into and shaping our own perspectives, how we choose to communicate ourselves, and how we act.
When we see that our date is continuing to use the online dating platform despite hitting it off with us, some negative thoughts and feelings will generally arises. The mind races with all varieties of fear-based explanations for this situation: I’m not good enough, she’s untrustworthy, he doesn’t feel the same way, and so on. Needless to say, the fear turns inward to reflect an insecurity, or it projects outwards as a judgement of your date.
If we’re not careful, this has the potential to begin a spiral of negativity that can influence our blossoming relationship to slowly wilt, if left unchecked.
The key here is to step away from speculation and fear while moving towards open communication and trust.
The thoughts that your date is two-timing or doesn’t appreciate your connection may arise, and that’s ok. Whatever you feel, it is ok and valid. Let the thoughts and feelings arise, but make an effort to be aware of them rather than react to them. Recognize that you simply don’t know the true story, at least not until you communicate with your partner.
Consider this: Maybe your date came online to check if YOU’RE still using the online dating platform. Maybe they were ending other conversations they had been engaged in prior to connecting with you, which reflects respect and consideration for others.
Once you create some internal space that allows for truth to arise, the best thing to do is speak to your date. After all, relationships are all about open communication, so you can use this opportunity to reveal how compatible you two are when it comes to a disagreement or an uncomfortable subject. Step into your personal power by acknowledging your feelings are legitimate, communicating them clearly and in kind, and then making a decision based on the outcome of the conversation. I wish to impart the significance of your date’s response. How they receive your concern will be very telling. Ideally, they will accept your feelings, share themselves honestly, and then you will both make an agreement around the situation. Do not allow your date guilt or shame you, which may arise through a comment like, “you just don’t trust me,” or “you’re being insecure.”
Actually, asking if they intend to remain active on an online dating platform is a fabulous segue into discussing exclusivity. Let yourself be vulnerable and express it if you desire to be exclusive, and that to you this means shutting down your profiles. This is a very important agreement to make, and one unique to online dating. It’s not something to feel embarrassed about, and it definitely gets you two on the same page.
Whether you just hide your profile until the relationship becomes more serious, or if you want to delete them altogether is also something I would advise addressing.
Honesty, transparency, and arriving at mutual agreements is going to serve your new connection. Good luck!