Online Dating. It can bring up a whole range of emotions for people, some of excitement and curiosity, others it can bring up the not so happy emotions of fear of rejection and apathy towards such apps and websites. Online dating definitely can be completely different experiences from one person to another and I’m sure we’ve all had our share of (or heard from a family member or close friend) bad dating experiences. But there are also some incredibly happy stories too of how these apps can bring people together whose paths would otherwise have never crossed. More often than not, it can be the approach and expectations we have going into dating that can lead to these negative experiences so this is how I would advise anyone who is looking to get into online dating if I was playing ‘Matchmaker’.
Don’t overthink it
I strongly believe many of us end up arranging dates with potential partners and approach the situation in a way that can almost make a negative experience unavoidable. My advice would be, whenever you arrange a date with a new potential partner, first of all, DON’T go in expecting them to be ‘a new potential partner’. Chances are, you’ll have been messaging each other over a period of time whether its a few days or weeks, and you’ll have built up an image in your head and more often than not, this image can sometimes not end up matching that person when you meet face-to-face (sometimes literally, unfortunately!). This can be extremely frustrating and demoralising for many of us, we end up thinking ‘Why did we waste all this time and energy?’ on this stranger.
So my advice is, don’t overthink it. Don’t expect them to live up to this image you’ve created. If you’ve been messaging this person, make sure your messages have some grain of common interest so that you know when you meet up with this person you actually will have something in common and can enjoy your time together. If there isn’t a romantic connection, oh well, you still had a good time and may even have a new friend. Let things grow and happen naturally too, rushing can make things end as quickly as they begin so try to trust your instincts when it comes to progressing any situation.
Don’t wear or do anything you’re not comfortable with
Next step for dating is to understand what you’re looking for. Do you just want to improve your confidence, meet people and have fun without the pressure of it leading to a relationship? That’s absolutely fine! Just be upfront about it and let the other person know that is the headspace you’re in right now. If your intention is to start a serious relationship then great, just be upfront about it so that you’re not wasting yours and your date’s time. During your dates, don’t feel pressure to dress or behave in a certain way either. You want this person to like you and want to spend time with you for you, otherwise, what’s the point?
Know where to go
There are so many options now for online dating websites. As a starting point, if you want to use websites you can just hop onto google and type in free dating sites uk or go to your App store on your phone and just type in ‘Dating’ to get started. Some great UK dating websites / Apps include WeLoveDates Match.com, and Tinder.