Keeping it real when dating

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The world of online dating is full of genuine, like-minded people. The chances are good that if you devote some time and attention to the process you will eventually strike lucky. However, to avoid feeling disheartened with the process, you need to be aware that not every introduction will lead to communication and not every date will end in romance.

Give it time

If you are expecting instant romance then you probably will be disappointed. Just like forming relationships in any other part of life, it takes time to get to know people. When you meet someone at a party, you don’t instantly become best friends. Relationships develop over time through sharing life experiences, spending time together and good communication.

eHarmony’s matching process is an introduction, but there is no guarantee that the introductions will lead to romance. A romantic relationship needs the magic ingredient of chemistry, so no matter how well-matched you are on paper, or how long you communicate via email – it won’t be until you meet face-to-face that you will know if there is real potential for something special to develop. Even then, this recognition might not be immediate – it could take time.

Take the rough with the smooth

While it would be lovely if it was a smooth road from posting a profile to living happily ever after with the partner of your dreams, it rarely happens that way. Most things in life that are worth striving for involve some degree of risk, and when it comes to dating – what you are risking is your vulnerable, emotional self.

You need a certain amount of resilience before you embark on the process so that you are able to take it all in your stride and not take set backs too personally – dating is much more fun that way.

Keep your feet on the ground

One of the most common mistakes people make when online dating is spending too long speaking to someone online and building up a fantasy picture of them. When they do eventually meet they are often disappointed because the reality doesn’t live up to the fantasy.

Move from guided communication to phone, Skype or face-to face meeting as soon as you can. This will help prevent your imagination from having too much time to form romantic fantasies and allow you to get to know the person as they really are.

Curb your expectations

Of course everyone has expectations when they join a dating site. They expect to be sent matches, go on dates and hopefully find a new partner – that is the point of it, after all. These realistic expectations are often alongside some other less realistic ones about how other people on the site will behave.

The only thing you have control over is your own behaviour on the site. If it’s important to you that people reply to ice breakers – make sure you do. If your belief is that you should get an explanation if someone wants to close communication, make sure you always offer one when you discontinue contact. Remember the golden rule – treat others as you would like to be treated.

If you always conduct yourself with openness, honesty and integrity – you are likely to attract the kind of relationship you want and deserve.

Authenticity

Finally, the most important aspect of keeping it real is to be yourself from the outset. Make your profile a true reflection of who you are today. Don’t try to hide or disguise parts of you that you think other people won’t find attractive. Any omissions or deception will eventually be found out if you do get into a relationship with someone, so start from a place of complete transparency where you have nothing to hide. This doesn’t mean that you disclose everything about yourself on a first date, simply that when the time is right you are ready to share all of yourself with another person.


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