Unsure whether online dating is right for you?

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Online dating is now the most common way for new couples to meet. While the stigma surrounding it may have subsided it is still a personal choice which can bring up doubts and uncertainty. Before you make a financial commitment to the process here are a few things to consider.

Your commitment

Do you really want a new relationship? It may seem like a strange question but the answer lays the foundation for every other part of the process. Some people start dating because of pressure from family or friends; because everyone else is hooking up or because they are looking for an escape from their current circumstances.

Online dating is not a form of entertainment. It is a forum where people who are genuine in their desire for a fulfilling relationship come to meet. People who are not sincere are more likely to play games and give mixed messages which can be confusing and upsetting.

Being clear about your commitment is the best way to ensure that you are not one of the people who play with others emotions and will give you the very best chance of success.

How flexible are you?

When you meet a new partner the chances are each of you will need to adapt a little to fit in with each others’ existing lives and commitments. Knowing the extent to which you are happy to change is an important part of narrowing your search e.g. Would you be willing to relocate; change your job or change your routine?

Look at every part of your life, from your diet to your hobbies, and try to identify those things you would not be willing to give up for a new love interest as well as those you are less attached to. Through this process you will build a clear picture of everything you are happy to change and what is important to retain in your life.

Do you have time?

Without time to commit to the process of online dating even the most sincere and committed approach is unlikely to succeed.

It isn’t just dates you need time for – working on your profile; reviewing matches and chatting with people online all take time and attention – do you have it to give? If you haven’t got time for the process do you have time for a new relationship?

How’s your self esteem?

If your self esteem is low the setbacks, rejections or bad dates that can be part of the online dating process may do you more harm than good. You need a certain amount of resilience and self belief to be able to really throw yourself into the process. Healthy boundaries are important so you don’t end up dating people you don’t like simply because you can’t say ‘no’.

Before you subscribe it is wise to deal with any underlying issues that are affecting your self-esteem. To be successful you need to believe you are someone worth getting to know. Issues that affect you as a single person will continue to cause problems even if you find the partner of your dreams. Not dealing with them can also affect the type of person you are attracted to and lead you into unhealthy relationships. Often we attract people who mirror how we feel about ourselves so do whatever you can to feel good about yourself before you put yourself out there.

Do you know what you are looking for?

If you don’t know what you are looking for how will you know when you have found it? Without being too restrictive about the ‘person’ allow yourself to daydream about the ‘relationship’ you hope to have. Look to your closest friendships and relationships you admire to see what is important to you.

If you subscribe and find that you are not quite ready your subscription can be put on hold until you feel the time is right. What have you got to lose?


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