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10 Things I've Learned In A Year Of Online Dating

Updated on May 17, 2015

What I've Learned

1. Looks really can be deceiving. I'm not talking "catfish" deceiving, though this is sometimes the case, but that sometimes people aren't always what they seem like once you meet them in real life. This is because people can compose themselves quite well on their profiles and in text messages but can be very different when you talk to them in person. You will never really know someone until they meet you face to face and you spend more than an hour with them.

2. Guys seem to prefer a virtual romance. Now don't get me wrong but the whole point of online dating is to get off of the dating site and out into the world with a date! It's not so you can spend eternity loving each other through a keyboard. Though, there is nothing wrong with starting off that way it's not meant to be long term. This seems to be a preference of guys rather than women, as I hear more women complaining about this than guys.

3. Men will drive to the ends of the earth to meet a woman they are truly interested in. I once had a guy who must have known his chances to meet me were dwindling away with every rejected meeting as he changed his mind from not meeting me to meeting me even though it was late and he was over an hour away. We did not make a connection and I never heard from him again but we would never have known that if we didn't meet. If a guy says he can't meet you within a week or a couple of days than he is really not as interested as he says.

4. Sometimes the right one for you really does live too far from you to make a connection work. I've meet a lot of guys online that I would never have an opportunity to meet if I just walked down the street to the local bars and gathering centers. That, in itself, is the problem. They aren't in your circles. They probably have a career, or studies, they can't leave. You may not have opportunities to meet them, either for financial reasons or time restrictions. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth the struggle to try to meet someone you may never be able to forge a relationship with.

5. Stalkers are real. They can be guys or girls, They can be scary. I know a guy that was stalked by a girl just arriving at his house. He never gave her his address. He only dated her a few times but apparently that was all it took for her to realize he was the one she wanted to devote all her extra time to, and she spent that time finding out all about his habits and personal information. It took a restraining order to get her to understand there was never a connection to begin with.

6. Some people are meant to be your friend and not your life-long partner. I met some nice guys but upon meeting them realized there were no sparks of passion, just a feeling of friendship. It's hard to know this unless you go meet them and spend some time with them. You should not discount them just because they are not meant for you, however. Who knows what can happen when you bring them into your circle, or they bring you into theirs?

7. Do not give people a third opportunity to disappoint you. This isn’t just advice for online dating but for all aspects of your life. If you give someone a second chance and they disappoint you yet again, cut your losses and don’t let them have another opportunity. They obviously are not reliable enough to count on. I know a lot of people might say, "well what if there really was something going on and it couldn't be helped." I see it like this, once I can forgive, twice is the start of a pattern that cannot be ignored, and three times is just torturing yourself with the possibility that a person can change their patterns for the right person. Don't delude yourself. They aren't going to change and you can’t make them.

8. You don't have to meet/date a new person to have fun and be happy. That's what friends and family are for. When you don't have a date for a Friday or Saturday night call a friend and ask them if they want to have a great dinner, with great conversation. I guarantee you that if you really love your friends you won't be missing out on anything by not having a date for the night. In fact, go do something you haven't done in a while. This can make you feel young again and you might find that you are all you need in the long run.

9. Some people use dating sites like a game site. They truly do want to meet you but only to see if they can score. This seems to be why so many great potential dates are lost to you; because some people know how to play the game better. They don't care about your feelings. They don't want to actually get to know you. They are very good at pretending to care, however, and probably missed their calling as actors and actresses. A sure way to find out if they are playing a game for the win is to hold off on letting them win you over for some length of time. They will say it is playing hard to get but if they really care about you they will wait as long as it takes for you to care for them and let your guard down.

10. Someone who is truly invested in having a relationship with you will let you know about their life and lifestyle right way. They will tell you their full name, the amount of siblings they have, they will even go as far as to show you their ID, revealing their address to you. Be careful that you are not just showing anybody these things but if you can both share your true identities to one another, straight from the start, you have the potential to share a life-long time of love, trust, and desire with each other.

A Year Is A Long Time

A year is a long time to be searching for the person who is right for you. So is a week to someone else. Some people can barely stand a minute of being alone. What is one thing to you is another thing to someone else.

I have learned that finding love online is like finding a rare gem, or a million dollar item at a yard-sale, or winning the jackpot lottery. It really is rare but can happen. Still, unlike those scenarios, you can find it and keep it. For some it just takes longer than others but I know the right one for each of us is out there. We all have a soulmate that will meet us when the time is right. Sometimes you may have to reach out to them. Sometimes you may have to check out every stone there is before he/she turns up. Sometimes you may have to wait until they are ready to seek you out. If I have learned anything in my year of dating I have learned that when the time is right love will make itself known. When it arrives this time I will be ready to accept it, nurture it and truly believe in it.

Honesty is...

How honest are you when setting up an online dating profile?

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Things To Keep In Mind When Searching For "The One"

  • Not everyone is a liar
  • Not everyone is into playing games
  • Not everyone is as open as you
  • Not everyone will have the same agenda
  • Not everyone is out to hurt you
  • Not everyone is the same in person
  • Not everyone wants a real-life relationship

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