So lately I've been meeting a lot of women who are feeling SO frustrated with online dating that they're threatening to quit dating all together.
“I just need to get offline —this is ridiculous!!”
“I hate online dating — everyone misrepresents themselves! It’s all a facade!"
“It’s pointless and full of losers. This just isn’t working out for me.”
“I need to just accept that I’m going to die alone!”
Okay, while I TOTALLY understand feeling this way …...I want to take a moment and explore the stories we’re attaching to our disappointments with online dating..... andpausefor a moment and look a little deeper.
What I’m noticing is happening is that as soon as people have a few disappointing experiences in the online dating world -- they immediately want to run, hide, and escape the scene as soon as possible. It’s like there’s some underlying belief that if they stop dating and get offline — that they can somehow avoid the disappointments, frustrations and pains associated with love and finding a partner. (Oh….wouldn’t that be nice?!)
But umm, yeah .….no such luck.
There’s simply no avoiding feelings of disappointment, frustration, or pain in life. No matter how many dating sites you get off of! ;-)
While we can’t escape these feelings —we can control the story we create around them and the power we give to them.
When you want to quit online dating— there’s usually a story you’re attaching to it.
Online dating is hard and will continue to be hard.
Online dating will never work out for me.
There are no great guys online.
The only way to avoid being hurt is to be alone.
(insert you’re fabulous, reasonable, but probably inaccurate story here) :)
The truth is — online dating is a mixed bag of everything. As is life.
You’re going to meet men you don’t like.
Men you like — who don’t like you back.
Men who love you — who you just don’t feel it for.
Men that confuse you — who you’re not sure you really feel it for.
AND …..you might just meet someone that you completely click with — and will continue to …. forever! :)
But here’s the thing:
If you quit now —you’re majorly limiting your opportunities to meet that person who is perfect for you!
I mean yes, you might run into him at Whole Foods or at the car wash or at your favorite yoga class. Sure, that can happen. However, by leaving it up to fate and timing and who you might randomly run into — you’re limiting your opportunities for finding your partner in a pretty huge way.
On the other hand, by staying online — you keep yourself open and available to a huge pool of great men out there (who might not be shopping at your local Whole Foods or be at your yoga class at the same exact time!)— opening up the potential to finding love as widely as you possibly can!
(And if you’re truly looking for love, I know you want as many opportunities as possible to meet quality men!)
But what about all the guys online who annoy you? Who creep you out? Who you don’t like?
Yes, of course there are going to be men that reach out to you who you are 100% not into!
But that’s exactly what it’s like in the real world too. There are always going to be men who want to date us that we don’t want to date. Whether we’re online or offline.
We’re just meeting more of them at once when we’re online because we’re throwing ourselves into a pool of men (versus when we slowly meet one man at a time here and there based on randomness, luck, and timing).
And unfortunately, there are probably always going to be men who make undesirable comments to us - whether at the gym, walking down the street, or online. At least online we can say no thank you, back off, or ignore and delete, and move forward without the discomfort that’s there when we’re face to face with the person we’re not interested in or offended by. Online we have the power to just press delete and move on. If only we could have that superpower in real life!
Whatever your reasons and excuses are for getting off of online dating, I’m sure they’re valid and make a lot of sense.
Yes, men lie about their age sometimes.
Yes, there are some creepers out there.
Yes, some men won’t look exactly like their photos.
Yes, you are subjecting yourself to potentially undesirable emails from men occasionally.
But you’re also opening yourself up to a ton more men who could be perfect for you!
No, it’s not a perfect system!
The question is — are you going to let that stop you from doing it?
WHY TO STAY ONLINE AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU
Okay, let’s compare online dating to a room full of quality men.
Imagine there’s a room of fifty eligible bachelors who are totally ideal contenders in your dating world. Now what if I told you your life partner was in that room. And that the only way to find him was just to dive in and start connecting with men one at a time.
If you had five disappointing experiences…hell, ten disappointing experiences with men that didn’t work out in that group….would you still threaten to quit?
Ummm..…HELL NO! Because you would know your guy is in that room!
If you really knew your man was there in that room of fifty men….then you probably wouldn’t let a handful of disappointing dates or irritating men take you down and cause you to quit. Because if you did….you wouldn’t meet the one man in that room whose perfect for you and who you’re meant to be with.
So why, oh why, are you letting disappointments with dates (or potential matches online) take you down and make you want to quit?
Each time it doesn’t work out with someone…it means you’re one person closer to the man you truly want to be with. And well, that’s great news!
If you’re dating a guy for two months and you’re emotionally invested in him and think he’s the one….and then he turns out to be totally unavailable and not right for you at all — I get that you might feel disappointed. Absolutely. But would you let that take you out of the dating game for good?
You might want to.
And you might want to make up a bunch of stories about how this experience shows that you’re supposed to be alone, or you’re not ready for dating right now, or life isn’t supporting you in finding a partner and you should quit.
But the thing is….those are just stories you’re creating based on feeling frustrated or disappointed.
They are not reality.
They are what your mind is coming up with to try to protect you from pain. (Which we’ve already agreed is going to be in our lives anyway!). These stories are in no way indicative of what your love life is realistically going to look like in the future.
What it comes down to is how we choose to handle these moments of frustration and disappointment in our lives.
If we want to — we can let these disappointments take us out and cause us to quit dating. We can start creating negative, cynical stories about men and dating and our lives and our inevitable, sad and lonely destinies.
Or we can drop the stories, keep our vision strong, and keep moving forward until we meet the man we end up with.
Because don’t forget — if your man is in that pool of fifty men —quitting dating now after a handful of disappointing experiences is taking yourself away from your future partner! (And yeah…let’s not do that okay?!)
I can’t tell you how many women I’ve worked with who almost quit online dating out of frustration— but because they stayed in the game and persevered — they met their life partners! In fact a couple years ago, one of my best friends was about to get off of online dating. She had a handful of excuses as to why she should get off — all very reasonable and practical. But her ‘reasons’ were no match for me! ;-) I convinced her to stay online — and the following week she met her dream partner.... who she is so deeply in love with! Now they’re living together in their ideal home with their combined families, and are building an amazing life together! Had she gone offline and followed her ‘reasons’ for quitting and her frustrations….who knows if they would have ever met?!
So women — no matter how badly you want to quit right now.
No matter how many dates haven’t worked out.
No matter how many annoying men are contacting you.
See if you can stay in the game by softening, relaxing, and having some patience with this process.
Use this time as an opportunity to get to know yourself better and practice dating consciously.
There are so many rich opportunities for personal growth if we really mine all the experiences and feelings that come up for us in the dating process! This is what I call conscious dating — dating with self-awareness and the intention to grow and evolve.
Feelings anxious about a man you like who is pulling away?
What a great opportunity to:
dive into some work around your attachment style.
notice unconscious patterns that might be showing up.
re-examine your deal breaker/non-negotiables list and reconnect with what is truly important to you.
pay closer attention to yellow/red flags and things you might have been overlooking (due to chemistry blindness!)
practice deeper self-care.
get grounded and stand in your strengths even more powerfully.
practice honoring yourself and your needs.
and work on communicating with transparency.
(So much great stuff to look at!)
Afraid to speak your truth with someone you’re not totally into?
What a great opportunity to:
practice setting healthy boundaries.
practice communicating authentically with kindness and transparency.
examine fears and unconscious beliefs that are getting in your way and disempowering you.
stand in your own truth even more deeply.
and work on honoring yourself more and trusting your intuition.