When Online Dating Seems Like Ordering Pizza
By Sandy Schroeder
Comparing online dating to ordering take-out may not be quite right, but it does have the ring of truth. I thought of this a few years ago and was reminded of it when I saw WellAndGood.com's comments.
When people go online to meet someone, they often have a dream list for their soulmate. Great sense of humor, loves dogs, outdoor person, slim, thoughtful. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Just as we opt for anchovies, olives or pepperoni on our pizza, we look for special characteristics in an online date.
One of the problems with this is we are expecting to get this perfect person merely by talking with someone online, and digesting what they say. After exchanging photos and a few witty remarks, a first date may deliver someone who seriously misses our dream list. When we order pizza, pasta or Chinese from our favorite spots, we usually get just what we want, but online dating can be all over the map. For some it can prove to be a real answer with a perfect ending. For others it may be an increasingly frustrating string of connections.
Why Things Go Awry
Here are a few of the key reasons why online dating becomes derailed.
It's too easy - Camille Virginia of Master Offline Dating says, "When we start to order dates the way we do dinner, we come to undervalue the people involved." Within minutes you may have a new connection, and within one date you may choose to move on to the next person. The cookie jar is always there waiting, offering you a steady flow of people and encouraging you to keep playing.
The process is flawed - Another online dating expert says when we order a date, we tend to choose what is appealing at that moment, rather than doing a deeper assessment, stemming from a real effort to meet the person that may prove to be a rewarding partner.
Online dating may be briefly satisfying, but finding the right one for the future may require you to put yourself out there at a parties, meetings or events based on mutual friends or interests.
Leaving your screen and heading out the door may be a little unnerving at first, but it will get easier. You might become comfortable with the process by meeting an assortment of people at sports clubs, gyms, yoga classes, jazz clubs or coffeehouses. When that feels right, you can begin to look for potential dates.
You can also circulate with friends to relieve some of the pressure. This may be a great time to get in touch with old friends or revive interests in theater, hiking, camping, boating, volleyball, soccer, or music.
When you meet someone who hits all of the high notes, you will know why you made the effort to go beyond ordering take-out.
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