Single And looking... and sick of the crap with online dating sites?
THIS is where and how you meet QUALITY singles.
Online dating is fraught with challenges: Faulty algorithms, dating predators, players, people thinking that a swipe right means guaranteed sex (and much more, as I wrote in my exposé about online dating sites). Online dating short-circuits the natural courtship process of men and women. Primal dating rituals and natural courtship don't include posting a profile and a few pictures.
Here's what's wrong with using online dating sites exclusively when looking for a potential partner:
- A LACK OF HONESTY. It’s well documented that both men and women lie when completing their online profiles. Old pictures, employment status, income, weight, age… over 80 percent of online daters don't tell the truth. In essence, you are starting a relationship based on dishonesty. What she wants
- DECEPTIVE FIRST IMPRESSIONS. One of the biggest challenges with online dating is that you aren’t actually meeting the person; you are meeting their portrayal and estimation of the best parts of their personality. And it's not even them; it's a digital impersonation, and a poor one, at that. Perhaps more importantly, once the online dater sees a potential match’s name and/or photo, the next step is to spend a bit of time scouring the internet (Google, Facebook, wherever) to get more information about them—before they have even had a chance to respond to the first message sent.
- THE ABSENCE OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION. According to communication expert Albert Mehrabian (Professor Emeritus, Ph. D., Clark University, Social Psychology) there are three elements that account for someone taking a liking or interest in another person: words (7 percent), tone of voice (38 percent), and body language (55 percent). With online dating, you only get the words (and not even spoken words). The remaining-yet-critical 93 percent of the evaluation process is not available. And when it comes to online profiles, the written word is completely subjective — perception, tone, and understanding landing squarely on the shoulders of the reader. True intent is not known nor understood, plus all the primal, subliminal cues that we depend on as part of the human courtship process — facial expression, gestures, paralinguistics, body language and posture, eye movement, appearance — get lost to the digital format.
- NO REAL GET-TO-KNOW-YOU PROCESS. In the real world, both parties communicate via verbal and non-verbal cues. But with online dating, initial impressions, introductions, and the spoken/unspoken "Please allow me to introduce myself" process is virtually non-existent. Prospective daters might start by viewing an online profile, but their interest will instantly bring them to Google, Facebook, Twitter and other online sites to gather information about someone they might have an interest in. From there, opinions and assumptions are made — away from the prospective date — allowing for the decision of interest to be reached before even meeting in the real world.
If you are single-and-looking, here's my recommendation: Sign up for a class—specifically a cooking class or a dance class. Classes that are interactive provide a great environment for singles. Here's why:
- Everyone is there to learn something new... which means they are bettering themselves, and that is the type of person you want to attract.
- Everyone starts even. No one knows more than the other, so unless someone is secretly a ringer... there's no unfair advantage, no one puts anyone down, and everyone is in a positive place.
- You get to experience raw relationship dynamics. In active classes (like cooking, dancing, and others), people are often paired up. You can see how they handle mistakes, what their ego and confidence level are like, how they deal with learning new things, how they handle insecurity, and if they are comfortable allowing you your own space to do your thing. And while there is no guarantee that you will be partnered with someone of the opposite sex, you will see others—and interact with them.
Online dating sites might help you cast a wide net, but it's kind of like ordering fast-food: It never really looks like the picture, and you never really know what you are going to get. Get into the real world. Meet and connect with people who are doing something positive with their lives. And while you're starting that relationship, be sure you are paying attention to red flags.