Not sure if you’ve noticed but there are more and more sites to help with the world of online dating, from your super niche sites for those in uniform, farmers, you name it, to the biggest in the world Badoo*, the most recent one I’ve joined!
I’ve been single for almost 8 years, I know I know gasp in shock, but all that time has done one thing for me, taught me a hell of a lot, not just about online dating but about myself too.
Rejection is not always a bad thing
They say that 10,000 hours of something makes you an expert, if that’s the case then I must be getting close to expert dater status. One thing that lots of dating does is makes you get very very good at taking rejection, and not always seeing it as a negative. The vast numbers of dates I’ve been on, conversations I have had online and times I have heard the words “can we be friends?” have meant that although I’m a little disappointed I’m no longer crushed.
One of the best thing about online dating is that it lets you approach so many potential love interests in such a short span of time. I’m loving Badoo for this, they have the options to both be matched with people far and wide, or focus on more local folk, so if like me you don’t want to be traipsing the length and breadth of the country looking for love, the people nearby feature is awesome! They also have this cool thing that tells you about the people you’ve bumped into in real life by the location and time that are on the app!
Learning to deal with rejection in love makes you more resilient in general life, maybe I get a double whammy of it as in my job I regularly pitch for work that I don’t always get. What’s more it actually helped me learn to appreciate the genuine connections that I do find with people even more.
WOAH this is a big one. I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted from a bloke, but time and shitty experiences have taught me that actually that age old saying that looks fade really is true. I used to have such a set in my ways view of what I want a guy to look like but actually what I want is a guy whose morals match mine.
I’ve tried time and time again to push thoughts of incompatibility to one side, but truth be told, you’ve got to be at least mostly on the same page with someone to make it work, regardless how they look.
You have to be prepared for dickheads, to be ghosted after what you thought were 5 fantastic dates. You have to be prepared for people keeping their options open and stringing you along, and you have to be prepared for the simple fact that not everyone has an honest approach to dating. The sooner you realise that and find a way to deal with it, the better!
Gut feelings are usually right
One of the biggest life lessons that I learned through my adventures with online dating was to always trust my gut; regardless of how much my mind would like to sway those gut feelings. For example, there were a few instances when I was talking to people who I thought seemed like a good match, but instinctively I felt I wasn’t really going to be attracted to in the long term. I would tell myself that I need to be more open minded and give people a chance, but eventually, no matter how hard I’d try, I’d come to the realisation that my initial gut feeling was right.
This ability to switch off my mind and listen to my gut is a life lesson that has helped me immensely ever since. And not just with my dating life, online or otherwise. It’s helped me make better decisions in all aspects of my life whether it be with making new friends or taking on new challenges.
It’s really not you, it’s them
It’s taken me YEARS to really take this on board and realise its truth, but let me tell you, it’s a game changer.
If things don’t work out with somebody you’ve met online, 9 times out of ten it actually has nothing to do with you. Perhaps they weren’t fully over their ex yet and jumped into dating too soon and freaked out and disappeared into the black hole. Or perhaps they realised they were actually in love with their best friend all along and didn’t need a dating app to bag a girlfriend. Perhaps they didn’t intend to, but happened to meet someone in person that just made sense to them.
It can feel incredibly demoralising if time and time again you are being overlooked, or let down or worse dumped out of the blue, but seriously it’s so not about you, and you changing as a person is not going to make that person want you more, or worse maybe it will but then you are a person that you don’t want to be. No one wants that.
Love yourself first
Know who you are, what you want, and why you matter and you’ve got a hell of a better chance of finding someone else who values all of that than if you are searching for the love of someone else to make you feel better about yourself. There are enough songs written about loving yourself and they are all true, it’s asking a lot of a new person in your life to love you if you can’t love yourself.
Now I’m not saying go out there all guns blazing and fake it ’til you make it when it comes to loving yourself, but I do suggest that you find a way to value yourself and what you have to offer in a relationship and remember that when you’re dating. Believe me when I say in life to truly be loved and accepted you need to first feel that you are worthy of that love and acceptance yourself.
Try, Try, Try again!
If my time on Badoo has taught me nothing else, it’s given me the chance to keep getting back on the online dating horse. With so many members, there is always someone new to talk to, which is a lovely confidence boost.
There’s a lot of initial fear when it comes to approaching people in a bar for a lot of folk, myself included, so having an app on my phone that allows me to throw myself back into it really does help me keep looking for love!
*this blog was created in partnership with Badoo