Many of my clients who are actively looking for love online confide in me about how much they dislike the whole online dating experience. Now I don’t know about you, but personally I think it’s going to be a whole lot harder to find your forever person online if you don’t actually enjoy the process. I imagine them sitting on dates with pained expressions on their face or sending out emails because they have to not because they want to. Lets just stop and think for a minute, does doing something you don’t enjoy seem a good way to attract good things into your life? I’m going to say no. So today I want to help you address your negative mindset and turn it around. By getting fired up and excited by all the possibilities of online dating, you’re much more likely to attract the right person into your life and, not only that, you’ll enjoy the whole experience so much more, which has got to be a big bonus.
- Write a list of the things you enjoy about online dating
To kickstart this change in your outlook, take a couple of minutes to scribble down 10 things you do like about online dating. Come on, let’s do this now, even if you’re on your commute (use your smartphone to write them down). So, you might have things like:
- I enjoy trying out new bars or restaurants
- I like meeting new people
- I like the anticipation of getting a new email in my in-box
OK, so how was that? A bit tough? Fairly easy? Now I’m going to push you a little harder and ask you to write down a further 5 things you like about it. It’s always good to push yourself a little harder. You might surprise yourself with all the things you do actually quite enjoy about online dating. See, it’s not all bad, there’s a lot of good things about it.
- Find the good in your past relationships
I did online dating over many years and dated a tonne of guys in that time, much to the despair of my parents and the amusement of my friends. But I refused to see this as a poor reflection of me, I knew a big reason for this was because I insisted on maintaining my high standards. I was determined to stay positive throughout the experience, because I knew if I got in a bad place about online dating, I’d more than likely attract people who weren’t right for me. The key thing I did to stay positive in the face of so many short-lived relationships was to look for the good things about each of those relationships, however small and try and come away from each relationship having learned something about what I did or didn’t want from future relationships. So, each relationship had some value and, better than that, helped me get a little bit closer to figuring out what it was that I did want from the forever guy that I was hoping to meet.
Have a think back over your ‘dating disasters’ and look for something good that happened or something good that you learned from it and you’ll start to put the experience in perspective and realise that dating isn’t all bad, even when you have bad experiences.
- Push out of your comfort zone
If you’re playing it safe online dating, then it’s no wonder you’re complaining about it. When you take on any new venture it’s always good to mix things up, take a risk now and again and push out of your comfort zone. That’s when the fun really happens. Examples of staying inside your comfort zone can include the following:
- Looking at the same kind of dating profiles
- Waiting for someone to contact you first
- Only dating ‘your type’
- Using a dating profile that is full of clichés and generalities and doesn’t reflect the ‘real you’
Take a minute to think of what you might be doing that is keeping you stuck in a rut. Now think what you can do differently. Try broadening your search criteria, for example. I did this and it lead me straight to my forever guy. Instead of searching for guys with no children, I decided I’d leave that option open and now have a great partner and the added bonus of two fab step-children.
- Ask someone out IRL (in real life)
To keep you feeling fresh, step away from the laptop and head out with your friends as often as you can. Take a break from online dating and go and chat to people at parties, pubs, bars etc. Make an effort to go out and be sociable and see where it leads. If you’re feeling really brave, ask someone out on a date. Who cares if they turn you down, you can feel good about yourself for putting yourself out there and making the effort. Just shrug off the rejection and pat yourself on the back for pushing out of your comfort zone.
- Take up a new hobby
While you’re taking a break from online dating, make the effort to challenge yourself to learn or try something new. Life isn’t about the end result or achievement, it’s about what happens when you’re on the road to achievement. I recommend heading to cool website Meetup.com and look for groups in your area that are offering something you’ve always wanted to find out more about. Seriously, Meetup.com has a group for everything! You’ll have fun (hopefully) and it’ll ensure when you come back to online dating, you’ll feel refreshed, have plenty to talk about and will mean you place less importance on the need to find someone online.
- Experiment with new apps and sites
Every week, new dating apps and websites are being launched to suit all interests and needs so don’t just stick with your same old tried and tested one, mix things up a bit. Sign up for a month with a new one and see where it leads. Try one you’ve never heard of before.
- Invest time in creating a brand spanking new profile
So now that you’ve started investing in yourself a little more and are hopefully feeling really good about yourself, it makes sense to upgrade your dating profile too. Take a long hard look at your current profile. Do your profile photos do you justice, or do you need to get some more? If they more than a couple of years out-of-date, are poorly lit, aren’t in focus, have a messy background behind you and include other people in the shot, it might be time to step up your game. Either book a shoot with an experienced dating photographer, or put out a status update asking for a friend who is into photography and head outdoors and get some fun, natural, relaxed shots of you.
Now look at your written profile – I challenge you to delete everything you’ve written and start again. Everything from your username, through to your tagline and written profile should aim to delight and surprise people. The main things to remember are:
– Avoid clichés (‘I love red wine and fine dining’, for example). Cliches don’t tell anyone anything about you.
– Get specific – Don’t just say I love films, name which film (or films) and explain what it is about the film that you love so much
– Don’t list a series of adjectives – e.g. I’m funny and happy-go-lucky. Just be funny and happy-go-lucky in what you say. Show them who you are, don’t tell them.
Now you’re ready to date with confidence and sass, have fun with it and don’t take things to seriously. Now you’ll see that a bad date is actually a good story to tell your friends over dinner and an opportunity to learn something more about who you want to end up with. Win win.
This is the first in a series of dating posts for Chaud by Saskia Nelson
Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Saturday Night’s Alright, the UK’s coolest dating photography business, specialising in creating dating photos that kick ass and win dates.
She also puts her extensive online dating experiences to good use by sharing her experiences and wisdom on her blog and by organising dating workshops that focus on helping people create irresistible dating profiles.