Relationships and Love

A Thank You to All The Loves I’ve Known

Day Two of My blog regarding Ditching Online Dating in Finding Real Love

When you start a project: be it clean out a closet, paint a room, or build a treehouse, you have to clear the space or create space in order to begin something new.

I think it’s only right that before I begin my self-love project of ditching dating for finding real love, I need to set clear the space and give reference to what I have experienced in the process:

  1. I have learned a lot from meeting and dating complete strangers.
  2. Everyone has something interesting to contribute.
  3. Online dating has a lot of great built-in, convenience features
  4. I have found some great men who have become friends.

So let’s get right to it:

I have learned a lot from meeting and dating complete strangers: I can say that I have learned more about myself in relation to dating people who I did not meet through my usual social and business circles.

  • I’ve learned that every man is not the same, or at the same place as I am. Men are unique, and we as women can’t lump them into one category or type.
  • I have learned that men are real. I idealize how men are and many times, have assumed they had all their stuff together. They don’t. They have insecurities and misconceptions just as women do.
  • I have learned that every time I feel like I have failed or found my heart smashed to the ground because an idealized version of the man I was dating didn’t work out-it’s not entirely me. It’s both people’s ideas and conceptions that are brought to the party.

Everyone has something interesting to contribute

  •  Every man I’ve dated or met has an interesting story. They have done something unique. It’s fun to find out that the person is an actor and a software developer, or that another man lived in Antarctica for a while, or this one was a professional diver.
  • At this point in my life, we all have great things we have learned. I consider each person I have met or dated as an opportunity to learn something from them. It might be as simple as how to use a new app on my IPhone, or it might be as deep as sharing with each other our spiritual journey’s.
  • I have something to contribute to their life. We don’t know the impact we may have on someone. They may be on a journey where they can’t see or receive who I am or what I would like to give. That’s okay. Perhaps down the road, they will. It’s not my job, but it feels good to make the effort, to reach out and connect.

Online dating has a lot of great built-in, convenience features

  • You get to seek the love of your life in your own backyard or across the world.
  • You can meet a lot of people at once.
  • You can be specific in what you are seeking: Interests, religion, politics, etc. are listed on the menu which helps the selection and weeding our process.

What you don’t get from online dating:

  • The natural process of knowing some one gradually, organically cannot be short circuited., i.e.  Time is the great equalizer. Meeting someone through a friend or in a group setting gives you more context to who they are before jumping in.
  • If your expectations are high, it equals disappointment. Dating online creates a lot of built-up expectation and excitement, which means you put pressure on yourself and the other person.
  • What you think are common interests are usually superficial and not sustainable. The list of what you think you want or need can be superficial. Core values and ways you communicate are better indicators of success.
  • I have to add a fourth bullet: stick-to-it-ness. If you think there are more men, more women waiting in the wings, you don’t give the person in front of you a chance. You don’t give time to what may be there.

I have found some great men who have become friends

  • For all the hard work, heartaches, and hard lessons I have experienced, the greatest thing I count as a blessing are the men who have become friends/acquaintances from online dating.
  • Once I have licked my wounds and brushed off my bruised ego, I see many times this person wasn’t a good fit. Then I reach out to some and find a great friend, a sounding board to how men think, or how our encounter went south.
  • For the most part, a large majority of the men I have dated have been great guys. Somehow taking away the dating card reveals more of who they are. They open up and we share our struggles (including finding love). I’m so grateful to everyone of you. I can’t imagine life without you in it ( You know who you are!)
  • And for those men who were too afraid to step into a friendship with me: Sorry guys. You really missed out!

So my space is clean now. The next step…how I discovered I was junkie dating!

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