When I first met M, I cringed when people asked where we met. I was so embarrassed to say we met online. Surely online only undesirables, oddballs and floozies tout their own personal goods online. Right? Is it possible to meet someone online?
Well. There were a lot of matches that got at least one of those categories. But there was also M. He’s my husband now. He’s the perfect fit for me and I’m sure our paths never would have crossed if it weren’t for plenty of fish. Here’s my tips to successfully dating someone that you met online (or otherwise):
1. Learn to say no
You have to know what makes you happy and what will make a relationship work for you. It’s not a bad thing to know what you want. And it’s not a bad thing to say no to people that you know don’t fit you.
2. Set realistic non-negotiables
Prior to M, all of my relationships had been slightly mismatched but I thought that was normal. It is in some respects – but my problem was that they were mismatched on something that was fundamental to who I am. For example, religious and political leanings or the desire to marry and reproduce. Your desires aren’t wrong – you just need to make sure that you know what they are. And learn to walk away when it’s not right. I just blindly repeated to myself ‘no one is perfect’ and kept walking into the brick wall until we were both too unhappy to even look at each other. What a great way to have a relationship! That’s what happens when you compromise on issues that are close to your heart. But if your list of non-negotiables contains lots of materialistic concerns, you are probably going to come in to problems too. I think non negotiables should be centred around your core attitudes, beliefs and values. Do they believe in driving themselves to achieve career success vs do they have a well paid title job.
3. Challenge your expectations
M is hot. I see him and want to wrap myself in his arms and take him upstairs. But when I first met him, I was shocked by his appearance. He wasn’t ‘my type’. He didn’t fit my notion of what my partner should look like. Now, it’s important that you are attracted to your partner, but there is nothing more attractive than a real connection. Don’t write someone off because they turn up to your first date with a creased shirt, a flat cap and lots of piercings (yep, M, you’re a lucky guy I had the wisdom not to walk out). The same goes for other material concerns on your checklist – try not to be too rigid. Think about the underlying value, and work from that.
4. Be happy
When I met M, I had my own flat that I loved. It was an extension of me. I felt I could express myself. Be myself. Love me. I was happy. I had spent some time really focusing on living a life that made me fulfilled. Being in that state helped me work out what made me happy. There weren’t distractions. I wasn’t biased by a relationship. I could be honest with myself. And I knew if a date wasn’t great, I could walk away and still be happy.
5. Be prepared to walk away, but don’t run
If you are happy and know what makes you happy, don’t throw that away because you want a relationship. I knew there were some matches that were almost fits. But not quite. I was a little lonely and my biological clock was practically chiming in my ear … but I knew that I had to walk away from the men that just weren’t right. But on the other hand, when a date didn’t meet my expectations, I still took time to ask questions and get to know the person before immediately forming my judgement.
I know I’m lucky. But I had a load of rubbish before M and I think it’s what helped me really evaluate where my relationships were going wrong. Through all the shite, love won in the end.
Wish I had known to just be patient, would have saved me a lot of worry!!