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Hope, happiness and self-belief… at the click of a mouse

online datingJoining match.com via week subscription to an iPhone app has made me reconsider online dating. The people on there are very different to my first site – a much wider range of people. It’s made me think quite a bit about the whole process.

 

Maybe online dating isn’t just about the other person. Maybe it’s about yourself – opening up to new possibilities, new experiences and new connections. Maybe you’re giving yourself permission to have hope and believe that no matter what your dating history, there is better out there and you can be happy and find love again. These are pretty powerful reasons to stay on it.

 

I’ve come to realise online dating is a microcosm of life. Not only do you find people from all walks of life on there, it represents what life is. You have some good dates, you have some not-so-great dates. Rejection and disappointment are par for the course, but so are passion, acceptance, fun and mystery. These things we all seek, and try to avoid the former. Impossible, but we do our best. So when I find myself getting frustrated, I remind myself that I won’t give up on life, so neither will I give up on romance.

 

So far, I’ve had a mixed bag, but nothing too traumatic. And the plethora of options as well as my new-found confidence (thanks to 6 months of self-imposed celibacy) gives me the freedom to state when I’m not interested, or not willing to be messed around. Guys play games. Girls do too. But I don’t. And I’ve not experienced girl games romantically, so I don’t know what they’re like. But I do know guys don’t necessarily help themselves. They play it cool out of fear of getting too involved and getting hurt, but they let an amazing woman slip through their fingers and rue it. I’m looking for a guy who appreciates what he’s got when he has it and holds onto it. Not possessive, not (overly) insecure, but mature enough to recognise a good thing.

 

But first, I need to meet a guy who I really connect with and could maybe see something developing with. Much as emailing and messaging are good, there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction.  And a little bit of good old fashioned smooching.

 



1 Comment

  1. Anthony Goodman says:

    Another interesting article. Thank you! As I see it, the biggest problem with the relationships game is that most people don’t know how to love. And that, is a ‘spiritual’ problem, a problem few are able to solve. The symptom is a deep abiding fear that we’re not good enough, and that we won’t be loved if we show up the wrong way. The solution to the problem is to assure others that we will love them however they show up. Of course that’s easier said than done if we haven’t learned how to drop judgement, blame and criticism, and how to accept no for an answer. So for anyone who hasn’t learned these essential life skills, they keep their mask(s) on tight and play games. You’re right Pheonix, about the games we play. In my experience, men play games consciously and women play games sub-consciously. You girls, eh! You make me laugh… If I had a pound for every girl I’ve met who says they’re looking for ‘a good man’, then ignore the ones under their noses and end up struggling in a relationship with ‘a bad man’, I’d have a much healthier bank account. As a goodman myself (pun intended) I’ve only had two long term intimate relationships in my life, but literally dozens of really close platonic relationships with women. While searching for lovers, women seem to be sub-consciously in denial that sex and true friendship can mix.

    As far as I’m concerned the only kind of spirituality that’s genuine is the ability to love ourselves and others with true empathy and compassion. That requires a lot of self-knowledge. It also requires the courage to be vulnerable with others, and yet intimate relationships can be the scariest of experiences if we don’t have a strong sense of self because we believe we have so much to lose. I remember someone once saying “the love you withhold is the pain that you carry”. So few people seem to know how to love fearlessly, so they hold back, and judge, blame and criticise, destroying their relationships. To learn how to truly love, shine the light of awareness on what triggers your fear. In my experience, keeping that light shining bright within is a big first step in learning how to love fearlessly.

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