A friend I love dearly was recently asked out on a date as a result of an online dating site she belongs to. She was thrilled and frightened. But she was scared in that good way when you are facing down a fear, stretching yourself to be more, and confident that no matter what happens, you will love yourself for trying! Yes, it had been awhile since she had been out on a date. No matter, she was ready to accept the possibility that there might still be romance in her future.
The Benefits – And Downfalls – Of Dating In The Internet Age
One benefit to dating sites is you have access to your date’s birthday before you even meet. Do you know what that means? It means you have access to valuable information about them. You can consult a zodiac chart or something called The Cards of Destiny or any other system that uses birthdates to determine personalities and compatibility. My friend was seriously looking into her compatibility with this date before they’d even met! She was pinning a lot of hope on this first date.
We suggested to her that she just relax and let the date unfold without putting that much intensity into it. After all, it was just a first date between two people who hadn’t yet met in person. They weren’t considering marriage. It was just too early to require so much of any date – much less a first date.
When it was the evening before the date, she received an email from him. He told her he was calling off the date. He said she seemed to be too busy, that what he wanted was to travel, and he couldn’t see her being available for that. Inside herself she responded, “Geez! It wasn’t like we were engaged!”
Just One Date
What he missed out on by canceling on her was a lot! He missed out on the chance to connect with another person – a woman. He missed out on the opportunity to get to know himself better in conversation with her. He missed out on the prospect of enjoying the mystery of someone new in his life. He lost the possibility that she may have been ready to trade in her busyness for some travel. He lost the opportunity to make a new friend. He lost self-respect by backing out, being unwilling to keep his word for just one date.
Also, though, there was something very profound when she responded with, “Geez! It wasn’t like we were engaged!” The fact that my friend wanted to do an astrological compatibility on this man before she even met him made me want to talk her off the ledge of thinking this date was that important. We gave her the advice to just relax and enjoy herself. At the risk of sounding sexist, it seemed typical of a woman to jump so far ahead in her anticipation of this date. It never occurred to me that he might be in the same position of putting entirely too much stress on this first date – having entirely too heavy an agenda for it.
Enjoy Dating – Don’t Make It More Than It Is
My friend’s online dating experience prompts this advice from me. For single adults of all ages, try to relax and enjoy dating. You are likely to attract the right one as well as be the right one when you are relaxed and not taking life quite so seriously. Even if it has been years or decades since you visited the dating scene, there is more to be gained from a relaxed attitude than there is from the constriction of needing each date to hold so much meaning. Love comes unbidden, in its own time and on its own terms. You cannot force it no matter how much anxiety and agenda you bring to a first date. You may as well relax and enjoy the journey! There are far more benefits to that state of mind.