Jun 07 2016

It’s Okay to Start Online Dating Slow

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If you need to take online dating slow…then take it slow. Photo via Visualhunt

You love the idea of being in a sizzling, fun relationship, so why can’t you find the time to write that killer profile? Why do you keep putting off answering messages from interested singles? You know that you have to strap into the dating rollercoaster if you want that relationship your dreams. However, that doesn’t mean online dating has to become your new full time job or that you need to book a date every night of the week. You can dip your toe into the online dating waters and take it at your own pace.

Why Online Dating Is Scary

There are a lot of reasons why online dating may feel overwhelming, scary, or just plain weird. Maybe you’ve never tried online dating before, or you’re still hurting from the breakup of a long-term relationship. Many others have trouble sticking with online dating, because they simply feel pulled in too many directions. Work just picked up; a celiac health crisis put you on your back for a week; you’re trying to get your band off the ground.

All of these reasons are valid, but they don’t have to keep you from finding true love. Here are a few tips to help you tackle online dating…at your pace.

Make Small Goals

Just because you sign up for an online dating service doesn’t mean you immediately have to drop all your evening plans and fill them with dates. If you look at online dating as a zero sum game, it may feel too intimidating to even start. Instead, create small, reasonable goals that you know you can hit. For example:

  • Check messages once a day
  • Send three personalized messages a week
  • Go on one date a week

When you look at online dating as a series of small, no-pressure steps, it seems a lot more doable, no matter how busy you are!

Take Your Time Getting to Know Someone

If your heart is still mending from a serious relationship, or if you feel like you just don’t have time to squeeze tons of dates into your already overbooked schedule, don’t freak. If you meet someone interesting online, you don’t have to make dinner reservations the next day. Instead, spend some time messaging, so you can get more comfortable with each other. When it feels right, exchange phone numbers and switch to texts and calls. If this person is as awesome as they initially seem, you might forget all about your ex and somehow find room in your schedule for a meet.

The bottom line is don’t bow to pressure from the other person to meet right away if you don’t feel ready. That is a recipe for a disastrous date. The right person will be just as into you as you are in them and will know that you are worth waiting for.

Don’t Date if You Aren’t Ready

There is a big difference between someone who simply needs to take the dating road a little slow to get acclimated and someone who truly isn’t ready to date. If, even after setting small goals, you still can’t bring yourself to message interested suiters back, then it just probably isn’t the right time for you to be dating. Don’t waste your money on a dating service or string any unfortunate singles along. It’s okay if the time isn’t ready quite yet. Figure out what’s getting in your way; whether it’s your schedule, your emotional readiness, or both. Maybe you just need to finish up a stressful work project or let time heal old wounds. You can always jump back into the dating pool in the future when you are truly open for the right person to sweep you off your feet.

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