While we’d positively hate to admit it, we’ve all been too judgmental at some point. Ditch the habit, Kids, and see what online dating is really all about.
Online dating can be a nerve wracking and curious experience for anyone’s who’s never tried it.
Essentially, opportunities for dating are laid out right before your very eyes. But how do you decipher whether or not you will innately like someone or connect with them from a few photos and a brief bio?
You judge, that’s how.
Mind you, judging someone’s profile has everything to do with your personal preferences and likely, past dating experiences. Often times, someone may appear to meet the qualities you’re seeking (judging from their profile) and you may think they’d be a good match, but what happens when you’re face to face? Chemistry is something that cannot be determined until you actually meet someone in person.
And, herein lies the challenge of online dating.
First, online dating requires we be open and honest, not only with ourselves, but in regards to forming opinions of others. Not everyone is photogenic; yet, primarily we are looking at and judging another person based on the photos they’ve posted on their profile or what they have to say about themselves.
Someone’s profile of what they’re looking for in a partner and not looking for is another area where we make a decision as to whether or not we could potentially be interested in that person.
Additionally, not everyone is good at talking—or writing—about themselves and yet, it’s hard not to judge someone who has bad grammar, can’t spell, gives a terrible description of themselves or can’t accurately express what they’re looking for in a relationship or partner.
But, is that being too judgmental?
If we examine why people choose online dating, we’d likely find a lot of similar reasons: they’re too busy, organic connections are less common, and they can put as much or as little effort into online dating as they want. It’s just more convenient.
However, many people go into online dating with some pre-conceived ideas. Knowing what you hope to find can be half the battle, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of being overly judgmental when perusing the hundreds of profiles in front of you. If this one doesn’t work out, there’s a hundred more where they came from, right? But, what if one of those people you dismiss automatically could be your ideal match given the chance? How will you know if you immediately decide you don’t like them from their photo or profile? How can you be more open and less judgmental of potential matches?
You probably have some indication of what traits you’re looking for in a partner and know what type of person attracts you physically. Most people have some concept of their “must have’s” and “deal breakers.” To be successful online, you need to be honest with yourself first—what areas are you willing to compromise on? What areas are your absolutes—those things you are not willing to negotiate on?
Be true to yourself about what really matters to you. If you met someone who possessed 8 of your top 10 desired qualities, treated you wonderful, communicated easily with you, shared common interests, had a similar outlook on life etc., but their physical appearance wasn’t exactly what you imagined, could you get past that?
We’ve probably all met someone along the way who we maybe didn’t find ourselves immediately attracted too, but then you get to know them, and suddenly they become more attractive because they have such a great personality. These are the exact types of things that an online profile cannot show you and why it’s so important not to be overly judgmental of what you see on your computer screen.
So be open to those who appear compatible based on values, interests, or life goals. An online profile can offer only so much information about a person and usually you can decipher from a first date if an attraction exists or if you feel that someone is worth getting to know further.
Similarly, people have been known to have chemistry via text or email only to find out that the same isn’t true once they meet in person. We have to be around someone, talk to them, interact with them, and share with them in order to find out if we have that chemistry or “spark.”
However, it’s also crucial to take heed of the things you want that you are simply not willing to sacrifice. Things like: wanting children (or not), to be married (or not), faith/religion (if that’s important to you), or where you want to live. These are things that you need to know for yourself so that you know what areas you’re willing to make compromises on when seeking a partner, and what areas are essential to your overall happiness. If you met someone incredible but they lived in another city or state, could you handle that long-term? Would you consider moving if this person was ‘the one?’ This is where you need to make a judgement call for yourself.
Don’t short change yourself—only you can know what you are or are not willing to compromise when it comes to love and relationships. But remember—all relationships require compromise.
There’s no such thing as perfect.
When it comes to online dating, the more open you are, the better your chances of meeting that special someone. It’s easy to be overly judgmental when glancing at profile after profile, but remember this: someone else may be looking at and judging your profile too. When someone’s profile catches your eye, see if the major qualities they are looking for in a partner align with your desired qualities. Do they share similar values or interests? Does their overall outlook on life, work or family match yours? Keep perspective on what actually matters.
[image: via shutterstock]