The Truth About Online Dating

By Stephanie Florman

Many people turn to online dating with hopes of finding ‘the one’, but few realize that it’s perfect for basic dating practice.

Here are seven reasons why I encourage anyone who wants to attract a new relationship to begin in cyberspace.

1. Online dating gives you the opportunity to showcase yourself. If you want to go from ‘dating’ to ‘keeping’, you will need to talk about who you are and what makes you attractive. Your profile is also a platform that highlights your hobbies, interests, and personal accomplishments. The more detailed it is, the better.

2. Online dating allows you to interact with several people at once. Multiple interactions can help you go beyond the physical appearance, age, education, income, and religion check boxes to figure out your ‘must haves’ and ‘deal breakers’ if you don’t know them already. Check boxes are a great place to start, but you will need interaction to learn someone’s character and find out if you are compatible.

3. Online dating also gives you the opportunity to answer difficult questions about yourself and your past, questions you may not be prepared to answer. We all have a past. We’ve all made choices we’re not proud of. The goal is to turn negatives into positives. Focus on what your tough times have taught you and how they have made you a better person.

4. Online dating can be a confidence booster, and confidence is the key to attraction. It also helps you to get more comfortable receiving compliments. You can practice saying thank you. You can also try returning a compliment.

5. Online dating shines a bright light on your insecurities, and it helps you quickly identify areas of your life that need improvement. Maybe you’re hesitant to post a recent photo because you’re unhappy with your looks, or maybe you’re unwilling to share your income level because you’re embarrassed about your finances. Use these insecurities as opportunities to make positive changes in your life so you can attract the kind of relationship you want. People are accepting of people in process. It’s attractive to be working towards a goal.

6. Online dating helps sharpen your intuition. You can learn a lot about a person by being observant and listening. Maybe you find that you feel rushed, pressured, or drained when you talk with someone. Maybe you find that you feel relaxed with someone else. Notice how you feel and trust it. Actions are introductions. People tell you who they are by what they do.

7. Online dating translates into real world dating. Putting out the right vibes in cyberspace means you’re sending out the right vibes as you go through your day. Intentions create experiences.

Remember, even if you’re using online dating for practice, it’s important to keep these safety tips in mind: Do not share personal information (especially your last name or home address).

Instead, (a) use a free email account with only your first name; (b) use a cell phone to chat; and (c) meet in a public place and tell a close friend or family member your plans.

Most importantly, trust your gut instincts.

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Stephanie Florman is a Relationship Coach and Advice Expert for Master Matchmakers, the company behind VH1’s Tough Love Series. Stephanie is most passionate about teaching people how to have a healthy and happy relationship with themselves because she knows it is the starting point for developing a meaningful and rewarding relationship with another.

Visit her online at www.StephanieFlorman.com or at www.mastermatchmakers.com, join her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.