In a new trend, singles are becoming increasingly disillusioned with internet dating and seeking alternatives. In spite of millions of singles using the internet and the promises and success stories of online matchmaking websites, I’ve heard the same thing over and over from singles across the country who are frustrated with internet dating-
“It’s great to have a lot of choices, but it takes a lot of time and I don’t seem to meet anyone I have much chemistry with.”
This trend makes sense to me. In some ways, using a computer to find your soul mate is like trying to cook a souffle in a microwave. Some things just require time, effort, and the human touch.
This article explores the upsides and downsides of internet dating, attempts to explain why internet dating doesn’t work for some (most?) singles, and suggests some alternatives.
Top Five Advantages of Internet Dating
- Reach more singles
- Inexpensive (relatively)
- Enough information available for efficient sorting
- Easy to control most aspects of the process
Top Five Downsides of Internet Dating
- Overwhelming number of choices
- Encourages “shopping” mentality
- Many users are less than truthful
- Some users are game players, predators. cheaters
- Complacency- tempting to rely on the internet and exclude other options
The Internet, Chemistry, and the Law of Attraction
Today’s singles seem to be relying on their computer a bit too much and complacently expecting the internet to deliver their soul mate. This is a version of the Fairytale Trap (one of fourteen dating traps in my book “Conscious Dating”). The internet is a wonderful tool (I use it!) but doesn’t seem to work effectively as the only tool for finding potential partners.
I believe that the two biggest reasons why the internet isn’t effective for many singles is the role of chemistry and the Law of Attraction.
Chemistry is critically important for a successful relationship. Everyone wants a partner they feel strong chemistry with, and a relationship would be pretty dry and unsustainable without it. The Fourth Principle of Conscious Dating is “Balance Your Heart With Your Head.” Identifying your requirements, needs, and wants does not minimize the need for chemistry. You need both! I like to think of chemistry as the radar that helps you find your target, then you use your requirements, needs and wants to decide “yes” or “no.”
The Law of Attraction is inescapeable and either works for you or against you. If you’re “busy” or “shy” and the internet is your only means of reaching potential partners, in a way you’re hiding behind your computer and the Law of Attraction is not likely to help you. The Law of Attraction states that “like attracts like” and “energy follows attention,” meaning your results reflect your thoughts and your actions. Over the years I’ve become convinced that the Law of Attraction is a powerful law of the Universe, like gravity. Just like “what goes up must come down,” try as you might, you can’t avoid or change the principle that “like attracts like.”
If you’re hiding behind your computer, what people, relationships, and results are you likely to attract?
Top Five Ways to Find Your Mate Without a Computer
- Use your support community
Most people find their soul mate through someone they know, so don’t be a lone ranger (another dating trap!) and lean on your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to assist you to meet potential partners.
- Start a dating pool or networking group
Get a group of singles together (any gender mix) to support each other to meet potential partners. Most singles know lots of other singles of both genders, so pool your resources and do some matchmaking for each other!
- Reach out to people
In today’s busy world with cell phones, texting, instant messaging, e-mail,
and the internet promoting impersonal ways of interacting with others, it’s easy to forget the lost art of engaging with real people that are right in front of you. Make an effort to reach out to the people you come into contact with in your everyday life and watch your relationships blossom.
- Make more friends
Since most people find their soul mate through someone they know, be open to developing new friendships and expanding your support community. Chances are you already have acquaintances at work and other places that you would enjoy spending more time with. Friends are easier to find than dates, and friendships often last longer than romantic relationships!
- Get involved
Too many singles lead isolated lives centered around work, home, and a few friends. Participating in clubs, groups, classes, charities, church/temple, is the most important way you can leverage the Law of Attraction to help you find your soul mate. You’ll meet new people, make new friends, and pursue hobbies and interests important to you that bring you in contact with other compatible singles.
Balancing High Tech with High Touch
Technology can help us in many ways. However, let’s not forget that humans are social beings and finding your life partner is a relationship goal that is probably more effectively acheived by getting away from your computer. You’re more likely to find relationship fulfillment by living a full, rich life among real people doing the things you enjoy that make your life meaningful.
As the ancient Roman playwright Terence once said- “Moderation in all things.” Do you think he meant the internet as well?
Let’s address this problem of over-reliance on the internet for finding love. Please pass this article along to the frustrated singles in your life that you care about!
David Steele, MA, LMFT is founder of Relationship Coaching Institute and author of the new ground-breaking book for singles Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today’s World