Anxiety over online dating
So give some leeway to overtalking, long silences or anxiety-driven social incompetence – if you think there’s attraction, then suggest another date when you will both be more relaxed and natural.Equally, a partner may not know how to tell you that “it feels right” (or wrong), so if you aren’t sure what’s happening, take the initiative and suggest a brief “where are we at?
This section shows you how to come through the experience…Drink lightly; alcohol may calm your nerves, but it will make you less likely to act naturally.Be relaxed and friendly, willing to give attention but also willing to reveal more about yourself.Here we get even nearer to ‘real life’ dating – though there are still some pitfalls. If things are going well with emails and phone calls, it’s best to suggest a meeting sooner rather than later.This isn’t just so that you can find out if someone is truly a potential partner – it’s also to protect you against disappointment.If things go well you can arrange another meeting soon; if things go badly you will want the meeting to be short.
If you live a long way from each other, even then only firmly fix a limited amount of time together.
As mentioned, don’t talk endlessly about the past, about the downsides of your life, and in particular about partnership breakups.
Instead, concentrate on building the here-and-now relationship between you and your potential partner by making the conversation equal, and about mutual interests, common experiences and shared values.
Research suggests that there’s a crucial threshold about six weeks into online emails where you can start to raise your expectations unrealistically high and then feel very let down if, as often happens, a face-to-face meeting proves that there’s no compatibility.
As always, be aware of the dynamic of the arrangements.
Is one of you making all the running, and the other holding back?