The abomination that is online dating and why we need to learn to love ourselves instead

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every human being cherishes love. It’s natural. It is a fundamental element of life and even the human race wouldn’t survive without it. But love does manifest itself in several different ways and one of the ways it comes across is romantic love. And regardless of ethnicity, faith, gender, sexual orientation or social background, none of us are truly immune to it.

Finding love online has become a globalised phenomenon. There are websites which suit everybody’s needs from people wanting to find a date to people looking for a spouse. And without doubt, many couples would never have come together had it not been for finding love online. But the concept of online dating or so called online matchmaking has become symbolic of everything that is wrong with the way men and women interact with each other. For starters, the concept in principle is peculiar. Now there’s no intention to name any particular service or website, given that there is a vast choice online, but has demonising ourselves to looking at potential matches, flicking through people’s faces like a game of snap and reading about where someone’s last holiday destination was on a smartphone or laptop become a depressing sign of how backwards we have gone as a society?

And what on earth is wrong to talking to each other as people, face to face? It’s doesn’t even need to be solely about looking for love primarily, because the immediate aim is to be bold enough to go beyond our own comfort zones, build bridges and form friendships. We are guilty of creating pathetic excuses to erect unnecessary barriers when it comes to communicating with one another as people, whether someone is looking for love or not. Looking inwards wins nothing. But doing the total opposite instills hope.

As a member of the male gender, my heart sinks to the bottom of the ocean over the disgraceful way some fellow blokes message women online. Although it’s fair to say that messaging someone you like online is no walk in the park, it’s also fair to say that it can all be too easy for someone to make a poor impression of themselves if they don’t think about what they are communicating. The lack of charisma, friendliness and simple mannerisms from many people is frightening and whilst communicating with others online will never substitute real life interaction and face to face conversation (where it would be easier to show to the other person what your personality is really like), being amicable and polite does nobody any harm. But unfortunately, too many of my fellow blokes genuinely do not have what it takes to communicate in the right manner to members of the opposite gender. Is it any wonder that some women come out with the question, “where are all the men?” – I would assume from that question that they are referring to real men of real masculine values and not boyish blokes who haven’t been enlightened on what it really takes to be a real man.

That said, you are never going to please everyone, even if you come across well online. Every single person has their own desires and that has got to be respected so whilst potential rejection hurts, it is certainly no damning indictment on a person, unless their behaviour is anything but potentially desirable. One who is rejected time and time again will naturally be at risk of looking dangerously inwards and coating themselves with self-doubt (which is a key reason why looking for love online is a potential and real danger to self-esteem), but the main thing to remember is that everyone is different and, frankly, if someone rejects you then the reality is that it is their loss, certainly not yours and most definitely not the other way round! I think the antidote to finding love online could not be more simpler and there are three key things to consider.

Firstly, learning to love yourself. There is nothing better than learning to love yourself. And there is nothing cringeworthy about it either. And it isn’t arrogant to feel self-love either, because if anything in this world, it’s essential. Nobody is going to approve of you, what you do or what you are all about as a human being. And why should they? How dare someone subject themselves to second class status by seeking other people’s approval. You are who you are and you have the autonomy to make the decisions within your own life to be the person that you aspire to be. And you are who you are and if others have an issue with that, then it’s their bad!

Secondly, confidence. You could have all the personality traits in the world, but if confidence is missing then you are snookered. Being confident in yourself, your abilities and what you are all about as a person will transform the world around you for the better. It is one of the most powerful tools that a human being could ever have and by asking yourself “what’s right today?” rather than “what’s wrong today?” then your mindset is transformed for the better. People who say confidence is the equivalent of being pompous and up yourself are so deluded that they have no idea how out of touch they are on such a fundamental element of human behaviour. And if anything, a more confident person will subconsciously come across to other people and others will stand up and take notice.

And finally, why not be brave and bold enough to ditch finding love online? Even if it was only for a week, see how going about your own life on your own terms fares without having to resort to the depressing, empty and soul searching experience of trying to seek someone else’s approval on an app or website. It is clear that online dating or finding love online has become an abomination, because of the intoxicating culture and environment that has emerged from it. And believe it or not, there used to be a time when the Internet didn’t exist and yet the human race has survived through century after century.

To put it succinctly, and dare I say it colloquially, my conclusion could not be more simpler. Put yourself first, sod the rest of the world and move forward with your life!

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