5 Things You Need To Know When Online Dating by Fern Lulham
They say that “love is blind” but after spending many years as a blind young woman in the pursuit of love, my eyes have been opened to some important lessons. So, let me shed some light for you on 5 things you need to know when online dating!
- You will learn more about yourself than anyone you meet. Yep, that “Getting to Know You” period of online dating is rough, right? You find yourself having the same old conversations over and over – and honestly, you don’t even CARE which three items they’d take to a desert island anyway! However, the silver lining to this whole ordeal is that through all of your flirtation and frustration, heart-break and healing, you will learn a huge amount about YOURSELF. Dating exposes parts of us we didn’t even know were there, (both physically and figuratively)! You will find out things like how you really feel about commitment, how assertive you are and what you want/don’t want in a relationship. Self-awareness can benefit you in so many ways. Not even the most dire date will be a waste of time because you will learn something new about YOU.
- Nobody’s self-acceptance is bulletproof – and that’s okay. The idea of “unconditional self-acceptance” is often dangled in front of us like a carrot on a stick and makes us feel that anytime we experience self-doubt or shame, we really are acting like an ass! While of course accepting yourself for who you are is important, self-acceptance is a journey, not a destination. Questioning yourself at times is totally normal and natural for anybody and does not make you a failure or any less worthy of love.
- You should never blame yourself for somebody else’s bad behaviour. We all make mistakes in relationships. In order to grow, we must be willing to take responsibility for our actions. However, if somebody treats us with disrespect, we often blame ourselves because maybe we replied to their text too soon or were too honest about our feelings. Just as you are responsible for how you treat others, THEY are responsible for how they treat you. Their bad behaviour is NOT your fault.
- Speaking your truth can be incredibly sexy. Professor and lecturer, Brené Brown says “vulnerability is not weakness, it is courage”. Online dating is a VERY judgemental platform and it will bring your vulnerabilities to the surface. When it does, don’t be afraid to take down that tough exterior and reveal your true self. Nobody finds love without risking rejection. Remember, if you want to experience initimacy, you must first strip away your armour.
- Connecting with your dates through shared emotions works like magic. An incredible quality about stories like Harry Potter is that even though they are set in a fantasy world, everything still totally resonates with you on an emotional level. You’ve never been there yourself, but you know how they feel. When you share personal stories on a date, focus on the emotions they spark in you and invite your date to open up about their experiences with the same feelings. If you want to nurture worthwhile relationships, being able to connect on this deeper, emotional level will work like a charm!
I hope these tips help you to navigate the weird and wonderful world of online dating. Don’t give up yet. Sometimes the best relationships of our lives are the ones we don’t see coming!
Fern Lulham is a blind BBC broadcaster, TEDx speaker and YouTuber talking about dating and relationships. Watch her TEDx talk “What Online Dating Looks Like When You’re Blind” here:
and check out her channel for more tips: