So many of us are looking for love, and afraid we will not get it. Some of us are already rejected by friends and family, disenfranchised by the government with no real recourse against discrimination. Sometimes it feels like romantic love is all we have.
This can lead to some impatience when looking for love. Perfectly fit and healthy thirty year olds will despair. “I haven’t found love yet; I’m too old to find love now; I’ll be lonely forever.” And online, this can lead to a rather frantic matching, unmatching – constantly looking for the right person.
If this doesn’t apply to you, that’s great! I want for us all to be able to date, not date, at our own pace. However, I do have some advice for those of us who are impatient with online dating, and wondering why it doesn’t work.
Online dating is simultaneously very honest and upfront – and very distant and uncommunicative. If you are on AYA, you know that the other people on AYA are here for the same reasons as you. It takes out the worry that you’re imposing or being creepy or making things romantic out of context. It’s a dating app. Daters gonna date! But because you can’t see the person in real time, cues of body language, eye contact, closeness — all of these are gone, and you have to interpret what is being said without it.
A good way to start communication (if you are initiating a chat) is to keep it simple, and try to find common ground. This is why it’s helpful when people fill out their profiles, and ask for what they want. If their profile says they hate discussing spirituality, you know it’s not the right person to discuss comparative theology with! Check out their profiles, try to see if you have anything in common. When you send a message, keep it forthright. Talk about what you both have in common in your profiles. Or hey, talk about current events or whatever you are interested in, see if they are interested in talking about t