It’s a jungle out there, sisters.
A jungle, a swamp, a black hole—and just about as comfortable as being stuck in traffic. For many hours. With no GPS.
Actually, a real jungle is way more hospitable than the Tinder jungle.
At least it’s natural.
And the rules makes sense.
Yet, one in 10 of us adults have used online dating in the hopes of finding love.
And some people actually do find it.
My Mom’s fiance’s granddaughter met the most incredible guy online, and I performed the marriage ceremony for them, last year.
One of my best friends is engaged to a wonderful man she met online, and miraculously enough, so is her daughter! The mom met her match on OkCupid, and her daughter met her guy on Tinder.
And yet even the thought of going online can create a huge emotional response in a woman.
That’s before she even puts pen to paper to make her online profile.
(If you’ve never done any online dating, are happily married, or in a relationship, read on. Why? Because—spoiler alert—this post is really about how to trust yourself, speak your truth, and stand in your power in any situation that challenges you.)
Anyway, last night I was having dinner with my girlfriend, Meg, who told me she needs to work on herself more, before she can put her profile up.
Really? Work on herself more?
Are you kidding?
Do you think a guy would ever say, “We can’t go on a date until you do more work on yourself?”
Don’t think so.
The bottom line here is that dating triggers the shizzle out of us*.
(*This statement, and everything you read here, is true no matter what gender you date, so please substitute pronouns as needed—love is love and sex is sex.)
Now, I am a gal that loves a system. A regime. A practice.
Relationships are hard enough. I don’t want to feel like I am shooting online dating blanks in the dark.
And the tricky bit about online dating is that you cannot use the same rules that you use for regular dating (if that’s even a thing, anymore).
I want to feel like every time I swipe on Tinder, or check my OkCupid account, I am making some kind of progress in the direction of my most beautiful dreams of deep connection with men.
And so, here you have it:
1. Especially when you are just starting out, don’t do it alone.
Grab a trusted girlfriend who wants the best for you, and ask for her help setting up your profile. Make sure she is the type to lay a little truth on you about how cute your photos are (or not!), and that your written profile is truly you. Meet weekly to go through the men who show up in your inbox, or shop together for the ones that look like fun.
(Side note: I know this kind of sisterhood isn’t always easy. We’re taught as women to bond through our complaining, and take each other down—or just stay on the surface and be “nice.” A huge part of this work, and Mastery, is about understanding the technology of sisterhood. And learning how to stand powerfully for one another. Which changes absolutely everything.)
2. If it’s not a ‘hell yes!’—it’s a hell no.
We women are generally so people please-y that we will often give “B guys” a chance, in the hopes they improve to an A, one day. No fixer-uppers, sisters. We are going for the gold.
As you look at these different guys, you have a chance to really learn how to trust your pussy (aka: your instincts, your deepest truth, your fool-proof intuition). Check out his profile, his photos. If he is not wearing a shirt, he’s drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette, you do not have to go out with him, even if he thinks you are hot.
It is super important for women to learn how to be discerning. We want guys that are emotionally healthy, physically healthy, kind, sexy, interested in us, living their purpose or are happily successful in their career of choice. If you find yourself thinking ‘uh-oh, he’s kinda creepy,’ or ‘there just isn’t enough going on here for me’—trust it. Let him go.
3. Every now and then, say yes to someone you wouldn’t normally pick, just to see how the dialogue goes.
Sometimes breaking our own mold can lead to fun adventures. I had a great time dating an inappropriately young man, last year. It was a fun place to visit, even though I didn’t want to live there. I have gone out with guys from obscure countries, guys with mysterious jobs, and guys who were passing through New York.
A little known secret? Dating is not about the guy. It’s about you with you. You learning you. You trusting you. It’s useful to experiment here—as you research what you most desire and expand the possibilities for yourself.
4. Do a pre-interview and check in with your girlfriend afterwards.
I am not a fan of agreeing to go out with a guy without taking the step of talking first. You can do this on skype or on the phone, for no more than 10 minutes. Basically, you want to figure out if he is what he says he is, if he can remain interesting or engaged in a 10-minute call with you, and if you have chemistry.
You want to notice if all he does is talk about himself, or if he asks you lots of questions. Guys get big points when they want to get to know me. Check in with yourself at the end of the call. Are you turned on? Or shut down? If you are shut down, it’s a no go.
Before you go out with him, check in again with your girlfriend. Give her the rundown on how the call went. It’s so easy for us to compromise on our dreams and desires because we don’t want to disappoint anyone. If your girlfriend is not feeling it for you, it’s probably a cue to shut it down. There are millions of fantastic men out there. We are looking for the unicorn in a sea of horses. If you spend all your time with horses, you will miss the unicorns.
5. Use the opportunity to speak your truth.
Use your online dating as a way to practice being radically honest, as nicely as possible, to the men you meet. This is such good practice. I like leaving a man better than I found him, which results in me giving instructions, sometimes.
For example, I have told guys that they need to stop making small talk and just ask me out. Or if a guy gets his feelings hurt that I have turned him down, and gets cranky, I will tell him how unattractive that is by saying something like, “btw, that kind of emotional behavior is not gonna fly with any woman. It’s not attractive and it sure didn’t make me wanna get closer to you.”
Conversely, when he likes me first, then we exchange a message or two, he asks for my number and calls when he says he will—he gets big points with me. And I let him know!
6. Whatever you do, don’t put him in the “husband suit.”
Ok, this is the worst . . . we start trying on his last name and imagining our future children and grandchildren. Which can happen even when we just kinda like him. Or even before we’ve actually met.
And then we wait . . . and hope . . . and wait . . . for him to (please!) like us back.
I know that some of you want to be married. Yesterday. And after a string of shitty dates, when you finally have a good one, wedding bells start ringing.
The problem is, when you stuff him in the husband suit, he can feel it. He senses that he is being manipulated. Why? Because you have stopped truly and deeply enjoying him, and enjoying yourself. All of your attention is on the outcome and the goal. The fun vaporizes. And he stops calling you back.
Practice the hard work of standing in your desire for love in your life, but staying in the moment to moment enjoyment and pleasure of experiencing connection with your new guy.
7. Have fun. Really. If you are not having fun, get off line.
There is no reason you have to suffer through this. Stop swiping. Or cut out early from your date.
The object is for you to enjoy the experiences of communication with men, or to enjoy the experience of being with a guy on a date.
This is all about you learning how to feel really good about yourself, and grow as a woman, while navigating the challenging world of online dating. Your desires will take care of the rest.
And now I want to hear from you—leave a comment below and let me know:
- Which one of these strategies are you going to try?
- Or, what are your personal tips to stay turned on in the dating jungle?
Whatcha got, sisters?
I can’t wait to read what you have to say on this topic.
p.s. Wanna go deeper? The School of Womanly Arts Mastery Program is where we get to really dig deeply into the terrain of getting what you want from relationships, the man/woman game, and how to use the power of attraction—along with so many other challenges and opportunities for a woman today.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the program, click here to learn more, or book a one-on-one chat to explore the possibilities.