How I Made Online Dating Work (Against All Odds)

Have you ever wondered if online dating is working? You’ve seen it on Youtube that millennials nowadays are really into it. And there are too many dating apps that will take a lifetime to try.

From Youtubers like Matt D’avela & Natalie who met online within the same city to a couple who came from different countries, Gabriel & Jess, more and more couples prove that online dating has changed their lives for the better because it lets them meet their soulmates.

According to an article on eharmony, about 40 million use online dating websites, and the ages vary in America alone. This makes it normal to participate if you are single.

I’ve got plenty of single girlfriends who at first hesitated to give it a try. I know it’s not for everyone. As fun and exciting as it seems to be, it can also give negative impacts on your life — if you aren’t careful.

My story

I met my boyfriend online — something that I couldn’t say out loud for years because of how skeptical people around me.

It’s simply coming from a dating app. Well, it was more of a chatting app. What’s funny is that back then, it didn’t have a feature that showed the user’s face, and no one used their real names. My boyfriend and I talked for a couple of weeks without seeing each other’s faces.

Now you must be thinking I’m crazy… I know.

Five years down the road, and we are still together. I didn’t know how “serious” I wanted to be with him, but I knew that he’s someone I enjoy hanging out with. He is smart and very understanding. The chemistry between us just hit differently.

Looking back, I think I was just crazy. It took two years before we decided to meet in person. The main reason is that we weren’t in a good place financially yet. I was still in college at that time, but I waited, and I’m glad that I did.

So how did we make it work? The real quick answer is lots and lots of compromise from both sides. But here are some more:

1. Get clear with your intention

I’ve got some friends who don’t know what they are doing inside the dating app. The most common reason is boredom; that’s why they sign up.

I’m not saying this is the wrong reason, but from what I’ve seen, it’s hard to have a smooth journey if you keep jumping from one thing to another. One day you want to find someone to get serious with, and another day, you only want to fool around.

This also can get tricky when you start getting matches, and you have no idea what you want. I know some girls who don’t want to be serious, but they are upset when the guy only treats them as a one-night-stand partner.

You don’t have to be specific but clear enough in which direction you want to take. Believe it or not, this will make you save a lot of time from talking to people who have a different purpose than you.

You still need to have a standard, even if it’s in the online dating world where you didn’t meet people face to face. Most successful online couples know what they want, and they set their intention clear at the very beginning.

2. Have a deadline to meet in person

Once you found someone you’ve been talking to daily, there will come a time where you start wondering where the relationship is going.

Depends on your timeline, but for me, I cannot just keep talking for a whole year and not knowing whether this is a “thing” or not. Most people I know decided to pursue further or call it to quit when it hits 3–6 months in.

Suppose you happen to live in the same city, great! Then there’s no problem. But what if your partner is a thousand miles away like mine? You’ll be faced with a dilemma.

You like the person you’ve been talking with day in day out but the thought to make it work seems so frustrating. And every time you plan to let it go, your mind will begin to think, “what if they are the right person for me? and what if this works out?”

I know how frustrating and annoying it is to be in that phase. I’ve been there. That’s why having a deadline to meet in person works like magic. It helps you ease your anxiety in the so-called “unofficial” relationship.

Because then you’ll have new hopes. Hopes are all you need to keep it going. So plan your meeting early, talk about the place, and dream together what’s it going to be like when you both hold each other’s hand for the first time.

3. Avoid revolving your life around the relationship

I revolved my life around my online relationship for a couple of years, and it’s such a mess. I analysed and thought about the relationship almost all the time.

“Is he still wanting to talk to me? What else can I do to make this interesting? Are we still on the same page?”

As a result, I was unhappy because I expected the relationship to fill the void inside me.

Most people don’t know that online dating is so much more than just talking over the phone every day until we meet in real life, then we get a happy ending.

People in an online relationship have a hard time knowing whether they truly love the person or not. Because in their head, they already have this idea of their partner who might not be true in real life — or even different than what they imagine.

I didn’t realise this until I met my boyfriend in real life. The problems, communication flow, or the way we express love to each other are different from what we usually do over the phone.

So learn from my mistake. It’s so easy to get caught up in an online relationship because of how “great” it seems to be in our heads. So it’s crucial to have something going on in your life, whether it’s your work, hobby or side hustle projects.

By keeping your focus not only on your relationship but also your own thing, you’ll avoid a chance to get lost in your online relationship.

4. Look for ways to grow together

Whether it’s online or in real life, a healthy relationship helps you become a better version of yourself. Because if it doesn’t, then what’s the point?

You have many things happening in your life and certainly don’t want to invest your time and energy into a relationship that makes you feel worse than before.

Finding a match in the dating app and talking to them for months is easy. The hardest part is to make it work in the long run. For it, you need to put in a lot of effort.

Start with looking for ways to make each other’s life improve for the better. This doesn’t have to be an extreme transformation, but a small thing like reading a book more than watching Youtube can make a huge difference.

I’d always like to think that this one-act plays a huge role in whether the relationship will work out in the future or not. Because if you don’t grow together, then you grow apart. It’s as simple as that.

This happened to my boyfriend and me back in 2019, where we were slacking off in putting in the effort, and before we knew it, we completely drifted apart. It took another year to make a shift and be on the same page again.

So, online dating isn’t as easier as most people think. You still need to put in the work by helping each other out and making sure you bring more positive impacts than negatives.

5. Do a reality check once in a while

“Why the heck do I need the reality check for?” you asked.

We all need it once in a while, especially in an online dating world where you don’t have control over most things.

As sure as you are with your partner, sometimes you need to take a day or two to step back and ask yourself honest questions.

“Am I still happy with this? Are we still going strong? How do I feel about it recently? Do we lift each other and push each other to be better people?”

Those are the few questions you can apply in your reflection time.

I highly recommend this step because sometimes we get blinded by our feelings, and we don’t know whether the relationship is still working or not. Sure, you both still communicate regularly but does it come from both sides? Or you are the only ones who put in the effort?

I’ve had a good friend being in online dating for a while now, and after talking to a guy for months, she always finds herself to be the one who wants to make it work. This, of course, results in her calling it quits sooner than later.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and see your online relationship from a third-person point of view. It doesn’t mean that you are sabotaging your relationship by questioning it.

You just make sure you pick the right person to invest your time and energy on.

Parting words

So, is online dating in 2021 still worth it? My answer is yes.

If you are single and ready to mingle, then jumping into the online dating world will be a good idea. However, as mentioned before, you need to be completely honest first in what you are looking for.

I’ve seen people joining the dating App and expecting to find their soulmate while their bio doesn’t reflect their wish or they don’t want to put an effort to have a conversation with someone new.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what you want before you sign up. Because if you don’t, you’ll just waste your time.

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