Are You Sabotaging Yourself In The Online Dating World? We’ve Got The Answer!
Here’s the deal. The dating world can be stressful. It’s a lot of work, and quite honestly, if you’re like me, you don’t have time for it. But, if you’re on the other end of the spectrum and are someone who puts your all into trying to find that special someone, yet you still have no luck, you’re going to want to keep reading.
Valentine’s Day or not, you know there are always those times when you can’t help but wonder what you’re doing wrong or if it’s even you that’s the reason you’re still alone. Contently single or an aimlessly hopeless romantic, we all want to know the ugly truth. I got the 411 from Judith Joshel, author of “Where Are the Good Guys,” and well let’s just say, she helped me check off a lot of things I didn’t even realize applied to me.
Here’s what our favorite relationship expert had to say:
Inside Beauty: Is it possible that someone can unknowingly be blocking their chance at meeting Mr.Right?
Judith Joshel: It’s not only possible – it happens a lot. Women often think their problem is that they can’t find the right guy. But when a woman is unconsciously sabotaging herself, meeting the right guy may be the least of her problems. Although she wants a great relationship, she also may be unconsciously afraid of getting too close to a guy because he could cheat on her, leave her, be very controlling and critical, or even dangerous. She may choose guys who are Mr. Wrong over and over and not understand her role in this negative pattern. She may still be longing for an earlier love and may not be truly available for a new relationship although she thinks she is – no new guy can ever compare with her lost love. The thing is that when a woman is unconsciously sabotaging herself on her journey to Mr. Right, she could meet her perfect man and reject him or destroy her chance with him in other ways – all the while truly believing that her main problem is meeting him.
IB: How have social media and dating apps impacted the dating world?
JJ: Social media and dating apps have had a huge impact on the dating world. They have greatly expanded opportunities for people to meet who ordinarily would be very unlikely to meet. This significantly expands the dating pool for both women and men and that is very positive. But there are a number of downsides. The world of social media and apps tends to be an easy-come-easy-go world. The connections you make there are often very superficial and guys can be elusive when it comes to actually meeting in person. If a guy shows interest in you and someone hotter or better in his eyes comes along, he may just disappear without a word. The feeling with social media and apps is often that everything is really tentative.
Also very important is that people can control how they present themselves online. Some people lie about their age, their weight, their occupation, their relationship status and/or what they’re looking for in a relationship and may post photos that are 5 or even 20 years old. Sometimes a woman will fall in love with a guy based on his social media profile and think he’s the greatest guy in the world, but she actually knows very little about him. The problem is that we want to present ourselves in a positive light online, and we’re probably not going to share that we have a controlling personality, suffer from bipolar disorder, have problems with alcohol or a history of cheating in relationships or in other parts of our lives. One of my clients fell in love with a guy’s Facebook profile and was very excited when he asked her out for dinner. He arrived 45 minutes late and clearly drunk! So much for his magnetic profile!
One big danger with online dating is connecting with a guy who looks fabulous but lives far away. You can email and have phone conversations for a year or more without meeting in person, and the woman may fall madly in love. Some of these guys are scammers and will then ask for a loan of money to get themselves out of a jam. Others aren’t scammers, but because of the distance, he can conceal a lot from his online partner, including other women, financial woes, etc. You get the picture! And some guys are what I call monitor mice. They basically want a pen pal and will email forever and maybe call or text. But they never want to meet in person. These guys are terrified of real relationships and women can get drawn into time-wasting exchanges with them for months, thinking that they’re forging a bond and will soon meet in person. And people may present themselves in very sexualized ways on social media and apps. That’s fine for a woman who is looking for a hookup or a casual romance. But if she’s looking for a committed relationship with a really great guy, posting over-the-top sexy photos of herself will attract a lot of male attention, but probably not from the kinds of men she really wants to meet.
It’s absolutely true that many couples in committed marriages and live-in relationships have met on social media and apps. Many of my clients have had awesome success meeting Mr. Right that way. To be successful, you need to know how to navigate these venues and to take all contacts and connections that you make lightly and with no heavy expectations. And you want to meet the guy in person sooner rather than later and to get to know him slowly in the real world so that you can discover who he really is and if he is truly worthy of you!
IB: How has the dating world evolved? Does it differ with age?
JJ: The dating world has changed tremendously over the last 50 years. When there was no internet, men and women had to figure out how to meet each other in the real world. Today many women in their 20’s and 30’s have only used the internet to meet guys and although they may get frustrated and discouraged with social media, online sites and apps, they are often unclear about where and how to meet guys offline. Older women who are coming into the dating world now after a divorce or the breakup of a long relationship often feel that the rules of the game have completely changed and that they don’t know how to navigate this new dating world. These women often need help in building self-confidence, in learning to navigate the online world and in being creative about meeting men offline. I recommend that women of all ages look for Mr. Right both online and offline and educate themselves about how best to do this. My book “Where Are the Good Guys? The Single Woman’s Guide to Meeting Mr. Right Offline” will help them with the offline real-world part.
IB: Explain some of the strategies you focus on with your clients.
JJ: I discuss broad and narrow strategies to meet men offline in “Where Are the Good Guys? The Single Woman’s Guide to Meeting Mr. Right Offline“. Broad strategies focus on going to places where lots of men gather like sports bars for Monday Night Football games and car shows. Lots of guys play golf and work out at the gym. If you participate in these activities and are willing to smile and be friendly, you’ll start meeting men. Narrow strategies focus on places and activities where men with specific interests can be found. For example, a guy who’s an animal lover may be a volunteer training dogs for the blind or rescuing injured wildlife. To meet guys with these interests, you’ll want to check out venues where they may be volunteering. Open environments like festivals, wedding receptions, waiting rooms and lines provide natural opportunities to talk to those around you. When you’re in an open environment, remind yourself to be aware of attractive guys nearby and be willing to smile and say hi. Some of the best ways to meet single men offline are networking, rethinking whether guys you already know may be candidates for Mr. Right, getting your eyes off your phone and being aware of guys crossing your path in your daily life, meetup groups and social activities and events like parties and weddings. I discuss all these strategies at some length in“Where Are the Good Guys?” along with hundreds of other strategies.
IB: Best advice you have ever received on this topic that you feel others can benefit from?
JJ: If sharing your life with your Mr. Right is important to you, take some quiet time for yourself, sit down and do some soul-searching. Ask yourself how much you want to find your Mr. Right and how much of a commitment you’re willing to make to yourself to bring lasting love into your life. Remind yourself that not only do you long to find him, he also longs to find you. Ask yourself what you’re willing to do to allow this to happen. If you’re burned out on trying to find him, take a complete break and focus on nurturing yourself and on things and activities which you feel passionate about. Or just take some quiet time and go inward if that feels right. If after your soul searching, you still deeply long for that relationship that will feel like home, don’t give up. Start looking again, but do it differently this time – shake it up. If you’ve been searching for a long time, consider getting some expert help from an experienced coach or therapist. We all have blind spots, which by definition we can’t see, but often a trained professional will see them clearly and can be of great help. In my experience, no matter what traumas a woman has suffered in her life, if she profoundly wants to bring lasting love into her life and is committed to doing whatever it takes to make that happen, she will succeed. Your commitment to yourself and your dream is the key.
IB: What role does the brain and mentality of someone play in their success with dating offline?
JJ: A positive mindset is an essential key to your dating success whether online or offline. If a woman really wants to meet Mr. Right in the real world, she needs to turn on her Man Radar and keep it on. She needs to put away her phone and iPad and be open to the possibility of meeting him during every waking hour of her life. And she needs to cultivate a mindset of Radically Open Curiosity – being aware of and interested in everyone and everything around her. When you are in a state of Radically Open Curiosity, you will be fully in the moment, noticing everyone and everything around her with curiosity and openness. It’s fun, and it’s also amazing how magnetic you will become. Add to that an attitude of warm friendliness toward those around you, and you’ll find yourself becoming more magnetic to people and more interested in them as well. Some of these people will be quality single guys you may want to date. Some may be women who know a great guy for you and would be happy to introduce you. When you’re looking to meet men offline, it’s really powerful to make a concrete plan for yourself about how you’ll do it and then to hold your own feet to the fire and implement your plan. If you want help and support, I invite you to join my online Mr. Right Magnet Program. You will make your own unique Mr. Right Magnet Plan and have the support you need to bring him into your life.
IB: What factors go into finally being able to find real love?
JJ: Another question that deserves a hundred page answer! Here are some of the factors involved in finding a healthy loving, lasting relationship:
- A woman’s sense of her self-worth. If a woman values and respects herself and can ask for what she wants in a relationship, to be her authentic self and to speak her truth, she will attract men who respect and value her. If a woman feels that she must have a man to complete her, she’ll tend to show up as needy and even desperate and she won’t be fully valued by men and will often be taken for granted. That being said, even if a woman doesn’t always love herself and own her own value, if she’s working on these things and her partner is open, reasonably mature, and he adores her, they can still create a great relationship.
- Choosing the right man. It’s important to think clearly about the kind of man she wants to be with. Looking mainly for intense chemistry with a guy is usually a recipe for disaster. That’s because you can be strongly attracted to anyone, including people who lie, cheat and are addicts or alcoholics. Of course, you want to have chemistry with Mr. Right but it doesn’t need to be over-the-top chemistry, and sometimes chemistry develops when you realize how awesome a guy is as you get to know him.
- It’s best not to lead with sex. When you lead with sex and don’t know each other very well, either or both of you can get really scared and sabotage the relationship by running away or becoming very needy or in other ways. Take some time to get to know each other and see if you actually like each other. Before you sleep together, have that conversation about being exclusive and safe sex.
- Go slow and don’t totally focus in on a guy right away, especially if you really like him. See him and see others as well without sleeping with anyone. See if he’s truly worthy of you before going exclusive. If he’s in a hurry and won’t go at a pace that’s comfortable for you, he doesn’t truly value you, and it’s a blessing if he goes his own way.
- If you’ve been struggling to find love for a long time, take an honest look at any patterns in your relationships that keep repeating. If you see any, you need to do something different to break the negative pattern. Consider working with an expert love and relationship coach or a therapist to get some expert eyes on your situation.