By Tom Bartley
Last Friday I was listening to a national talk radio show while driving in my car. The talk show host was talking about Valentine’s Day… now take a breath, as I sense Valentine’s Day brings up many different feelings and emotions for us, depending on where we are or have been in our personal journey of relationships.
The host of the radio show shared with amazement, that according to his research there are currently 1,500 dating sites and apps now in use. I asked myself if I heard that correctly. Then I thought, “No way possible." The host went on to share the figure again, in addition to the fact that 40 million people in the US are currently using these dating sites. I pulled my car over to the side of the road to capture in writing these pieces of information, as I was blown away by these two statistics.
One would have to literally live in a cave, as to not notice of be aware of the proliferation of online dating. Although, I would wager not many of us would have guessed the current number of dating sites, nor the fact that there are 40 million US customers. For me, it was one those times when you hear a piece of information or data and it really sticks with you, and stirs up questions and self inquiry within.
I am excited and grateful to be on the planet now, in this time of technological innovation, progress and advancement, whereby we can possibly meet and connect with human beings across our county, state, country and world. Yes, this is wonderful evidence of progress and a shrinking of the world so to speak.
In the world of economics when there is an abundance of supply, value typically falls or recedes. I am not suggesting human relationships should be categorized the same as economics; however the thought raised several important observations within me.
At Lease On Love, we deeply believe people are designed and DNA blue printed for deep connection with another human being. How else can we explain all the many relationship peaks, valleys, joys, frustrations, fears that most of us have freely chosen to participate in at some point in our life time. Many of us emerge from a challenging relationship and swear “never again," yet from my view and observation, most, if not all of us, ultimately step back into relationship again and again.
I have a sense online dating is here for the long term. Here are several suggestions crafted through the lens of Lease On Love, for the many among us choosing to navigate the online dating waters:
· Post a recent photograph of yourself in your profile. I have heard countless stories, including some from family members where the online photo does match the story when meeting in person.
· When creating your profile, be authentic. Create and paint a picture of your true essence. Is the description of yourself offering you a real possibility to honestly and truly connect with another person, instead of presenting qualities and attributes you feel are popular and trending at this time in the online profile space?
· When meeting with your new online date in person, show up 100% and be totally authentic, rather than trying to be liked and incongruent with your true self. Remember that there are no failed relationships. We are always offered an opportunity to learn and grow with each and every relationship, provided we cease to measure relationship success with time, how long did it last.
· Trust the process and allow the relationship to unfold on its own timetable. Why do we often feel a sense of urgency, rather than an appreciation of this new relationship experience?
As we embrace and navigate all the new and increased opportunities to connect with other human beings across all borders and boundaries, I encourage all of us to remember this sage quote from Leo Buscaglia from his book Loving Each Other:
“It’s up to us to give our relationships a chance. There is nothing greater in life than loving another and being loved in return, for loving is the ultimate of experiences."