Whenever I hear people talk about being in love, I cringe. I just do. Love isn’t something that you’re in; it’s something that you do.
Anyone can have feelings they associate with love, and it is easy to say “I love you” and yet do little to demonstrate that love.
When it comes to dating, love should not enter the equation until long after two people know, respect and are comfortable with each other physically, emotionally and psychologically.
As people get to know each other, one person’s attributes and habits synergize, or collide with the other, and feelings are created, good, bad or indifferent.
This is all very complicated, and it only gets harder when we talk about online dating and digital feelings.
How are digital feelings created?
- You see their profile pictures, and you get a feeling. Whether that feeling is good or bad depends wholly on what trips your trigger. Do you like blondes or brunettes? Stocky guys or thin guys? The metro look or the rugged look? So on and so forth.
- You read their profile, and you get a feeling. Whether that feeling is good or bad depends on what resonates with you. This resonance can be attributed to the depth and consistency of their profile, little things that touch your heart, your past experiences and your overall view of the opposite sex.
- You have an e-mail exchange with them, and you get a feeling. Whether that feeling is good or bad depends on what resonates with you. This resonance can be attributed to the depth and consistency of their e-mails, little things that touch your heart, your past experiences and your overall view of the opposite sex.
This is how digital feelings are created. And yes, they are real. Our feelings are our own and regardless of what rationale we used to reach them, how fleeting they may be or how illogical they may appear to others, we mustn’t discount them.
What we must do instead is ensure that we balance the head and the heart. And while we appreciate the pictures, profiles, and e-mails, other important indicators of what is and isn’t love are our own instincts and past lessons we have learned about love.
While feelings are real, the same can be said for illusions. Perhaps I saw a small stream of water in the desert, and I ended up walking 90 feet on my knees to drink from it. Sooner or later, I realized that there was no water, just an illusion. But darn it if I didn’t truly believe I saw water. Going deeper, I saw what I wanted to see.
When it comes to online dating, we can have the very same experience. We want to believe that the fantastic impressions we get from the profile and e-mail exchanges will spin gold.
We feel something.
We are single and tired of the dating scene.
We want to take our damn profile down and be done.
And hey, it can’t all be smoke and mirrors, right? Perhaps, and yet we owe it to ourselves to see this for what it is, unexplored feelings.
Profiles can be written by others, embellished, or be filled with professionally taken photos, so be cautious. Also, some people are savvier behind a keyboard and may turn out to lack interpersonal skills when you meet them. Online profiles do not reveal everything about us and should not for that matter? Online dating offers a glimpse of what may be, but the essence of the person on the other side can only come from face-to-face interactions.
Simply put: Online dating can be fun. Just don’t put the cart (heart) before the horse (head).
More from DivorcedMoms