Question: Hello Dr. Scott. I am 35 and divorced. I have not enjoyed dating very much at all in the time since. I have met a few people and had some positive experiences, but nothing really clicked. So against my better instincts — and after swallowing my pride — I decided to start looking online and, to my utter amazement, it worked. I met an amazing woman. We have a lot in common and I feel like she’s the one I’d like to be with the rest of my life. The problems is she’s three states away and I don’t fully trust this long-distance process. Do I need to focus on “real world” relationships? Am I being a fool to think that this could turn into something real?
Answer: I don’t know about foolish. Not so long ago, this would have been at least pretty impractical. But online dating is becoming more commonplace, that’s for sure. The key to dating successfully online is knowing what to expect and what to look for.
Some research suggests that over 41 million people have tried online dating. The number of single people in the U.S. is about 54 million. So, online attempts are not uncommon. Online dating has become more than a last ditch attempt at happiness and has become pretty much mainstream.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. People lie, people hold back, people are insecure, and so really getting to know someone online certainly has its challenges. You never really know for sure someone’s age, income, weight — all things you might more readily know if you were dating in person. With that said, people aren’t guaranteed to be honest in real life either, are they? So be careful. But, if you feel that your newfound dream girl is honest, then it might be worth checking out.
At the same time, you need to make sure you’re being yourself too. If you really want this person, you better be genuine. No one wants a bait and switch. If you’re real and she’s real, then maybe you can expect the relationship to be real too.
Speaking of expectations, how is this online love going to become a real life love? Are you going to meet face-to-face? You really have to in order to get a real take on this relationship. And if that works, then what? Are you willing to move? Is she? For me personally, if a relationship was not going to lead to a real life, face-to-face, hand-in-hand relationship, then it’s not worth much. It just would never be fulfilling.
If you’re able to bring this relationship out of the digital world and into the real world, and you discover she is who she says she is and you’re being real as well; then sure, there’s a chance. Why not? But be wise and perceptive and realistic. If all signs point to “go,” then go.
Source: The Spectrum