I sat in front of Emma. She was a white-haired lady with a colorful hat and vibrant blue eyes. I wanted her advice. I was ready for a new relationship but completely lost on how to make this happen. I am an extreme introvert. I enjoy my life as a single. I love to go for walks or runs. I love to write. However, these are not necessarily activities where I meet many men. And I was ready for a new relationship. Emma looked at me. She said, online dating in is the way to go. I was skeptical. Online dating? I had never don this before. I hated texting. I hated chatting. I normally love to talk to people in person. I took a deep breath and decided to go out of my comfort zone and give it my best try. How can I judge it if I never gave it a try? I had nothing to lose.
Over the last months, I gave my best try, and I was creative. I used different platforms and read articles on how to use it the best way. I do not know how many hours I spent there looking at the profiles and trying to find a connection. Often, it was impossible. I felt bored. The two phrase description did not really give me any hint or any excitement to talk to the man behind the profile. I got more and more frustrated. I didn’t really find a way to connect with men in a meaningful way. The conversations were superficial, sometimes confusing. If these are the only men out there, I’d rather stay single.
When I evaluated my progress after several months, It was not all negative. I had only one positive experience: I went on a date with one man and we had a good conversation, however, there was no spark. Overall, I had lost interest in looking at any profiles at all. I had a sense that it was just a waste of time.
Was online dating really the right way for me? Did it really feel true to me? My inner voice said clearly no. In many ways, it contradicts my personality. I hate chatting and small talk, and I do not have the time for casual dating. What other options do I have to meet new men? I have met my ex-partners either at work or at some leisure activity I love. This way, I got to know them first before we met on a date. Honestly, I am not in a hurry to meet my partner. I also don’t think that I can force it. I will meet him when the time is right. I am not in my 20’s anymore. I am 44, I know who I am and what I want in a relationship. I need to get to know a man first before I can decide whether he is a good fit for a relationship.
My introvert’s dream would be to meet him on a bench during a walk. However, this is an unlikely option. I definitely will not meet him while sitting at home. Therefore, I decided to become more active because I am committed to making my dream of a relationship a reality. I brainstormed activities I really love that allowed me to meet new people. Important was that I enjoy the activities. I came up with the following list:
I enjoy volunteering, and I am passionate about causes related to animals and helping people. It is also an opportunity to meet new people and the good thing is that we have something in common.
- Meetup and sports groups
Meetup and sports groups give me a chance to select groups that fit my interests. While I am not good at small talk, I like groups that encourage deeper conversations. For me, that’s a good way to meet new people and have conversations in a meaningful way. Altogether, I am more likely to meet somebody who has a similar interest here than on an online dating platform.
- Public transport
I use public transport to protect the environment. While it is not as comfortable as a car, it gives me the option to meet people. I had some nice conversations on the train.
- At a coffee shop.
I now work in a coffee shop. It is better than sitting at home and it is an opportunity to meet people.
Overall, there are a million ways to meet a new partner, and online dating is just one option. Important is to find an option that feels true to you. I have friends who love online dating, and who love to go to bars. I do not. I believe that I will meet my partner when I do what I love. Therefore, I encourage you to check in with yourself to find the best strategy for you. We are all unique so what is suitable for me may not be suitable for you. However, I know that you can find a way to meet new people when you listen to your heart and trust your inner voice.
What activities can you use instead of online dating that feel true to you?
Copyright © 2017, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.