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From a date to a relationship

If the going gets a little tough …

Getting started with online dating is exciting. Almost anything can seem possible ... But sometimes things don’t move as fast as you would like. In which case, don’t get discouraged – here are some ideas.

If the going gets a little tough …

Creating your profile, receiving the first approaches, maybe a first date ... It can be heady stuff … But if seems to be taking some time for Mr or Ms Right to turn up, then you can maybe get a little disillusioned and less motivated to spend time on your chosen dating site.

Susanne, a 36-year-old PR consultant, feels that “After 10 weeks as a member of Parship I seem to have lost my initial sense of enthusiasm.” Sabine Wery von Limont, Parship’s resident psychologist is familiar with this syndrome: “To start with, you are on a high. It’s a bit like craving for chocolate. You eat the whole bar in 10 minutes and then you can’t face the thought of any more chocolate for a while.”

The secret to keeping your dating appetite is to keep your objective in sight and use your time on Parship to best effect. Here are a few pointers …

1. Worth the wait
Make a profile … wait a bit … fall in love … get married. If only it were that simple. Parship offers an outstanding service and exposes you to a whole new range of people and options, but it can’t work miracles. The potential for finding love is there, but you can’t expect everything to happen on the turn. Ten weeks, the period Susanne had spent as a member, is not a very long time – she certainly did not have cause to feel so disappointed. As in ‘real life’, dating needs to run its course online, and that can take some time.

2. Take things at your own pace
When you first start online dating, you might need to resist the temptation of spending the whole day in front of your computer screen. Otherwise you might well reach a point where your enthusiasm is replaced by a sense of routine. Sabine Wery von Limont suggests that: “You should start by taking things a little slowly. Take a careful look at your recommended partners’ profiles and don’t send dozens and dozens of contact request in one fell swoop and then just stop there, but take some time to enjoy the process. That way you’ll look forward to continuing.”

3. Avoid a sense of routine
Routine and romance don’t go well together. If you let yourself get into the habit of simply managing your contacts on Parship, you could be putting your prospects of success at risk. “Your attitude is important,” emphasises Sabine Wery von Limont. If your approach is: ‘Well, I’ve paid, so I might as well …’, then you are not doing yourself any favours.

4. Don’t take rejection to heart
“After some emails and two phone calls, a man I liked to sound of didn’t get back in touch,” Susanne told us. Yes, that kind of thing can be denting to one’s confidence, but pretty much every member of Parship will have experienced something similar. It’s the way things sometimes go, whether online or in ‘real life’.

5. Avoid knee-jerk reactions
When you’re feeling frustrated by an aspect of online dating, don’t just react by expressing your anger in writing or even by deleting your profile. Ultimately you will be making things worse for yourself. If you don’t have a profile, then no-one is going to be able to contact you, while some spiky words on your ‘About me’ page or in a contact request aren’t necessarily going to make the most positive impression on a potential partner. Even if you make a partial withdrawal by deleting your ‘About me’ page or refusing to show your photo to anyone, you are going to reduce your chances of success. If you are feeling in a less positive mood, take a few days away from the site and go easy on yourself.

6. Look at the way you present yourself
If the approaches you are getting from other members don’t seem to match what you’re looking for, take another careful look at what you have written on your profile and think afresh about the way you express yourself in emails: your profile is, after all, a kind of ‘brief’ to other members of Parship. Perhaps you will pick up a few clues as to what other members might be misinterpreting.

7. Have some fun
Dating should be fun, even if it’s not roses all the way. You should be able to enjoy meeting people off Parship, even if love doesn’t blossom. These are people with whom you are likely to have something in common and they could even become friends. Perhaps they might even end up introducing you to someone who turns out to be just what you’re looking for.

8. Don’t exclude too many possibilities
When you’ve got in touch with someone online, you can know a lot about them without really knowing them … their background, what job they do, what they like to do in their spare time, even what they look like. It can be dangerous to reject someone on the basis of this knowledge without engaging in some closer interaction. There are all sorts of other things that might appeal to you about a person … their voice, their humour - aspects that don’t leap from an online profile. It can pay to give the benefit of the doubt to someone you don’t yet know.

9. Speed isn’t everyhting
It can be exhilarating to receive an immediate response when you send a contact request, but if you don’t get a response immediately, don’t jump to any conclusions. The other person might have other things on their mind at the moment, or just might not be visiting Parship as regularly as you do. If someone takes a little time to answer, it might even mean that their interest is that much greater - they’ve taken time to think about it.

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