Should I date someone I met online?

Online dating has always gotten a bad rep because there are a lot of people out there who ruin it for us. What with reports regarding date rape and the spread of HIV, who wouldn’t be scared of dating someone you meet online? Especially if you’re a woman on the prowl.

But here’s what they don’t tell you.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

There will always be bad people walking this planet. Your job is to look out for yourself and detect when something isn’t quite right.

On the flip side of things, there are far more good people in this world than there are bad. What if it works out? What if this person is the one you’re looking for? Then you would definitely regret not having given him/her a chance to get to know you. Whether or not the relationship built transcends into something romantic, at least you have gained a new friend, or a new member of your network.

I know of several people who have successful relationships borne from the internet. There are those who live continents apart and managed to make it work. There are even those that never blossomed into romance, but they ended up being good friends or even business partners. Technology should be used to communicate and forge relationships that would never have happened.

But how do you go on a date with someone you met online without being paranoid? Here are a couple of tips.

  • Find a common friend. I generally would trust someone I met online if we had at least ONE common friend who could vouch for him. Before a date, I would probably milk said common friend of any information I could get so I would know what to expect.
  • But what if you don’t have a common friend? Establish a relationship with him online for a little longer. It’s important that you get to know more personal details about your date for security and safety purposes. In the event you do decide to go out with him, you should leave any information that you can with a trusted friend. This way, if anything bad comes up, they would know where to find you.
  • Take a photo of your date and send it to your friend. Again, for emergency purposes.
  • Don’t try to over impress him. If you’re interested, it’s best to show him the real you instead of putting up a front. When you’re yourself, you enjoy the experience so much more. Remember: at the end of the day, your goal is to gain a new friend, and not necessarily a new boyfriend just yet.
  • Wear something comfortable. There’s nothing more annoying than having to pull down your skirt when it climbs up your butt, or having to constantly cover your cleavage. Trust me, your dating experience will fare much better when you dress more comfortably and decently rather than slutty. This way, you also won’t be bothered by your date constantly checking out your chest.
  • Have fun. This is a choice. It’s your choice to make the most of any experience and online dating turned real life is no different. Stop overanalyzing every single move he makes and just take it for what it is. If you’re worried about the kind of impression you’re making, he probably is too. Relax and enjoy. Treat him like you would a friend and everything will be easier.

xoxo,

Cristine

 

On Ending Your Relationship by Christmas

Has something about your relationship changed? Can you put your finger on what it is? Sometimes it’s obvious: perhaps your partner has cheated on you or their behaviour has become unacceptable, which makes it clear to you that the relationship needs to end. Other times, it’s more a subtle shift in the way you feel, which has happened over a period of time and you find yourself questioning whether you can really see yourself with them long term. It’s often the latter situation which is the hardest to deal with and can come as a surprise to your partner when you tell them it’s over.

When I trained to be a relationship counsellor, I was told the key in any relationship is communication. Good communication generally leads to good relationships, poor communication will likely lead to a poor relationship. We often avoid communicating how we feel for fear of hurting our partner’s feelings, feeling guilty or not wanting to deal with potential confrontation. So, we ‘drift’ on and for a while it seems ok. Nothing bad is happening, but nothing good is happening either.

Then a significant event, or significant time of the year is approaching and the quality of our relationship comes into view again. You may start asking yourself: Do I really want to spend Christmas with them, pretending everything is ok when it’s not? What about New Year’s Eve? Do I want to celebrate seeing the New Year in with them, when I know that I’m just about to dump them?

So, is there ever a good time to end a relationship? I don’t think there is a straightforward answer to that question. For myself, I would rather know that it’s over, than find myself questioning and reflecting afterward, whether they only stayed with me out of pity. Some however, would say that it’s cruel to break up just before Christmas, as it would spoil it for everyone. Whenever you choose, it’s never going to be easy. Breaking up is painful and emotional for both parties. There can be regret, sadness and guilt.

If you are considering ending your relationship before the festive season there are a few questions to ask yourself first:

1. Why did you fall in love with your partner in the first place?

Figure out if there are remnants of those feelings that can be rekindled if you focus on them.

2. Has the ‘love light’ switched off?

I think that love is like a pilot light, sometimes it is strong and vivid and you can clearly see it glowing. Sometimes it is low and subtle, but still burning. If the love light for your partner has switched off, it’s unlikely that it will switch on again.

3. Have you been sending subtle messages that your feelings have changed?

We are sending subliminal messages all the time, so perhaps your partner is far more aware than you think they are about your feelings, and it won’t be a surprise when you tell them you no longer love them.

4. What have you valued from your relationship with them?

All relationships help us learn more about ourselves and what’s important in a relationship to us. You clearly loved them once, share with them what you will always remember about the relationship, along with helping them understand what has changed and why your feelings for them have changed.

Remaining with someone when you no longer love them is unfair to them and to you. Everyone has the right to be happy and to be equally loved in a relationship. Ending a relationship is never easy, but it can be done with consideration, honesty and empathy… even if it’s just before Christmas.

What to do if you decide to break up

Rebecca McCann, a relationship therapist from Click For Therapy advises, “When you know your relationship has ended you know, and there’s very little you can do to convince yourself otherwise. The holiday season is difficult if you are in a relationship you don’t want to be in. So firstly be 100% sure that it’s what you want, otherwise if you end up getting back together this will be forever linked to Christmas.

“If you are totally sure then be honest, and think about the logistics. Think about where you will go for Christmas, what you will do, have a plan in your head before you end the relationship so that you don’t get pulled back in by logistics or your partner convincing you to stay just because its Christmas for example.

“A plan will help you to stay firm in your resolve. The other thing is make sure that you have someone you trust to spend the holidays with, this is part of being kind to yourself. You deserve to enjoy the season as much as you can, but you will need to extra TLC to do this so give yourself a break.”

***

From: Cosmopolitan