Whether you’re an online dating veteran or this is your first time using online dating services, being aware of your emotions will make online dating safer, more successful and more fun!
Read on to become better acquainted with your emotional responses and boundaries and use our emotional safety dating tips to get the most out of safe, successful online dating!
Online Dating Emotional Safety and Success Tips
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY LOOKING FOR?
Online dating will be a whole new chapter in your life, but what happened in the last chapter? Have you just come out of a relationship? Being ‘on the rebound’ is an expression for entering potentially unsuitable new relationships after a break-up to fill a gap in our lives. While there isn’t anything wrong with getting back in the saddle, being aware of your motivations in using online dating services will increase your chances of safe, successful online dating.
So ask yourself whether you’re really looking for a long-term partner or just want someone to go to the movies with and know there’s nothing wrong with the latter. After all, online dating is the perfect way to meet someone to discuss the plot with and hopefully they’ll explain what happened when you ducked out for more popcorn.
HOW WOULD YOU REACT
How would you feel and react if someone you had met through an online dating service gave an in depth account of their private life at the very beginning of your online dating communication? Would you feel pressured to respond with a similar account of your own life? How would you feel if someone you had met through online dating kept their profile visible on an online dating service after you had made some sort of commitment?
Online dating is real dating and the associated risks to your emotional safety are also real. To ensure safe, successful online dating you must become familiar with your own emotional responses and identify your emotional boundaries to protect yourself and your online dating partners from being hurt.
ESTABLISHING EMOTIONAL BOUNDARIES
If something makes you feel uncomfortable, induces a sinking feeling in your stomach or upsets you in any way then examine, recognize and learn from that response; you’ve just found an emotional boundary! For example, if receiving lots of personal information from an online dating partner makes you feel uncomfortable and pressured into sharing your own information, you have identified an emotional boundary relating to personal information.
The next step is to define and discuss this boundary with your online dating partner which isn’t as scary as it sounds. In fact defining and discussing the boundary is as simple as saying “I’m glad you’re happy to share that information with me but I’m not comfortable discussing my own personal life in detail just yet”. Next time you experience similar feelings you’ll know your emotional boundaries have been breached and you’ll be more confident in dealing with any such situations while using online dating services.
RESPECTING OTHER PEOPLE'S EMOTIONAL BOUNDARIES
Remember that you can’t read someone’s facial expression or body language when they open your email or instant messages during online dating. You might think a conversation is flowing along nicely without realizing the other person is feeling pressured into or uncomfortable about the discussion. A simple way to ensure your online dating partner is comfortable in your conversation is to give them options.
If, for example, you’ve just shared a story about your relationship history, give them the option of not reciprocating by saying “So that’s my story but if you’re not comfortable sharing yours just yet that’s fine, I’ll understand.” One of the biggest dating no no’s is to use anything revealed to you, such as fears or insecurities, to pressure an online dating partner in any way. This is a major breach of online dating etiquette and is potentially devastating to your online dating partner’s emotional safety.
MINOR MISTAKE, MAJOR UNDERSTANDING
Communicating through online dating services means we can’t rely on body language and vocal tones to gather information in our relationships. This difficulty can be exacerbated by typos, grammatical errors and differing language ability causing a simple email to become a minefield of misunderstanding.
When using online dating services you must realize there is a larger scope for miscommunication and misinterpretation than in the offline world. If you are offended by a comment it may be worth clarifying the author’s intent before taking it to heart. Likewise, be aware that you risk offending someone if your sarcastic remark comes across as genuine or your comments clash with language barriers and constraints.