I’ve mentioned in the past I’ve explored the international online dating world a bit.
Sometime I’ll share how I got into all that.
I still keep my toes wet in it from time to time.
Because I consider it a great resource.
There are good things to be learned there that apply to North American online dating too.
In a recent video Mark Edward Davis of Dream Connections correctly identifies that unless you meet someone in person, your mind will fill in the gaps between the few things their profile is giving you and the actual reality.
When you’re dating online it is too easy to fall in love with pictures.
Fall in love with the brief description the person has given you.
Fall in love with the experience you have chatting.
But that’s not falling in love with the REAL person.
For this reason I recommend getting offline as quickly as possible.
When I message girls I only do a couple messages back and forth so we can both see we’re not psychos. Then I pitch for a meet up.
If a girl won’t meet with me without a long, extended chat thread I pass.
Because you cannot come to know a person through a profile.
You cannot come to know a person just through chatting.
You MUST meet in person.
Mark recommends this with International Dating too and that is all good so far.
But even this is not enough.
If you check out what Dream Connections does, you’d guess they think it is.
They bring you to Ukraine or Colombia or Thailand to meet the girls, because they believe you have to experience real chemistry.
Only then can you truly pursue a real connection.
They think it is enough to get you in person so the real connection can happen.
A lot of people think this too.
They’re looking for that chemistry.
But this is just as big a mistake.
What you’re not realizing is when you meet someone and experience those attraction feelings, they cause you to miss information too.
I was in a relationship with a girl once who recognized this.
She was starting to feel romantically in love with me.
But she was nervous about it.
As we were hugging and kissing one time she said to me:
“I know when people fall in love what really happens is they create a fantasy of the person and then fall in love with that.”
Sounds good right?
She was seeing it for what it is and calling a spade a spade.
Well not quite.
Because she finished with, “But I love you.”
Of course I’m not saying she shouldn’t have felt she loved me.
She did feel that way.
Affirming that was fine.
But what she was emphasizing is when those attraction feelings come on, you don’t really see the person the way they really are.
You see them as you want to see them.
As your mind is making them appear.
Your mind is “filling in the gaps” as Mark says.
But it doesn’t just do this when you’re chatting online.
It does this when you feel that spark of attraction in person too.
This is why those feelings are called the “honeymoon” feelings.
They are known to last between 6 months to 3 years in a new relationship.
There is nothing quite like New Relationship Energy (NRE).
I’ve talked about this before.
But such feelings always fade.
If your relationship is based on nothing more than these initial attraction reactions, you’re going to be in trouble.
So a better approach is to doubt those feelings.
Doubt what they are telling you.
Like this girl I mentioned was doing?
You can’t change how you feel.
You don’t need to.
But you need to recognize those feelings are simply not enough.
And you don’t actually need those intense feelings to begin a good relationship either.
Instead what you need is to give your relationship time.
Take time to really get to know your partner in as many different real life situations as you can.
See the way she lives at home.
Pop by his workplace and see how he responds to you in front of his workmates.
Yes, go see her family!
The fruit never falls far from the tree!
Take a vacation together.
LOTS and LOTS of time.
Because you never really fall in love with anybody. You only fall in love with a fantasy you’ve created about them that is perfect.
The real person is far from that ideal.
THAT is the person you need to come to love.
And you cannot come to love a REAL person by falling in love with them.
You can only come to love them by spending genuine time with them so they gradually grow on you.
In full awareness of their shortcomings.
Once you love someone, warts and all, you really love them.
Then you can value your partner for who he or she is.
And they can do the same.
That is real romantic love.
Don’t settle for anything less!
What do you think? Do you ever really fall in love with anybody?
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