A French woman and personal life coach's outlook on self-confidence, communication and relationships. How to gain and manage them to get what and who you deserve.

Posts tagged ‘online dating’

Facebook: the future of on line dating ?

find me on FB

I started online dating even before the era of the Internet. At the time, only a happy few could use it: the connection was expensive and it was not socially admitted yet. I’ve met a bunch of very interesting people this way, many friends, and my daughter’s father, most of them I’m still in touch with after decades. Because it was somehow a “private club”.

Then came the Internet, as we know it now. So I moved on to dating websites, the most famous at the time being Match.com which still exists, though it has changed a lot since. There again, although the access was free, I’ve met great people because not anybody would go on-line to date. It took a while, a decade or so, for the majority to acknowledge it was a great new way to meet somebody and openly admit they tried it.

As online dating became more and more successful, websites went multiplying. More or less all similar. A few tried to stand out offering various features, soon copied by the others.
Nowadays you can find all types of websites, targeting all kinds of people (Christians, Black, Asians, So-called “selected” ones, etc…). Some, like E-Harmony for instance, even offer to help you go through the dating process.
Of course, the main ones would suggest you “matches”, based on your requirements and “so-called” personality and compatibility tests. How many did you find who were actually real matches to you though ? Not very surprising it doesn’t wonderfully work, since people are not machines and a computer, at least for the time being, can’t replace the human brain, even less understand your feelings.

I don’t mean you can’t meet your significant other on dating websites. Thank God, it can work ! :D And fortunately so, for more and more ask you to pay for a membership, so I guess the very least you can expect is to meet potential matches, right ? :) Yet, more often than not, the return on investment is rather low, isn’t it ?

Nowadays, those sites have become so crowdy that everybody, the best and the worst, is on there now. So you can’t even tell for sure whom you’re actually talking to. Scammers of all kinds, liars, pretenders, etc, etc… the list is endless.
And to contact those people, you would have to pay? Don’t expect the websites to do the cast out for you!
True that most scammers wouldn’t bother to become a member, although many do. They see it as an investment. But, even though, paying for a membership doesn’t protect you from all the others and there is certainly no guarantee of result.

On the other hand, four of my friends recently met on Facebook and are now married.
And, coming to think of it, I begun to realize Facebook (and other social media, but Facebook is the biggest) was actually a fantastic tool to date on-line, although differently, using different codes and processes.
As for me, I’m convinced, although it has already started, it will become more and more popular among on-line daters in the future.

So I thought of comparing the different “services” those sites offer versus what you can find on Facebook for instance. Which is the most effective ? Who can take advantage of moving on from dating on dedicated sites to Facebook. ? The pros and cons of each.

This is what I shall detail in another post. Stay tuned ! ;)

Americans date, French meet : one word, a thousand implications

Dating websites” in French is translated as “sites de rencontres”, literally “meeting websites”. We wouldn’t talk about “dates” here, but about “meetings”.
It may sound like a detail. Though it reveals much more than just a difference of language ; it shows a difference of mentality.

Different words, different implications, different influences on our approach of the other gender.

rendez-vous

French surf on “meeting websites”. When they make contacts, their primary idea is to exchange with interesting people, get to know them a little and see if they have enough in common to expect to spend a fun time together. If so, then meet up and take it from there. There are seldom unrealistic expectations on either side. No pressure.

The idea of finding the “right person” is not our #1 priority at all. We actually don’t even think of it. That dream of “instant chemistry” and “love at first sight” can entertain us in movies ; we don’t systematically hope, even less expect it to come true in real life. We don’t go to “dates” with the secret expectation of meeting our “soul mate”. We certainly expect no miracle to happen over a quick cup of coffee or even a dinner.
It may not sound romantic, but the French are realistic people. :)

I’ve found out it was somewhat different in the USA. I’ve found out women, as well as men actually, when they go on a date, often hold higher expectations than just “meeting someone nice and friendly”. This, in my opinion, not only puts an undue pressure on themselves, but also a heavy load on the date.
Such pressure shatters the self-confidence. It becomes difficult to act naturally. Difficult, under those circumstances, to look one’s best. Too many projections and questions going on… This often leads to the mistake of focusing more on themselves than on the other person. They lose focus of what the real deal should be : to meet another human being.
It is harder to be rejected by someone you expected a lot from than by just anybody. And this, should the person suit you or not. It leads you to question your power of attraction.
Therefore, many either daren’t even go for it.
Many others don’t fail to be disappointed when they meet somebody they’ve started to date on-line. Of course, nobody, ever, can be up to a fantasy! Therefore they would soon get discouraged and throw the towel off. :(
The higher the expectations, the bigger the disappointment.

The realistic French know that. So they take and make meeting via websites easier and lighter. We would go to the “date” we actually don’t call “date” in a relaxed state of mind. No big expectations and certainly not the one to meet our life partner.
As long as the other person is polite and educated enough, a good and fun conversationalist, we’re quite able to enjoy the meeting, even though the chemistry is not there.
We may never see each other again, set no other meeting, even less fall in love, but this is not a pre-requirement. Therefore we seldom feel we’ve wasted our time and get discouraged because we’ve not met our “soul mate” or “other half” or “the one”. We have enjoyed a nice evening and that’s fine. :)
Because we seek to meet another human being first.

I’ve met people on-line for decades and never, ever, experienced any disappointment. People were always who they said they were and very close to whom I expected to meet. I can perfectly meet people who don’t seem to meet my requirements as far as romantic relationships go, only because I find their personality interesting, fun, unusual, even sometimes fascinating. So what ? Life and relationships don’t boil down to finding Mr or Mrs Right, do they ? Life can be full of surprises and you may meet the right person when you expect it the least. Online profiles seldom gives you a 100% accurate idea of who the person really is, and certainly doesn’t tell ALL of him (her).

A quick poll among my friends shows I am not an exception. :)
They all clearly stated they’d never been to a “meet up” with anything else in mind than curiosity, openness and the desire to get to know somebody a priori interesting.
Sure, men often expect to get at least a one night stand, yet not all of them. Should things happen not to end this way, there is no hard feelings because, after all, no promise has been made and no definite expectation set. If some sort of positive connection takes place, chances are you can become friends or at least keep in touch. At any rate make the most of the meeting and turn it into something positive for both. And if it doesn’t work out for some reason, no drama.

Just a little switch in terminology can bring quite a different outcome. How does it sound ? :)