Don't Let Online Dating Overwhelm You

Online dating can open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. But it can also open up your own version of Pandora's box.

When you first download a dating app and set up your profile, you get a swarm of potential interactions all at once. You're trying to figure out which possibilities you're interested in, so you're looking, reading and swiping over and over. So many faces, so little time.

Then you start sending messages and receiving them. Some you're thrilled with, and some not so much.

Running on Empty
You focus on one special one that catches your eye, but you sense that they're playing the field. So you do too.

Then you might end up juggling so many balls that you're not sure you can handle it. And by balls, I mean real people who have dating possibilities.

Actually, though, sometimes they're not real. They're people trying to play you and get money with some scheme that's surreal.

OK, let's leave those losers out of the picture. You'll recognize them soon enough. They're too good to be true and fall "in love" with you before they've even spoken to you on the phone. Skip those scammers!

Weighing Your Options
But back to the actual possible dates. It can get overwhelming talking to several prospects at once. You message back and forth, while messaging other interesting people. Then you start trying to arrange dates.

And as the messages spin back and forth, you've got to remember the differences. What was their name again? What do you have in common?

And then naturally you start making comparisons. This one has young kids. That one seems clingy. This one shares your interests. That one's so very attractive. This one has an interesting job. That one loves the kind of adventures you've been dying to try.

And when you finally start making dates, figuring out which nights you're free can be difficult. You don't want to go out every night or you'd be wiped out. You do need some time to catch up with your current life and recharge.

Maybe Missing Out
But you also have that ever-present FOMO. Fear of missing out will lead you to talk to people who're borderline on your potentially acceptable list. If you set yourself on do not disturb for an evening, you worry that you'll miss the chance to interact with the one person you're meant to be with forever.

Stop putting that pressure on yourself to decide yes or no right away. Pace yourself, sweetie!

If you miss out because you've taken a break, that means you're living IRL The person who's meant to be with you will wait. They'll understand that you have a life and that you'll get back to them when you're free to play and explore.

Plus a little bit of waiting can go a long way toward asserting your personality and your desirability. You don't need to rush for anyone.

Setting Your Priorities
Keep your real life your priority, and you'll be good no matter whether you get 10 dates or zero from this particular app. The people who get you will be there for you when the dates dry up. So let the digital dates wait, and finish your business with the people you care about before responding to messages from potential mates.

Go at your own pace or don't go at all. Anyone who pressures you is worth blowing off like a tea kettle and its screeching steam.

Anyone who deserves you will let you heat up at your own pace. So chill!

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