And an introduction to what you can do instead...
As you’ve probably surmised from my previous writings, I think online dating is a pretty versatile and cool resource, if you know how to use it. If you don’t, it’s a vampiric, disillusioning rabbit hole of DOOM! It’s all about why you use it and how.
I have enjoyed playing with it and have met a lot of pretty awesome souls that way. AND I realized a few weeks back that it had fallen from it’s role as empowering to disempowering when I wasn’t looking!
I was at the coffee shop ordering a coconut milk matcha latte (my fave) when I looked over and sitting by the door was a deliciously handsome man working away on his laptop. I was gazing at him all gushy with my big, blue peepers when he must have felt my eyes on him and looked up. Without thinking I immediately pretended I was doing something very interesting on my phone while my inner love goddess rolled her eyes, crossed her arms, and shook her head at my bashfulness.
My drink came and as I walked out we made eye contact and, YES, the spark was there. So what did I do? Did I smile? Nope. What about slow down? Nope. Did I stop and pay him a compliment to make way for a conversation that could create the opportunity for a date to be discussed? No. I. Did. Not. And yes, my inner love goddess was stamping her foot with futile frustration by this point.
As I walked away I mused at how I had unconsciously NOT played full-out for myself AND had simultaneously been consciously witnessing my folly. I love these in-and-out-of-body experiences because I always learn a ton.
I realized that because I had digital dating in my back pocket, I subconsciously had an excuse not to be bold in the real world when a luscious - and of course nerve wracking - little opportunity presented itself. This was the moment I realized that online dating had become a hindrance instead of an amplifier in my life and that it was time to delete my darling dating crutch. You may or may not be inspired to do the same.
What’s important is to ask yourself: Is this serving me at the highest level? If the answer is ‘yes’, keep doing what you’re doing!!! If the answer is ‘no’, then it’s time to have an honest conversation with your sweet self.
I did it because I have a contract with myself that if I realize that there is a bolder, more courageous, and most importantly, a juicier way to show up for and participate in my life, then there is no other option but to do so. That is my commitment to myself.
Before dating apps, people had to muster the courage, audacity, and gumption to talk to one another and put themselves in the way of love and connection. It’s how most of us came into existence. And if it worked for the majority of humanity for so long, I figured that maybe I might just give it a whirl.
So, as I am wont to do, I set out some goals to hit. Goals that I have the power to make happen and that aren’t reliant on anyone else’s participation or approval. The only person who has to be in her power for me to be a success at this stuff is me! Here are three new practices that I decided to play around with when I am out moving through the real world.
1. How bold and juicy can I really be?
This helps me smile at strangers, start conversations with people I might not otherwise, and take interactions with people I already know to deeper and more interesting places. Plus, I love myself to pieces when I am anchored to my boldest and juiciest self.
2. How playful and flirtatious can I be with everybody?
I still feel like a novice when it comes to flirting. So naturally I decided to flirt with everybody. LOL. Men, women, hot or not, old or young. I used to only try to flirt with people I was beaucoup attracted to and I would get tongue tied and dorky and weird. The stakes were too high. So now I try to flirt with everybody and share my magic with anybody who is willing to engage. All this really means is challenging myself to freely compliment people when I notice something lovely, say ‘hello’, crack a joke to try to make someone smile or laugh, or best of all, create a bonafide, beautiful conversation with someone for a hot minute. Novel ideas - I know!
3. How unapologetically me can I be?
This one is by far the scariest, the most important, and the most rewarding goal of all. It’s something that I am constantly practicing and I’ll admit that my batting average isn’t exactly perfect. What’s been fun to explore is how in every single moment I can choose what this looks like and and it’s become pretty hard to hoodwink or lie to myself. This means I do a lot of course correction and permission giving to myself. And each time I reorient to the truer version of myself I feel lit up like embodied lightning (Yes, really!)… Only to have to do it all over again the next time I realize I’m not showing up for life the way I want to.
So far it has been a blast. I’ve made a couple men blush, made lots of people laugh and smile, made a new weird friend, and gotten asked out on three dates. Not bad for a few weeks practice if I do say so myself!
So… if online dating is still serving you, keep on keepin’ on with your bad self! But if you are feeling the need for a change and want a new way to date that isn’t digital, start by deleting your accounts, apps, and profiles.
Dare to date differently.
What the heck is “dating differently” and how do you go about doing it and loving it? Great question! Stay tuned for next week’s blog and I’ll get all up in that nitty gritty!!
May you love and live like nobody else!!
With heaping doses of wild love,