One of the biggest shackles of dating is the inability to interact with others in a confident manner. The crippling fear of being judged or looked down on by your partner coupled with inexperience of social interactions could potentially hinder your chances of meeting someone in a bar or night club.
But don’t be afraid! Online dating is a viable alternative for singles dealing with social anxiety because you don’t need to first meet your partner face-to-face right away and have plenty of time to get to know each other before testing the waters with an actual date. On top of all this, there are other factors that make virtual matchmaking even more alluring if you suffer from feelings of inadequacy of anxiety.
Defeating Your Fears Is the First Step
There are a few things you should know about online dating. First of all, convincing yourself to actually start the signup process is the hardest part. The registration is always streamlined and the profile section can be edited to your heart’s content. Secondly, don’t shy away from uploading photos. Most sites won’t include a profile in the matchmaking algorithm unless it has at least one certified image but boasting at least three or four studio-quality pictures will certainly increase your attraction level tenfold.
And finally, never start a conversation by mentioning your shortcomings. Being shy, nervous or inexperienced is completely okay and if you have the bravery to combat them then you’ll surely succeed in your dating endeavors. However, dropping such negativity on your partner right off the bat shouts insecurity, which would not give your prospective partner much to stick around for. If you feel more comfortable mentioning that you suffer from social anxiety, then it might be better to bring it up only after you have developed a bond and feel relaxed talking with your date.
Handling the Situation Tactically
The biggest virtue of online dating is that you have all the time in the world to prepare. You don’t need to react immediately; in fact, the system rewards a more tactical approach. This is a huge advantage for someone with social anxiety, as they might prefer to plan their next move. If you are the kind of person who spends hours coming up with the right word for describing themselves then your well-written ‘About me’ section will surely catch someone’s eye.
Online dating is also tactical in the sense that rushing to answer someone’s message could scare away an otherwise promising date. Keep in mind that there are certain times of the day when answering is a no-no, so use this downtime to read the other person’s profile page to learn about their hobbies and come up with conversation ideas. Consider also browsing the search results in hopes of finding a second love interest; online dating is a game where you can keep more than one iron in the fire.
Finding a Dating Site That Suits You
The best advice we can give you in terms of finding a fitting dating service is to stay away from Tinder… at least for now. Believe us, a platform built around the idea of photo-based matchmaking and quick hook-ups would be jumping in at the deep end; maybe consider this approach after you’ve practiced the craft of online dating through trial and tribulation and feel more comfortable with the process. On the other hand, the concept of online dating apps — or more precisely dating services that have a version for smartphones — are worth considering since they can be fired up anytime if you feel the mood for it.
As for actual dating site recommendations, you should focus on services that implement features such as compatibility index or a personality test. eHarmony and OkCupid are the most popular candidates because their multi-layered matchmaking gives singles an incentive to check someone else’s profile and not to judge solely on the profile picture. Both of them use numbers to indicate how many common interests two people share, which is not only a good ice breaker but also a morale booster for someone who might otherwise lack confidence.
If you feel uncomfortable around complete strangers or afraid of being rejected for simply being different from the norm, then seek out a dating site that caters to a niche group of people. There are specific platforms for Christian, Jewish, Afro-American or Asian singles, joining one of them will guarantee that you and your partner have at least one shared attribute.
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