Dec 13, 2017
By Melissa Ferrari
In this digital age, there are so many options to finding love on line. Subscribe here, browse there, search and connect. In one quick click or a swipe right – you’ve already lined up your next date – or two – and maybe, just maybe he or she is the ‘one’. The problem is that, like shifting sand, it seems the dating game is changing.
The trick is at first to understand it and also to understand yourself. Here, leading psychotherapist and relationship expert, Melissa Ferrari, shares her tips on dating in the new age:
- Choose The Right Site – there are so many dating sites and apps available and they each offer something different. Before you start browsing or hopping, it pays to do your research. Ask yourself, ‘what am I looking for?’. There is a difference between casual, carefree dating occasionally and looking for love. Check out the site’s credentials and how they operate before you join up – it will save you time and frustration later.
- Trust Your Instinct – if you are talking to someone online or have been for some time, tune into your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right about the person you have been in touch with, then more than likely, it isn’t. It is very easy for people to misrepresent themselves, often termed ‘catfishing’ or ‘kittenfishing’. Be alert and look for clues, such as too good to be true photographs or unrealistic profiles, before you agree to a date. The good thing about sites such as Date My Friend, is that you already have a recommendation from a trusted source, so you cut the risk straight away.
- Comfort Zone – once you agree to a date, set your terms so you feel comfortable. This applies to both parties. Men and women can often feel equally nervous about a first meeting and so choosing a mutually acceptable meeting place and time is important. Many say they prefer to meet during the day for a coffee for an agreed amount of time. That way, nobody feels bad when it’s time to leave. And of course, if you’re both having a great time and feel comfortable to stay – you have the option.
- Who Pays – these days, there are no hard and fast rules around bill splitting. While some men feel they need to offer to pay, many women prefer to pay their share to avoid the feeling of obligation that comes when someone pays for you. If you feel anxious about it, then make it clear before the date either online or via a quick text if you’ve gone off-line, to avoid any awkward moments later.
- Honesty’s the best policy – if you decide you’re not going on a second date, yet he or she is keen, polite honesty is the best policy. That way, you don’t keep anyone hanging on and you are free to continue your search.
- Don’t date virtually for too long without meeting up – As a therapist working with people looking for love I have found that sometimes getting caught in chatting for too long online can cause people to get loving feelings for someone they haven’t yet met. Be careful to not let the online process go for weeks (and for some even months) before meeting the person in real life.
Melissa Ferrari is one of Australia’s most sought-after relationship experts and is renowned for her warmth and engaging personality. Through her private counselling sessions, seminars and couples retreats, Melissa has helped thousands of individuals and couples gain insight into their relationship problems and has given them the tools to help them resolve ongoing conflicts and move towards developing and maintaining a loving and connected relationship. For more info visit www.melissaferrari.com.au or follow her on Facebook.