Throughout history dating has always been an important stage within people’s lives, so much so that choosing a partner was often removed from the hands of those doing the actual dating. Whether we look at particular cultures known for their strong belief in matchmaking, or eras where chaperones and class systems featured heavily, it’s clear that making the right choices is considered crucial. What the dating world hadn’t banked on perhaps, was relationships in the digital age. A time in history when you can love incognito, never having to reveal, let alone explain your dating decisions.
The concept of buying help to find a suitable mate is not new and goes back way before the Internet. Ten years ago, having an online dating profile or matchmaker was something you only told people who ‘got it’. And those people were few and far between. With the rise of apps and sites, along with a plethora of success stories, the embarrassment in your choice of how to find love may now have diminished, but it has in no way disappeared. With all the personal experiences we have, as well as watching others go through the dating process, one of the biggest and best pieces of advice has to be to own your choice of how to date. You don’t need to shout it from the rooftops, but you do need to stand by it without fear of other people’s judgment.
You want love, so you’re going to go find it
Deciding to take charge of your relationship status is an admirable thing to do, so never confuse being a private person with being too embarrassed to be honest. The world is filled with people who settle or remain single because life hasn’t hand-delivered the partner of their dreams. They forget, that everything else in life we work for, we try to be in the right place at the right time, we set goals, we hang with people who make us feel good, see professionals who make us feel better. The dating world is just another life situation and we must choose the route we, not our friends, feel will offer the best results. You have to remember, backgrounds and fears can dictate the decisions people make and you cannot find love based on someone else’s opinion of what is the right thing to do. Being open about your choice to go online, meet a matchmaker or to go on blind dates will give you added confidence in your dating life.
This is my love life, not yours
Successful people know that to get what you need, sometimes you have to be creative and do things a little differently. If you know that your happiness lies in being with someone half your age, from a different culture or with a fuller figure, then do not let anything stop you from standing by that knowledge. Our circle of friends and even acquaintances can have a massive impact on our dating choices. It can affect the places we take our date, if we make introductions to family and even if we marry or have children with them. The less investment you have in how the relationship you want ‘fits’ society’s expectation of you, the better your chances of finding the companionship you need.
It may work out, it may not, so support me or don’t
Whether a date goes spectacularly well and ends in the committed relationship you wanted or it crashes and burns, you need to keep two things in mind. Firstly, you made a choice to start this journey, to invest time, money, efforts or gym sessions, and you did so knowing full well that success was not guaranteed. It’s not only the people around you saying ‘I told you so’ that need to understand this, you do as well. Support your own choices and go easy on your dating self.
Secondly, you have as much choice about your next step as you had about your first. Shake off the disillusionment, the self doubt or any blame and use both dating wins and losses to inform or change the future choices you make. Revise your profile, get a dating coach, be more specific or more relaxed with your matchmaker. Whatever you do, for heaven’s sake don’t give up.
Article commissioned by elite match making service Berkeley International