By Carly Sackellares, MSW
I invite you to notice any sensations in your body as you ponder this question:
What is it like to think about the idea that there's enough to go around in the online dating space?
For some people, this sentiment can be hopeful! They might picture online dating like a stream. Chapter 5, Staying Healthily Self-Centered (and Zen) as You Get to Know a Match in Naked Online describes it this way:
We talk about the people available to be met and interviewed as a pool, but if you think about it, a stream is a more accurate image. New people are joining the websites all the time, and people are leaving because they've met someone or because they're fed up, washed out. Pacing ourselves and staying in the stream increases the probability of finding a successful match, given time.
If your body screams, "What's all this about a STREAM? All the GOOD matches have evaporated like a puddle in the Sahara sun!" I offer some thoughts for calming your emotion ocean.
1. Someone's profile cannot tell you whether or not they will be a good fit.
The only way to know if someone is a match is to interact with them. If interacting feels overwhelming, this may signify your body's need for self-support. I invite the Chi for Two® practice Potentially Supportive Surfaces. You can notice any place where your body touches a Potentially Supportive Surface. You can notice any tension in your body in those places of connection. When we’re babies we need support from a person. Are you looking for a lover to support you? And maybe that is creating a sense of desperation. By utilizing the potential of non-human things to support us, we strengthen our ability to self-support. When we feel capable of self-support, the exploratory aspect of dating can be fun.
2. Find your own timeline and your own unique timing.
Humans are social creatures. We evolved as herd animals and are wired to belong. Not belonging feels like being kicked out of the herd to fend for ourselves, likely leading to our death. In modern-day society, this cycle plays out in our connection with our caregivers. We may feel the need to bend and twist and change ourselves to please our caregivers because we needed them for survival as babies. It can help to remind yourself that, as an adult, you are not tied to anyone's expectations besides your own. You know your body better than anyone else. You can decide when you feel like playfully engaging with matches and when it is time to rest.
3. Make space for healthy self-expression and build self-compassion.
Chi for Two practices invite healthy self-expression. Strengthening your mind-body connection helps you show up authentically. Recognizing these movements as practices builds self-compassion. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to be individuated within the dance of your online dating relationships.
Curious about Chi for Two? I am ready to coach your inner-coach. You can reach out to me by email at email@example.com or by phone at (678) 242-9519. I look forward to hearing from you!