Our life is governed by rules from childhood to adulthood; ‘eat your vegetables’, ‘don’t run down the stairs’, ‘don’t be late to work’. Even our love life seems to be governed by rules. Eighteen years ago a book called The Rules that we were meant to follow in order to guarantee a perfect love life. In those days, before online dating there were rules like: ‘Don’t ask a man on a date!’ ‘Don’t ask him to dance first!’ ‘Don’t call him first!’ ‘Don’t accept a date for Saturday if he asks you after Wednesday.’
Well, Jenni Trent-Hughes, the relationship expert from eHarmony, wants to help you get rid of the rule book and find love when dating online!
“If you’ve found that ‘not accepting a date for Saturday if they asked you after Wednesday’ worked for you, then I’m not going to tell you any different.” Jenni says. “However as it’s 2013, I suspect that you have realised that there is no magic secret; but I’m glad to say there is one tip that will help to bring you success or at the very least, remove some of the obstacles you may have stumbled over in the past.
“Rules are like walls and sometimes walls need to be demolished to let the light in. Step outside your comfort zone and see what happens – be the dater you want to be not the one you’ve been told to be.
“My one tip is this: Write your own rules! No one knows you better than you know yourself,” Jenni says. “You know what you’re capable of. You know what your parameters are. What you will be brave enough to do and what is going to be totally against your character, and you know what feels right.
“I’m not going to tell you what not to do! You can figure that out yourself. I’ll just remind you of some things to do to help increase your chances of success when dating online.
1. Reach out: If you see a profile that you like the look or sound of then make contact. There is no point spending weeks peeking at each other through cyberspace – say hello.
2. Step outside your regular boundaries: Online dating is a golden opportunity to interact with people you might not originally have considered. Remember the first time, against your better judgement, you chose coconut ice cream and now it’s your favourite? That person who is a little older, a bit younger, that you’re attracted to but doesn’t match up to your usual ‘type’. That might just be The One.
3. If you want to ask them out – just do it: Man or woman, we are in the 21st Century and we can do things that are new without the roof caving in. Traditionally men might have been the first to initiate a date, however things have evolved and it’s flattering to be asked out whatever your sex.
4. Be honest: Be yourself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Forget mind games, just be yourself and eventually you will find someone who is exactly the person you are looking for and you to them.
5. Learn to let go: We all have baggage, but when it comes to dating try to leave any hang ups at the door. Negative experiences in the past can affect the way you approach a new relationship, and although it’s good to be cautious, it’s also good to go in with a fresh new slate. Have fun and let your true self be at the forefront.”