Imagine for a moment, that you were an emotional predator and that, in order for you to just feel normal, you needed people to like you and to want you. You’ve got to con your way into your target’s life, heart and/or bed, in order to obtain this objective, and you need to do so quickly and with the least amount of effort. What would you do? Where would you go to achieve this?
Online dating sites are ripe with emotional manipulators. At the touch of a button, you can sort through a myriad of profiles, just like you would leaf through a catalogue. And at the same time, you can create your own profile, whose sole purpose is to attract as many prey as possible. In this imaginary online world, you can lie about your age, your profession, your income, your education, your likes and dislikes and if you’re a somatic Narcissist you can even post muscled body pics, or highly provocative cleavage shots, for just the right effect.
“I typed in the nickname he uses on his Xbox and social media accounts. This search led me to his profile on the free dating site, Plenty of Fish…his profile was filled with so many lies, lies about the most basic things. He said “I love my job and work all the time.” He was unemployed 75 percent of the time in our relationship and always had an excuse for it. He wrote that he “loves the beach” and “being outdoors.” I’m a surfer and a beach person — the two years that we were together, he went to the beach with me ONCE and complained the whole time. We lived next door to our city’s version of Central Park, and he never went walking or hiking there with me. Instead, he chose to drink beer, play Xbox and talk on the headset to his friends.”
And since you don’t like to put in a lot of effort, you probably have a few catch phrases that you send out to all your unsuspecting prey, phrases like, “Hey beautiful, how are u?” or “I loved your profile. We have a lot in common. Message me.” You send out so many, that just by the law of averages, you’re bound to get some replies. And when they do respond, you move fast. You could even make plans for a lunch, an afternoon coffee, dinner and late night drinks, with four different people, all in one day. Some of your targets have potential, or you got what you wanted right off the bat, other’s didn’t really buy what you were selling, so you keep some, throw the rest away, and put your bait back in the water, for the next fish, because you can never have enough and you can always find someone better.
The problem with online dating, even for the non-narcissist, is that there’s so much choice. There is, little to no, emotional investment in this type of catalogue dating. It’s entirely superficial and it dehumanizes people. It allows for improper and disrespectful behavior, because if it doesn’t work out – if there’s no immediate gratification, you can act however you want – without consequences, because there’s always going to be someone else.
Don’t get me wrong, online dating can be great and I’m sure there are a lot of fantastic people on these sites. The problem is weeding through the bad ones and finding the good ones is a very daunting and emotionally exhausting process. It can become almost like a second job.
The majority of online dating is all about physical attraction. You’ve only got one date to determine if there’s a spark. So very quickly, if there’s no chemistry, you’re done with that person, or they’re done with you. Online dating really is about how well you deal with rejection, because unfortunately that’s what you’re going to get most of the time. And if you’re just out of an emotionally abusive relationship, chances are you’re still battling with self-esteem issues. So, dealing with all the games that happen online, can set you back and cause you more harm than good, especially if you internalize it and believe that it’s all about you being judged and found lacking. Because let’s be honest, the bottom line is, online dating is really more about rejection than anything else.
If you are still pining over someone, you’re not going to be the greatest date either. If you keep thinking about someone else, you are going to be emotionally unavailable to the person sitting across from you. It won’t matter how great your date is, you won’t recognize it – all you’ll see is that he/she is not the one you’re missing. And you end up feeling worse afterwards, crying into a tub of ice cream and missing your ex even more.
There is also, a lot of catfishing going on, on dating sites too. For those of you that don’t know: a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not. There is a lot of misrepresentation online. Someone could have posted photos of themselves when they were 23 and now they’re 38. You’re expecting a young Brad Pitt to show up and they turn up looking like Nick Nolte. You could spend your time chatting getting to know someone and then bam, you finally meet and realize the fantasy they were selling you, was far from the reality you just stepped into.
Not all websites are created equally either. Many people who have had online dating experiences, state that they have had better success with sites that require a monthly payment. The mere fact that payment is required, usually weeds out the broken downs and the parasites that can’t pay their own bills and take care of themselves financially. And you will generally find people on those sites, are more interested in having an actual relationship, rather than just a one night stand.
When my Narcissist left me for someone else, I was in a big hurry to hook up with someone. I wanted to show him and everyone else, that I was moving on and happier without him, so I jumped into online dating. It was a colossal failure of epic proportions, because I didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t ready. Every date felt like I was going on a job interview and after every one of them, I felt like I didn’t get the job, or I had applied for the wrong one. It felt like work and dating is supposed to be fun. If you’re jumping into the dating pool for the wrong reasons – get out of the pool, because I promise you, it will not bode well for you
If you have just broken up with someone and you can’t be alone – get a cat.
If you believe that dating is a competition and you’re trying to beat your ex at his/her own game – play sports and stay off the computer.
If you haven’t healed your hurt and resolved your issues – it makes no sense to jump in the pond with professional swimmers, when you can’t even swim.
If you are still aching for your Narcissist and you’re feeling lonely – call your friends, go dancing, go shopping, but don’t online date.
If you’re still struggling with self-esteem issues and have a hard time with rejection – online dating is not for you.
If you are a co-dependent – cancel your internet connection – online dating should not even be on your radar, until you have healed your own wounds.
If your philosophy is, ‘the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else’ – let me know how that works for you.
If you are hoping to meet someone online, so they can help you pay your rent – move back home with your parents and stay off line until you get your sh*t together.
If you have spent your post-break-up time healing and you’ve done the self-work, if you are discriminating enough to look for someone who adds value to your life, if you’ve got your boundaries firmly in place, if you’re self-esteem is in tact, then by all means, dip your toe into the online dating pool. If you’re not ready, chances are you will find out pretty quickly. You’ll end up feeling worse about yourself and you’ll keep attracting the same type of person and making the same mistakes over and over again.
These days, I’m all about serendipity. I think meeting someone the old fashion way, like a chance meeting, or some type of cosmic synchronicity, is how it’s supposed to happen. You know that old saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear?” When it comes to dating I have a similar stance, I believe, “When the spirit is whole and happy, all by itself, then love, in all its forms, will appear, exactly when and how it’s supposed to.”
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