LIFESTYLE

LGBT digital dating: Confidence is everything

By Lily Asis

Social media would have us believe that everyone from the LGBT community is using dating apps to hook up and meet the next significant, or maybe insignificant person in their life. However, as generalizing and assuming that everyone embraces the online dating world with open arms is a mistake. In fact, for many of us, it can be terrifying to even dip a toe in the water.

So, with that in mind here is a quick guide to building your confidence for the dating scene.

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SUCK IT AND SEE

Now, the thing about online dating is that it’s not mandatory. Yes, it’s convenient, and it can also be beneficial, especially for folks that have met their latest love online, but you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. People still go out, and it’s perfectly possible to meet someone that way, whether it’s in a club, a coffee house, or even as you pick up your groceries.

Having said that though, giving the online dating scene a try is not such a big deal either. You get to be in control of it after all. To do this carefully choose the provider that you go with, and construct a profile. Then you will just need to wait and see who pops up.

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Remember there is no responsibility on you to reply, meet them, or have a long-term relationship! You are in control, and you get to decide if anything happens. Of course, if you don’t like a certain someone you can block them just as you would do with social media, or if you find you don’t enjoy the experience you can close your account down altogether. Easy! So if you are curious about online dating, it is definitely worth giving it a try.

SHARING ISN’T ALWAYS CARING

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Not to say that there aren’t some downside to online dating though. Our share happy culture means that it’s pretty easy for anyone to take a screenshot of a message or photo and share it with anyone else via their smartphone or online.

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For some people, this is no big deal, but for those of us that are self-conscious, private individuals it can be a real problem. To combat this, it’s best to think carefully about what you are saying over dating apps, as well as the picture that you send. Think of it this way, if you wouldn’t want your mother seeing it, it’s probably best not being out there in the first place. By implementing this rule, you can help maintain a level of privacy online that can help settle your nerves and boost your confidence enough to be a part of the online dating scene.

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AUTHENTICITY

The thing about online dating is that there is always the temptation to embellish our good qualities a little. Like our height, or weight, or size, but does this benefits us in the long run? Probably not, because if you eventually want to meet this person, they will get to see you as you really are. Surely it’s better to be able to give them what they are expecting rather than hope they just don’t notice? (They will believe me). So try and be confident in who you are and own it rather than covering it up with little white lies that are impossible to maintain later on.

BOOST YOUR EGO BEFORE YOU GO ONLINE

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Another sticking point for a lot of folks is that they fear rejection if they set up a profile. Although, this is often quashed when they have been in the digital dating scene for a while. After all, there is usually somebody that is into what you are offering out there somewhere.

However, to boost your confidence a little before setting up your profile it can be helpful to partake in some self-care behaviors. This may include quick short-term things like getting a haircut, tan, or a new outfit so you can look your best in the photos.

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Alternatively, you may choose to embark on more of a long-term strategy such as a fitness regimen before you decide to get on board with digital dating. To do this lots of folks go to the gym or work with a personal trainer. Although such activities can be expensive and ones like Old School New Body that you can do in your own home, can present a more budget-friendly option. You can even discover the pros and cons of Old School New Body plan online too before you buy. So you can be sure it will be the right plan for your fitness goals.

SAFETY FIRST

Some folks love the idea of online dating, but they or those close to them really worry about them meeting people that they have first come into contact with, in the virtual world. Of course, there are always those horror stories that you hear as well, about people turning up for date and being robbed, assaulted or even worse.

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However, it’s useful to bear in mind that this occurs only in a very small percentage of cases and there are things you can do to stay safer online. These include meeting a new person in a neutral location that is not your home, or theirs. Also be careful not to share your home phone number or address, or any bank details and do use site that require a high level of verification for their users. Something that can protect against you being duped, giving you more confidence to date online.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

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Lastly, like with anything worth doing, you may need a little practice at online dating before it starts to feel totally natural. Just be realistic with your expectations of what it can do for your life. Don’t expect to find your soul mate in the first week of signing up, and don’t use it as a way to solely boost your ego, either. Remember the packaging on a parcel is nice, by it is what’s inside that really matters.

So, if you feel up to it, go on a few dates and see how they work out.  They don’t have to be the best things ever, and even if they are a disaster just use them as practice, learn from them, and move on.

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