Myths about online dating…

Back in the 90’s, when people said they “met someone” online, all sorts of red flags would go up!  Friends and family would automatically think those people were losers or wonder why they couldn’t meet someone in person, rather than spending hours searching online.  Not so much anymore.  Since there are now many happy couples who met online, even some who have married and stayed together, people, in general, are more accepting of people close to them meeting their dates online.

That said, there are still many myths about why and how people meet online and exactly what people are looking for in a mate.  And, it is still important that certain precautions are taken to maintain your safety.

●    Myth #1 – Online dating is only used as a vehicle for affairs and to participate in casual sex with someone who is looking for the same type of interaction.  Not so much.  For centuries, people have been hooking up, whether they do so with someone they work with, someone they hang out with, or just someone they barely know.  Online dating doesn’t make this the first place for searching for companionship or simply just a physical relationship.

●    Myth #2 – Much older men look to connect with much younger women who are most likely only in their 20’s.  Sure, there are some much older men who search for the best looking babes who are in their 20’s; however, overall, men tend to look for someone within 10 years of their own age.

●    Myth #3 – Nobody tells the truth on their online profiles.  Some people don’t tell the truth on job applications.  Some people don’t tell the truth to their bosses.  And some people don’t tell the truth to their family and friends.  There are untruthful people everywhere.  Online dating profiles are not the only place.  Just as you would consider whether or not to date someone who’s standing right in front of you, you have to consider the information provided online and first see if you make a connection and feel comfortable enough to even want to take it any further than messaging.

●    Myth #4 – Most of the users on dating sites use phony photos.  A lot of people probably think of the show “Catfish” on MTV where the hosts help people find the people they have been communicating with but have never met, other than online.  That’s entertainment television.  Not everybody posts phony profile pictures.  In fact, when truly looking for communication, companionship, and connection, why would you want to pretend to be someone you aren’t?

So yes, when searching online it is extremely important to weed out the phony profiles, and it’s extremely important to realize your safety is at risk if you post or message someone and include intricate details about yourself, where you live or work, or about your family.  However, in a world that is fast moving with electronics, the Internet, and dating apps and sites, it’s not uncommon for people to see who may be interested and available.  Use your head, keep your personal safety in mind, and don’t be anything but authentic yourself.

If you find you have met someone online who has not been authentic, or you find you have met someone online but nobody close to you is supportive, you may need some help in dealing with your emotions.  This is when you may want to reach out and let the professionals at the Relationship Center of Orange County help you. 

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

When standing up for yourself means standing up for the relationship

When you and your mate have a difficult decision to make, do you typically (a) discuss the pros and cons of each option until you reach a mutually agreeable choice; (b) argue until you’re so angry you can’t talk about it anymore, or (c) disagree at first, but then one of you defers to the other’s wishes in order to keep the peace?

If the answer is (c) “one of you defers to the other”—and it’s almost always the same one—he or she could be what some therapists like to call the “shoe salesman” in the relationship.

In retail, salespeople are deferential in order to sell you shoes. That’s just part of the job. Relationships, on the other hand, are not supposed to work this way. It’s true that not every disagreement needs to be discussed ad nauseam, and it’s a caring gesture to agree to eat at his favorite Vietnamese place once in a while although you vastly prefer Thai. But when it becomes a consistent pattern, you may have a problem that only builds over time.

First, let’s face facts—even happy couples disagree on lots of things, and settling differences can be pretty challenging, especially if they involve major issues. It can also be painful. That’s when the “shoe salesman” sometimes makes an appearance. This is the partner who avoids conflict at all costs, but the problem is, the costs can be higher than he or she bargained for.

To begin with, it means agreeing to an idea that in reality he or she might be really uncomfortable with, whether it’s a decision to move cross-country or make a financial investment that seems too risky or any number of other things. The results can be disastrous: the salesman may feel a lot of resentment in spite of having ostensibly agreed with the decision in the first place. Meanwhile, the more hidden cost is that unless you’re a really good actor, the attempt to make your mate happy by agreeing to whatever he or she wants will backfire if it’s all too obvious that you’re quietly (or not-so-quietly) seething.

So why do people become “shoe salesmen”? It can be a lifelong habit of conflict avoidance stemming from childhood, especially if there was a lot of fighting in the home. When children grows up with overbearing parents, they might never develop good skills in standing up for themselves or expressing their true feelings. Children in this situation can also develop another unhealthy pattern that undermines future relationships—telling their parents what they want to hear but then doing the opposite. They learn to lie to get along, which is hardly the basis of good communication.

In the heat of the moment—when a partner seems to believe that he or she is right beyond the shadow of a doubt, and expresses frustration or even anger that you don’t agree—it can take you back to a time when your option seemed to be robotic compliance. If this sounds like you, it might be a good idea to seek either individual or couples counseling to work on breaking the pattern and feeling more comfortable standing up for yourself in the face of conflict.

While parent-child relationships have a clear delineation of power, in adult relationships, making decisions together shouldn’t be about power at all but rather honest communication, mutual respect and healthy compromise. Believe it or not, unless your mate is a true bully, he or she would rather work through conflicts with you on an open playing field where both partners are transparent about their concerns and wishes. He or she wants you to feel comfortable with whatever ultimate decision you make, even if each of you has to give a little in the process. In the long run, it builds trust, intimacy, conflict-resolution skills and a sense of partnership that makes even the occasional heated argument well worth the effort.

Whether you need help moving into a new stage of your relationship – or whether you have old issues that never seem to be resolved, it is time to get help. Our Orange County relationship counseling services can help you. We look forward to connecting with you.

Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.