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The Attraction of Indifference

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When it comes to dating, we’re taught that one of the worst things we can do is seem overly eager. Instead, we’re encouraged to “keep our cool” in order to get what we want. It makes sense. After all, there’s something very enticing about the cool guy or girl who doesn’t seem to care one way or another whether you hit on them. Think, James Dean. I doubt you’d ever catch that guy begging a woman for a date. He’s attractive because of his bad boy swagger and indifference.

However, if you’re trying to connect with people online, there’s a fine line between keeping your cool and being so aloof that you automatically turn people away. To be successful at online dating, you need to find a balance between keeping things light and breezy, while still revealing an appropriate amount of enthusiasm so that potential dates know that you’re actually interested in, well, dating.

Not sure how to strike this balance? Here are a few ways that embracing a bit of indifference can actually serve you in the long run when it comes to online dating.

Understand that Carefree Doesn’t Mean Aloof

Online dating is a numbers game that often involves a LOT of trial and error. Most likely, you’re going to meet a lot of people relatively quickly. Some of these meetings will turn into actual dates and some won’t – and you know what? That’s totally ok. You’re not meant to fall for everyone you meet online or date. Online dating is going to be a lot more fun if you keep this in mind.

Instead of agonizing over every single interaction, wondering, “Where is this going?!” take a deep breath and relax. Sometimes the only place something is “going” is a pleasant exchange of messages – nothing more. Say goodbye to worrying about what china pattern you might pick out together and instead approach each message and potential date with the mantra, “This could be something or not” and respond politely. By embracing this mindset, you’re going to open yourself up to way more dating possibilities, while saving yourself unnecessary worry.

Make Them Want More  

One of the scariest things to encounter when perusing online dating sites are people who share way too much information about themselves way too soon. On every dating site, you’ll find a plethora of TMI-oversharers who seem inexplicably eager to share all of the gory details about their last break-up(s), their troubled childhood or their sexual proclivities – all on their profile page. Don’t be this person!

If it isn’t something you’d share with someone you just met, it doesn’t belong on an online dating profile. Even though you may be eager to find a boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s important that you don’t come across as desperate. Instead of saying, “I’m lonely and really want to meet someone that I can marry as soon as possible,” (because, that’s kind of scary!), focus on what you enjoy about your life and how another person could compliment it – for example, “I’m looking to meet someone that I click with who shares some of my interests.” Remember: your online dating profile should be the trailer of who you are, not the feature film.

Keep Your Options Open

Online dating is a numbers game. Not every interaction is going to turn into something meaningful. There will be times when you’re chatting with someone extensively, only to have them drop off the face of the earth. Unfortunately this is the nature of the beast. So, with that said, it’s always good to keep your options open and not get emotionally attached to any of your potential dates until you’ve had a chance to get to know each other in person. Instead of focusing on only one person out of thousands, talk to several. Get to know people. Go out on a few dates. You might end up clicking with someone you never would have considered otherwise.

Although it’s good to keep an open-mind when it comes to online dating, here are a few ways that being overly carefree can actually shoot you in the foot.

1.Painting Yourself as the Bad Girl/Bad Boy

“Everyone loves a bad girl/bad boy!” Wrong. People are attracted to individuals who are confident, independent and, most of all, content in their own lives. If your profile says stuff like, “I don’t even care if anyone writes back to this. I’m just going to keep being awesome!” or “Don’t write back if you’re not man/woman enough to handle this,” it basically says the complete opposite. This is where being “aloof” goes wrong. In turn, you just come across as jaded, unapproachable and kind of a jerk.

2. Failing to Take a Stand

Another easy way to shoot yourself in the foot is by being so indifferent and non-committal that you fail to tell potential dates anything about your personality. So, you’re a “laid back individual who loves to laugh and is open to whatever comes their way.” That’s awesome! NOT. You get what you put out there. If you say you’re interested in “whatever” you’ll get “whatever” back. Be specific about your interests. Tell people what you’re about. Have opinions. Be honest. This is the only way you’re going to weed out the people who aren’t right for you so you can meet the ones that are.

3. Not Making a Move When You Really Want to

Somewhere along the line it became uncool to “care” and show emotions. You know what? That’s BS. When it comes to love, there’s absolutely nothing cool about standing on the sidelines. If you like someone you’ve met online, ask them out. If you don’t make a move, the only person who loses is you.

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