Has Online Dating Killed Romance?

Posted On: August 27, 2014 0 Comments

Is dating romance dead?Is romance really dead?  Long gone are the movie-like scenes of two strangers whose eyes meet across a crowded room, of a couple sharing one chocolate shake with two straws, or of lovers snuggled up in front of a roaring fire waxing poetic. Now it’s turned into stalking people on Facebook, chugging a couple of Redbulls and meeting up virtually in a Google Hangout. Not really romantic.

Technology is at the top of the most wanted list as romance’s killer, but there are a few other things to consider. The way we meet and communicate are nothing like the old days. We have all kinds of gadgets to communicate through but are we really using them wisely? Romance, as we knew it may be over, but it’s not really dead.  Let’s take a look at the usual suspects.

Shopping for love online

Dating sites frequently get blamed for the lack of romance in dating. There are a number of complaints aimed at online dating ranging from the dishonest behavior of online daters to too many choices.  Here are a few thoughts about the positives and negatives of online dating.

There are good people online. According to online dating naysayers,  chance meetings have been replaced with bulk emails from horny guys playing the odds, super picky women who shoot most if not all advances down and everyone lies. That is not how all online daters behave. There are people posting profiles online that are genuine in their search, are honest in their profiles and do go out on great dates and find love. It’s up to the user to use caution and the tools available to make sure they stay safe online.

“We met online” just doesn’t sound romantic. Online dating does remove the element of meeting by chance. From a romantic point of view, chance meetings are one of the key moments in any romantic story, movie or book, the quirkier and more random the better.  As a result, many people feel it’s a requirement for the beginning of any real relationship. Without that magical happenstance meeting you remove the romance. Some people even lie about meeting online because they are embarrassed about it.  I have never felt that the way I meet a partner is the most important thing, the relationship itself is.

Background check for your heart. Technology does allow you to do extensive research on a person’s background, often before you ever meet them.  Background checks are a great way to make sure that you avoid any major issues before they start.  But it’s also important not to do so much research that there is nothing left to discover about your date.  Cover you bases and make sure they aren’t an ax murderer, but after that leave a bit of mystery to discover.

Too many choices. Another complaint is that because there are so many choices available to online daters, they simply won’t commit. Instead of putting their best foot forward, they really just phone it in. They have 5 more dates lined up in their inbox if you don’t work out. No one has to work very hard and be romantic or thoughtful because the options for someone new are so plentiful. What those serial first daters fail to realize is that while there may be many first dates possible, there are only one or two that are really a good match. Be sure that you know what you’re looking for so you don’t pass up the right one for you.

I’ve done my fair share of online dating and even found my husband there.  It worked for me for three major reasons:

  • I used it only as a tool to meet, not a place to actually have the relationship
  • I knew what I wanted, who I was looking for and trusted my gut
  • I accepted that there would be jerks and then ignored them

Online dating is certainly not for the meek but the rewards can be great if you know what you want.

Don’t care how I want it now!

People have a very short attention span these days.  They want what they want, when they want it and that’s usually right now.  We live in a society that encourages instant gratification and that whatever we currently have is not good enough.  As a result we rush through everything, never taking the time to savor a relationship, experience or the people in front of us. All of that rushing around looking for that next better experience leaves little time for romance to happen.  If we’re always looking for more, better and now the last thing on our minds is going to be slow warm kisses and sweet romantic gestures.

Welcome to the future

Thanks to advances in technology things keep changing at a rapid pace and it’s going to keep happening. Technology has drastically altered what we communicate and how we do it. We have text conversations in abbreviated language that can be easily misinterpreted. We are bombarded by sound bites, internet memes, pithy pinterest sayings, short assaulting videos and intrusive instant chats.

All of those constant but hollow “communications” have become the norm, so much so that long face-to-face conversations feel more like freak random events.  When was the last time you sat down and wrote a lengthy hand written letter or had an evening of conversation with anyone that wasn’t interrupted by someone checking their cell phone? With all that constant input, is it any wonder romance has fallen by the wayside?  Who has time for that and if they did would they even know how to make it happen?

What is romance?

For most of us our idea of romance comes from movies, books and the things we see around us. We go through our lives collecting ideas along the way that make up our own personal concept of what romantic is. I grew up on films like Pretty in Pink and Say Anything and those movies were stuffed with grand romantic gestures and perfect endings.   Those are great notions to entertain, but it’s important that we don’t get so stuck on these movie-perfect versions of romance that we miss it in other forms.  Allow your definitions to expand a bit and recognize the real life romance that you might be missing.

So have we really lost that loving feeling?

The path from where we are to our desires has been greatly shortened. We have the expectation that particular things like romance should happen a certain way and now!  As a result we have little patience and don’t take the time for romance.  But it doesn’t mean that romance has to die.

Here are some tips to keep romance alive:

  • Change your definition of what romance looks like.  It might not be perfect, like in the movies, but it can be pretty great if you’re paying attention.
  • Use technology and online dating as a tool to find love and then make sure that you are having your relationship in real life rather than virtually.  Video chats and texts are no replacement for time spent together in person.
  • Make the time to really connect with your date or your partner.  Be present and turn off the phone when you’re spending time together.
  • Have a technology free weekend.  Turn off cell phones, don’t use the computer and spend time actually being aware of the here and now.  Don’t worry about Facebook updates and checking your texts and emails.  I guarantee if you step away from that, you will have time for romance.
  • To have a really great relationship you need to spend some time defining for yourself what that means to you.  Don’t settle for any warm body. Wait for the right person to compliment your life.  Finding love can’t be forced. Be patient, stop rushing through life and make some space for romance.

Cija Black WInk Wisely Guest Post

Cija Black is a love expert, author, blogger, online educator and host of the “Love Bombs” podcast. For more information about Cija, the books, class or podcast, visit modernloveguide.com.

Posted On: August 27, 2014 0 Comments

Paris in the Springtime: Finding Yourself Before Finding Romance

Posted On: August 25, 2014 0 Comments

find yourself before you date

Never having been one to fall head-over-heels in love (or even have a relationship to survive longer than five months), I have always found the dating stories of others to be at least slightly entertaining.  I enjoy hearing the idiotic things people have said on dates, the cheating stories, and the stories of budding relationships that simply ended with no warning whatsoever.  Don’t get me wrong, I never wish anyone pain or despair and I do not take pleasure in the fact that these men and women have had to endure these dating atrocities.  Rather, I enjoy the stories because each one is a reminder that I am not alone in this stupidity.  How could I be the problem when the very same things happening to me are also happening to other people?

Falling In Love -

With Cities, Men … & Me

With this in mind (as well as an insatiable wanderlust) I recently took an Eat, Pray, Love-style trip of my own to the City of Lights and found myself – not surprisingly – illuminated.  I made the trip from Canada to France by myself and stayed in a fourth-floor walk-up apartment I had rented in the 6e arrondissement.  For a week I read, wrote, and walked the streets of Paris and, while I did find myself falling for someone during my literary pilgrimage, I fell even more in love with the city than with the man.   Sure, the man I met was kind, witty, sophisticated, and romantic in a way I had never known but it was the way the Eiffel Tower sparkled from the Jardins du Trocadero at nightfall, the smell of the roses in the Jardin du Luxembourg, and the winding stone roads of Montmartre that captured my heart the most.  I was in the city of love with a heart-stopping gentleman but I would come to learn more about myself on that trip than I had even imagined.

What I hadn’t realized upon leaving Canada is that I had gone from short, failed relationship to short, failed relationship and I had never truly taken any time for myself.  At home, I was self-aware enough to know my interests and have hobbies (and for that I was luckier than most) but this trip to Paris taught me more about myself than many people learn in a lifetime.  This is when I realized that I wasn’t yet ready to date.  I had only begun to scratch the surface of my own happiness and I wasn’t yet ready to start thinking about someone else’s.

Since returning home in the spring, I have found myself more open to love and willing to think in the long-term.  I still (and always will) have a hankering to travel and I am constantly planning the “next big thing” but I am in a loving relationship, happily in pursuit of my dream career, and I have personal experiences that I will never forget.

And for those of you wondering about the guy I met on my trip, well…we’ll always have Paris.

Dana Simpson - author for WinkWisely.comDana Simpson is a writer, musician, and university graduate.  Not surprisingly, literature and music are her greatest passions in life alongside travel, human rights and art as a means to social change. Follow Dana on Twitter (@danasimpson) and read more of her work at danasimpson.pressfolios.com.

Posted On: August 25, 2014 0 Comments

Getting Back To “Mistakes Guys Make”

Posted On: August 18, 2014 0 Comments

Men make easy-to-correct dating mistakes

Um, I think I hear my cat choking… gotta go!

Things guys do

The art of creating a dating site profile that portrays you as safe, sane, and sexy is a skill not everyone possesses… and men, bless their hearts, shoot themselves in the foot far too often. Whether it’s blunders in the profile or gaffs in the way they approach women online, there are some common pitfalls that men frequently make but can easily avoid. Pay attention, bro: I’m going to take a quick look at a few simple things you should bear in mind and, hopefully, will stack the odds in your favor.

Being Threatening

Although everyone needs to take their safety seriously, women are statistically in a more vulnerable position than men when it comes to meeting strangers from dating websites. Aggression, anger, or controlling behaviors will curtail interest in you and your profile… and for good reason. If you don’t take at least a moment to put yourself in her position and imagine what it’d be like meeting you, you might come off looking crazy or dangerous. And that’s never attractive.

Anger about other women

You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but it happens far too often: Guys use their profile to air sour grapes about women from their past. Bear in mind that your profile is for making a great first impression about the best of what you have to offer, not to air dirty laundry or wax bitter and resentful. You might think the woman reading your profile will say to herself “Yeah, that guy is better off without them,” but what she’s really thinking is “How long before he turns that white-hot anger on me?” Dudes, trust me: If you can’t write a profile without bashing your ex (or exes), it might not be time for you to date yet.

Pushing too hard

When you make contact with an interesting woman on your favorite dating site, are you so eager to get to know her that you’re questioning her non stop about her life or personal details? Are you constantly talking about how soon you can meet? Take the foot off the gas pedal, man. Women not only find that uncomfortable, but scary as well. You might be thinking that you don’t want to let this treasure slip through your fingers, but she’s thinking that you’ll be super clingy and maybe even a little insane. The solution is simple: Relax a bit. Let time take its course and allow the chips to fall where they want to.

Playing the jealousy card

Robert Heinlein said “Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity,” and that’s an impression you don’t want to make.

Generally speaking, it doesn’t do much for you at any point in the relationship. but it’s extremely inappropriate when first getting to know someone. You might be curious in passing about who else she’s talking to, who she’s dated, and maybe more, but use a light touch at most when discussing the topic. Giving a disapproving vibe or asking her to account for herself – especially when you don’t know each other yet – is legitimately weird. Don’t let yourself go there.

Being Obnoxious

It’s not against the law to be obnoxious, but it sure does reduce your chances of enjoying female company. Women don’t generally want to be with someone who comes off an embarrassment or just annoying in general. You gotta make an effort to have some self-restraint and dignity, or else you’ll lose potential dates to those who do.

Your toys

There’s nothing wrong with having a great car, a boat, a nice house, an expensive home entertainment system, or any other cool doo-dads and trophies, but women don’t go to dating websites so they can date your car. A lot of guys will include their most prized possessions in their profile photos, but that’s a faux pas. Some might be impressed by some of the cool stuff you own, but a woman of quality will be even more impressed if you don’t act like you think expensive possessions can win her.

Leave other women out of it

You might think this would go without saying, but when a woman looks at your dating profile, she doesn’t want to see you with other women. In your mind, it might make you look more social and perhaps stand as incontrovertible proof that you’re desirable… but women will, at best, think “Why do I need to see this?” If you think showing off your car or house is obnoxious, multiply that by ten when it comes to showing the women you’ve been with. And this segues nicely into our next point…

Be single

This is probably the blue ribbon of no-brainers, but it needs to be said: If you’re on a dating website for the purposes of finding a little something on the side, you’re doing it wrong. All too many men in committed relationships sneak off to a dating website in private to find a hook-up, and many of them are even successful. Let me assure you, however: You’re going to get caught. No matter how smart or tricky you think you are, you’ll eventually make a mistake… and that mistake will cost you something or someone you value (not to mention how much you’re going to hurt people who didn’t earn it). There’s no limit to how complicated and ugly the situation can get. No matter how tempted you are, just don’t do it.

Being Stupid

“Sapiosexuality” is a word which means “the sexual attraction to intelligence.” You should remember it, because most women are strongly sapiosexual. You might think it’s all about the muscles, the sportscar, or the bankroll… but trust me; being smart is the best way to pole vault ahead of other dudes. This is not to say you need a university degree, a brainy job, or a collection of smart literature (though those things don’t hurt), but you do have to use your intellect and be ready to engage hers.

Grammar and spelling

Making a good impression with grammar and spelling isn’t a matter of being perfect; it’s a matter of putting in effort. Proof read your profile for obvious spelling and grammar mistakes and resist the urge to use shortcuts (i.e. using “u” instead of “you”). Women know that a guy who won’t take the time to fix small, simple mistakes when he’s trying to make a good impression is going to make even less effort with her later. Guys, make sure you double and triple check what you write. A lot of men don’t realize just how potent good grammar and spelling are when it comes to capturing a woman’s attention.

Sense of humor

Wit is a product of intelligence. You don’t have to be the funniest guy in the room (in fact, that guy can also be the most obnoxious one in the room), but the ability to enjoy and appreciate humor shows that you have something going on upstairs. You don’t have to make jokes if it’s not your natural forte (awkward), but an easy laugh and appreciation of wit indicate a healthy mind and an easygoing personality.

Know stuff

As already stated, you don’t have to be Brainy McBrainerson to score marks in the intelligence department, but the biggest mistake dumb guys make is to talk about stuff about which they know rather little. Before you make sweeping generalizations on any topic, ask yourself “How do I know this?” If you aren’t sure of the answer, keep your mouth shut. Remember the scene in Good Will Hunting when Matt Damon shut the blowhard know-it-all down by knowing the subject better? If that guy hadn’t tried to make it sound like he knew more than he did, he wouldn’t have been slam dunked so hard. Taking a moment’s pause to check your facts in your head before you engage your mouth will not only make you unassailable by the Matt Damons of the world, it also means you might end up doing a little listening… which is the best way to acquire all the smarts you might not already possess.



David is a 40-something corporate professional living in the Ottawa area. On his personal time he’s a cyclist, does volunteer work, and never misses an episode of Game of Thrones.

Posted On: August 18, 2014 0 Comments

Dating is Better When You’re Over 40

Posted On: August 15, 2014 0 Comments

Like a fine wine, dating definitely improves with age.

Like a fine wine, dating definitely improves with age.

There’s a saying that goes “youth is wasted on the young”.  While I believe that nothing is a waste, I do think dating definitely improve with age. In my 20’s I dated a lot and had quite a few long relationships. While overall it was pretty fun, I know that I wouldn’t go back there for a million dollars. I got married at the end of my 20’s and was off the market for a decade. During my divorce I started dating again. What I learned, is that dating is better when you’re over 40.

I’ll try anything once

When you’re in your 20’s you feel like your whole life is ahead of you and that anything is possible. Mixed in with that bottomless invincible energy are burning questions about who you are, what you want, and where you’re headed. To top it off most 20 somethings have no idea what a good relationship looks like.

Even though I had a lot of relationships and dated like crazy in my 20’s, I had no real clue what I was doing.  My main goal was to have fun and let the chips fall where they may. Out of that I had some great relationships and I also a few really bad ones. I packed my life full of new experiences, ran headlong into love and didn’t worry too much about the aftermath.

Real actual men with jobs, ambition and life experience

At 39 I was went through divorce and was living on my own. First I took some time to heal. When I had exhausted my movie options on Netflix, I decided it was time to get off the couch and go out on a date or ten. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. Men were much more interesting then they had been in my 20’s. They were now a men instead of boys. They’d lived some real life and were more articulate about what they were looking for.

Also, I had changed. With a imploded marriage under my belt I had a much better sense of what I wanted. But more importantly, what I didn’t. Overall I felt much more secure with who I was.  The process of meeting and dating was actually fun.

While I wouldn’t want to repeat my 20’s there are attitudes that come naturally to the younger generation that are important to maintain in your dating style no matter your age.  Below are some things the younger and older generations can teach each other when it comes to dating:

Youth:  Driven by your passionate heart

  • Be adventurous
    One of the best things about being young is that sense of invincibility.  Always look at dating, dates and meeting new people as an exciting new experience. Not a chore to be dreaded.
  • Don’t be so jaded
    The longer you’ve been on this planet the more jaded you tend to get.  Take a page from the 20 somethings and learn to be more open minded.  Yes, use caution and common sense, but don’t always assume the worst in people.  Give them a chance.
  • Step outside your comfort zone
    When I was young if someone suggested a new place to go or a food to try, I was all over it.  As I got older my preferences and choices got a bit more cemented if not downright stale.  Always be open to going somewhere you haven’t gone before or to trying  or tasting something new.  Let go of your expectations and assumptions about how stuff should work and you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

Maturity: With age comes wisdom

  • Been there done that
    One of the best part of having been out on a many dates and in a number of relationships is that you can learn from your mistakes. When you reflect on your past experiences you can use that information to help you find and creates a really good relationship.  Don’t let all that learning go to waste.  Those bad relationships and dates weren’t for nothing I promise.
  • Realize what you value
    As you get older you start to focus in on what you value.  You can tell what you value by looking at what people are in your life, the things you surround yourself with, how you spend your time, where you work and where your thoughts usually are.  When you understand what you value it’s much easier to know what kind of person and relationship would complement and enhance your life and also help you steer clear of those who don’t.
  • Beauty has nothing to do with age
    Now more than ever we live in a beauty and youth obsessed culture.  There are actually people that think their life is over at 30 and if they haven’t found love they will die alone surrounded by 50 cats.  This is a huge lie.As you get older you see beauty as something more than just skin deep and understand that true radiant beauty really comes from the totality of a person and who they are inside. Being 30, 40 and 50 are just the beginning of new chapters in our lives.
  • Your own sense of self
    The best part of dating when you’re older is that you tend to be considerably more comfortable in your own skin.  The things that mattered like being with the “in” crowd and going to the latest hot spots become a whole lot less important when you don’t define yourself by them.  With age comes a shift in perspectives in everything I’ve mentioned above. But instead of allowing outside things define you, you determine your own definitions of value and importance.

While I wouldn’t go back to my 20s, it’s what got me to where I am now. Which is in a pretty awesome place with an unbelievable partner. All of those experiences, people I’ve met and the things I’ve learned helped me become much more confident in who I am.

When it comes to dating, no matter what your age, take the best of both worlds.  Grab that youthful sense of wonder and adventure and pair it with all the knowledge and experience you’ve gathered over the years.  Most importantly, claim and define your own sense of self. Dating with an open mind and confident heart will turn dating from a painful task and into a enjoyable experience.

Cija Black WInk Wisely Guest Post

Cija Black is a love expert, author, blogger, online educator and host of the “Love Bombs” podcast. For more information about Cija, the books, class or podcast, visit modernloveguide.com.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted On: August 15, 2014 0 Comments