Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Online Dating and First Impressions

Sometimes, we should not be too quick to judge a person we are dating online based on first impressions. Especially when one is dating across cultures, there are many possible mitigating circumstances that can explain seemingly improper behavior, inappropriate talk, or any other perceived flaw or off-putting conduct displayed by the other person.

Sometimes, it would be wise, and you might even end up surprised, if you give the person the benefit of the doubt and give yourself the chance to get to know them better. You may end up proving yourself right and gaining more insight about dating and certain types of people; you may gain a new friend; or you may unexpectedly realize that the love of your life does not exactly come in the shape, size, and package you have always envisioned.

Individuals who simply and unquestionably have detestable dating behavior are, of course, the exceptions. But if you asked yourself the question, "Is there any chance that I would have done the same thing/behaved the same way if I were put in a certain kind of difficult situation?" and answered it yes, then you should give the other person the chance to explain, if an explanation might help clear things up. Or just give them another chance to make up for their off-putting behavior.

Of course, it is presupposed that one would have an open mind and be willing to accept that people make mistakes. It is possible that the other person was simply having a bad day, that's why he/she seemed distracted when the two of you were chatting for the first time as planned. It is possible that the other person simply did not know that the joke or remark he/she made is considered disrespectful in your culture.

First impressions are, at best, unreliable and, at worst, unfair. Sometimes, people become the victim of unfortunate circumstances, or they simply lack certain knowledge. It is possible that their perceived unacceptable behavior was not intended to be impolite or disrespectful and there is a valid explanation.

Perhaps you read in a forum of a dating website that this guy/girl has already dated many people and cannot seem to find a suitable partner. Do you write him/her off as a player or an immature person who just doesn't know what they want? It is possible that there is a flaw in his/her dating strategy that he/she is not aware of and if you got to know him/her better, you may even be able to help him/her. You may even be surprised when an unexpected connection is formed between the two of you.

Perhaps you saw on a person's profile that they are looking for someone with certain high credentials (i.e. educational attainment and status in life). Do you write them off as being materialistic, superficial, or a gold-digger? It is possible that they are only looking for security in marriage. It is even possible that their requirements are not absolute and they will be happy with someone who, they can be sure, works hard to have a financially stable life. It is also possible that they are looking for these credentials because they can offer the same and they are only looking for a partner who, they feel, will have the same ethics that they have.

Online dating offers people a great opportunity to get to know others as well as they can first, before taking things a step further and more seriously. Do not waste any opportunity to meet great people because you were quick to judge and dismiss somebody based on your first impression. Do not miss out on the chance to meet your ideal life mate because you were too quick to jump to conclusions about him/her. You would not want to be judged so quickly, if somebody met you for the first time when you're not at your best, would you?

You cannot claim to know a person and understand the whys of their behaviors and attitudes based on a first impression. Do yourself a favor and get to know them first. You might be surprised to find out they are actually very admirable individuals and someone you may even consider having a relationship with.

Discover tons of great information about online dating and cross-cultural relationships on the blogs, magazine and forum of ChinaLoveMatch.net (the home of trusted Chinese dating), where international men and Chinese women share their life experiences and bare their souls to give you the real goods on love, relationships, and all things virtual, cross-cultural, and Chinese.

1 comment:

  1. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words... well in online dating, it may be worth either getting the date, or not.
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