Today we can order men or women online like Super-sized value meals: hold the onions, extra beef and no ice, please! With the tap of our fingers, we can literally choose our Dream Date: 36C, non-smoker, over 6’ male, loves dogs, is FIT. When did we start kicking romance to the curb?
In taking a cue from the Italians -- who invented “slow food” – I’m proposing a slow dating movement. Hey cyber-singles, surrender all of your techie-tools because it’s not working. Slow dating means that you no longer get to hide behind technology to express yourself. You actually have to show up with your Authentic Self from the get-go. Thanks to “Generation Next”, singles are coming up short during the dating process. Our quick-fix, super-social-media-driven society is allowing technology to trump intimacy.
Not dazzled by your date in the first three seconds? Next! You couldn’t get past his shoes? Next! You prefer two inches taller / 10 pounds lighter / 3 years younger…Next! It’s so easy to say “Next!” in the unforgiving world of online dating because you know your inbox is full of potential dates who could be dazzlers. With the stroke of our keypad, we can look better, sound better and seem better online.
But what about off-line aka real life?
I’m not knocking cyber-players. If you have the time and energy for online dating, you may hit the jackpot after Coffee Date #72. But what happens when you ‘put your hands up and step away from the computer’? Suddenly the rules have changed. You’re more conscious of those pesky pounds that you fibbed about or your capacity to cultivate a real one-on-one conversation without relying on emoticons (L) to express yourself. Your quick-wit isn’t so quick anymore; your confidence waxes and wanes. However, it’s when we allow ourselves to be fully seen that a real connection unfolds.
Slow dating is about cultivating a conversation between two people sans computer and being present throughout the journey. Women get to flirt and be feminine, sexy and chased, while men push their potency through their body language and charm while doing the chasing. A sensual exchange is sexier than a technical one. How else can you enjoy someone’s passion and scent or the shape of their hands, the curve of their lips? It’s these very nuances that tilt the odds in one’s favor. A computer can never detect these subtle, yet incredibly vital cues. The spontaneous reaction between two people is what breeds intimacy. Not a text or an email.
Have the courage to let go of who you’re supposed to be and just be who you are.
In your quest to find a soul mate, try to show a little less swagger and a lot more soul. J