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Mismatch.com

The thought of meeting someone online always felt very strange to me, but I ended up posting profiles on a few different websites after moving to New York because I found it much more difficult to connect with the women I encountered in the city.

I have always wanted to travel and spend time in different countries and thought posting a profile on line might provide an opportunity to meet women from other cultures. I posted profiles on a few different websites and got very mixed results. Women whose profile I responded to usually didn't respond to me. After a while, I stopped responding to women's profiles and left mine up for a year or two so women who were interested could contact me.

Many of the encounters felt very awkward. Either there was no chemistry or attraction and in some instances it was obvious that neither of us felt very comfortable. There were a number of occasions where I felt I just wanted to eject myself from the whole situation.

Online dating seemed to work better in India. Indian matchmaking sites are geared primarily towards marriage. I wasn't really attracted to anyone that I met online, but I ended up meeting and becoming friends with a number of the women who responded to my profile. In many instances I also got to know their friends and families.

Something about the whole experience of meeting online felt very artificial to me. After a while I decided that I wasn't going to deal with online matchmaking any longer and took my profiles down.

I was telling my friend Natasha that I feel much more comfortable meeting someone face to face. I rather engage with the people I encounter wherever I happen to find myself. We all have physical preferences and I prefer to see what a person actually looks like. I can feel the emotions that people are holding within their bodies, the issues they are dealing with and their outlook on life. I feel the limitations that hold people back and the resources that enable them to excel in other areas of their lives. I see and feel their level of intelligence and can pick up on other traits, attributes and subtle nuances. I can also recognize the red flags that forewarn me of potential dangers and let me know that I need to be careful or to not get involved.

I like to hear and feel the sound of a person's voice. I listen to a person's words and tonality and I can feel where they are coming from. I get a sense of whether a person is honest or if they are hiding something. This gives me a much more realistic sense of whom I'm interacting with rather than anything they could ever write in an online profile.

Natasha looked at me and said that not everyone is that in touch with their feelings and intuition.

I responded by saying "People tend to lose touch with their feelings and physical bodies when they shut down emotionally and that can make it especially difficult for them to access their intuition. Either they cannot get an intuitive sense of the person in front of them or they have never learned to trust and rely upon their own senses."

People in many parts of the world rely upon their intuition on a daily basis to make important decisions. They are able to tune into their intuition whenever they meet or interact with other people. I've lived on American Indian reservations and have spent lots of time in other parts of the world where I was forced to rely upon my intuition as a matter of personal survival.

We all can and need to develop the sensitivity that will enable us to sense what other people are about. Working with the practice of breathing into my feelings and sensations and all the other healing practices I have done has enabled me to develop and refine my own sensitivity.

Personals adds used to be relegated to the classified adds section of our local newspapers in years past. People generally met one another through introduction by friends or family members or they would approach and then engage the men or women they found themselves attracted to in conversation.

Online matchmaking has become a huge moneymaking business. The people who operate eHarmony, match.com, and shaadi.com and thousands of other matchmaking sites are capitalizing off of our fear, isolation, loneliness and social ineptitude which are bi-products of the cultural trance many of us are living in that tells us we are not safe getting to know and interact with people we encounter as we move through the world.

I'm not against online dating. I know people who have had wonderful success with online dating and have gone out on lots of dates with all kinds of interesting people. I know others who have found the love of their lives through online matchmaking sites. I encourage people to be open to any means of meeting potential partners. I just feel that it's very unhealthy for people become so reliant upon online dating that it prevents them from developing important social skills or interacting directly with one another.

People living in rural areas often contend with the reality of having a very limited selection of perspective mates to chose from. Those of us who live in places like New York City and Boston are surrounded by thousands of available men and women. It's unfortunate that many of us have become so fearful of one another that we cannot start a conversation, exchange contact information, email and talk on the phone and then meet again.

Online matchmaking often sets the stage for duplicity. People who post profiles on line can easily create the kind of image they want to portray to prospective suitors. The problem is that we cannot see the real personality of the individual whose profile we are viewing because that person is not right here in front of us.

People often lie about their age, weight, height and other important personal details in their online profiles. Some even lie about their marital status. Many lie because they are afraid that they won't attract the kind of person they desire to meet if they are truthful and others are just downright dishonest.

We often respond to the profiles of people whose photo's appeal to us. But many people do not really look like the pictures they post online. Sometimes we see someone face to face and they turn out to be a completely different person than we expected to meet.

On line matchmaking has transformed the process of finding love into an application for our computers and smart phones. People searching through profiles quickly evaluate the profiles of prospective matches according to their age, photo, social status, profession, hobbies and various other factors. Those who do not meet specific criteria are quickly eliminated.

Many people rather send text messages or interact with other people online because of their own insecurities and unwillingness to show up and be present in a relationship or deal with the realities of our physical day to day existence. We cannot directly participate in our own lives when we are hiding behind the screen of a computer. For this reason we are going backwards in terms of our own growth and development.

My friend Natasha commented to me the other day that people often turn and look away if she makes eye contact or smiles at them. It's very sad to see how so many people are cocooning themselves.

We are becoming more and more isolated. Our isolation is largely a result of our fears of other people, our unwillingness to experience our true feelings and face our issues and our over reliance upon computers, smart phones and other technology. The technology that was designed to serve us is now enslaving us. We go about our day to day existence living in a bubble because we are so hooked into our on line social networks that we cease to participate in life by directly engaging with those around us.

We are now living in a culture where people assume that it is normal to meet total strangers online, but we are not open to approaching or being approached by that same individual during the course of our day. Either we are afraid to approach or we become fearful and put up a wall just because someone starts talking to us. It's tragic that many people cannot even recognize how dysfunctional we have become.

People often hide behind computers screens because they have never really develop the social skills that are necessary to approach others or to respond appropriately while being approached. In many ways online matchmaking is making it harder and harder for people to directly engage with one another because it is reinforcing our lack of social skills and the fears that are keeping us isolated.

 

Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?

Shut down your computer and turn off your smart phone. Get off your ass, go out there and start participating in life. Start making eye contact and engage with the people around you. Keep yourself open to being approached by other interesting people.

Tune into senses by noticing how you feel within your body as you interact with people. Disengage if you feel uncomfortable with someone. Exchange contact info if you get a good feeling about the person you are connecting to. Email or talk on the phone ...and meet again …and again …and again! Take time to get to know the people you feel drawn to. Proceed from there when it feels right.

©Copyright 2009 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved.  This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission.

 

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