“How can I be certain I am making the right choice when I start dating someone I meet online?” – Joy
I’m sorry to disappoint you, Joy, but the certainty you’re looking for is hardly possible in the beginning. In fact, all that uncertainty is part of the excitement. The start of relationships are ripe with the delicious elements of curiosity, the unknown, the mystery of meeting someone new, and the vulnerability of it all.
In our commodified society, a date is no longer an open-ended exploration, but an intake interview to see if a person matches your pre-determined check list.
We are overwhelmed by the paradox of choice, and want so badly to find happiness. We are drowning in cognitive overload, floundering in the uncertainty and self-doubt that comes with limitless choice.
The only way you will become certain about a potential mate is simply by spending time with that person. Discovering, communicating, asking questions, sharing experiences and getting to know them. And if you really want to get to know somebody, challenges, crisis, and loss will give you a view like no other.
Try keeping yourself open to a gradual unfolding of the many layers of a person. Allow yourself to be surprised. You may discover something you didn’t even know you were looking for.
Here a couple ways to gauge your early connection:
The curiosity test
The level of curiosity you have about a person is a great indicator of your interest. If you are captivated and want to learn more, that’s a great start. If you have zero curiosity, then you’re probably not in the right place.
How you feel in the presence of this person
Do you feel heard and understood? Do you feel expanded? Are you present? Do you feel beautiful?
If you allow yourself that uncertainty and openness, rather than forcing yourself to know right away, it will ease a lot of the anxiety around choosing the right person.
How do you feel when you first meet someone new?