How do I gain the confidence to date online again after previous bad experiences of online dating? I can’t help but feel that every time I put myself out there the only people that get in contact are those wanting to sleep with me, the genuine dating game is so hard to get into.
You’re right – it’s very hard to meet someone online, for a multitude of reasons. First, the one you pointed out – that so many people are out for a quick shag. If you really want to use online dating as a tool, then I would suggest firstly being very honest in your profile. If you want to get married and have kids, for example, then say that in your profile – but in a relative breezy way. Make it obvious you’re looking to settle down, but you’re not desperate. I’m happy to look at your profile when you’ve written it if you like!
Secondly, set some ground rules. When I was online dating, I decided to go on ten dates with someone before we spent ‘alone time’ at each other’s houses. This allows you to sort the wheat from the chaff pretty quickly! If someone is only after one thing, you’ll work that out straight away, because they won’t want to accept that you’re taking it slow. I don’t tell them it’s a rule, I just told them that I’m not the kind of girl who is going to rush home with just any guy, and I hope my future husband will appreciate that.
I probably went on 100 dates over 5 years when I was single, and I met a number of nice guys, but nobody I wanted to get serious with. I think it’s because you’re putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. You build a rapport with someone online, and then it falls flat when you meet them because that ‘x factor’ spark is not there. So I would actually suggest an alternative way to meet guys. Look at hobbies, groups or clubs which have activities you’re interested in. Meet people who you have common ground with. Rock climbing, hiking, photography… there are so many options. Find something you enjoy and when you meet someone else who enjoys it too, you’re starting off with common ground, and sparks might fly from there!
Since my boyfriend moved back home to NSW we seldom get to see each other. I can’t help but feel like more priority should be placed on spending time together when he returns as this is often not the case. I am starting to feel less invested the more time we spend apart. Is it normal to feel this way? How can I get strong feelings to return?
Long distance relationships are very hard and it’s very normal for you to feel this way. One or both of you could start to drift apart, and that’s also very normal. A lot of it comes back to why you’re living apart. Was he only temporarily living here and was always going to go back? Did things change? Is he planning to return? Having some sort of end game is very important when you’re living apart. Having something to look forward to in terms of knowing that you’ll end up spending your life together might keep you going, but an open, unknown future is not going to allow you to invest yourself emotionally.
I suggest you guys need to have a real heart-to-heart about where things are going. Once that’s done, there are a few key things you can do to keep the relationship together, if that’s what you both want.
You need to have (and earn) trust: talk as often as possible, make sure you stick to planned phone/skype calls, and make sound ground rules you’re both comfortable with regarding what you do socially – then stick to it like glue. Schedule online date nights and share the little day to day aspects of your life. Chat over a glass of wine, talk about music, grow in your mental and emotional connection to each other, because you can’t build the physical when you’re apart.
Also visit whenever possible and try to always have a trip planned so that you have something to look forward to. Don’t place too much pressure on those visits, because you could have conflicting agendas. Again, open and honest communication is the key.
Ultimately, thinking and talking about the future will help remind you both that this separation is temporary. Plan what you’ll do, where you’ll live, things you’ll enjoy. Make it clear to your partner that you’re in this for the long haul, and this is a temporary diversion on the way to your beautiful future together.
My husband said I’m getting fat. Should I slim down or should he accept me as I am?
This is a great question, and I think the answer is very long winded and complicated, so I’ll try to keep it simple! How we feel about ourselves is ultimately the most important thing. How do you feel about your size/weight? Are you happy with your own health and fitness, and do you feel good when you look in the mirror? Certainly weight is not the most important part of ourselves – but there are so many parts of us which contribute to our self-confidence and self-esteem. Weight is one of these things.
On one hand, you might be wishing that you look/felt more fit and energetic, but on the other hand, you want to love and accept yourself for you who are, and you want your husband to as well. This creates we call in coaching ‘conflicting parts’. Where one part of you wants something, but another part of you wants the opposite. This can make it hard to achieve goals, even if you want to reach that goal yourself.
If you have access to a really good, qualified coach, I would look at having a few sessions to talk about your own self-image. Even as a coach myself, I’ll be honest to say this is something I still struggle with. Accepting ourselves is really the key to happiness, and that might mean that we want to make some minor adjustments to things which we aren’t truly happy with. Once you’re happy and confident, it will shine through and he will think you’re the bomb at any weight.