Shopping for Love

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They say online dating is like online shopping. Eager newbies shiver with tingles of excitement as they open their browser and start searching. After all, the possibilities are endless and they’ve been regaled with tales of “add to shopping cart,” then falling madly in love.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the advantages to online dating do resemble shopping. For instance, you have an organized selection right in front of you, similar to aisles of a grocery store. In the real world, you can be surrounded by loaves of Wonder bread, grade A steaks, and triple fudge ice cream all at the same time. Online dating, however, streamlines your “shopping” process. By choosing your search parameters and filing out a personality questionnaire, you can, in a sense, peruse the deli section and skip dairy all together if you’re lactose intolerant.

One of the problems with this scenario, though, is this: it eliminates the human factor, thus leading you up to disappointment. While shopping online, you can add items to your cart and they will magically appear there at time of checkout. But with online dating, there is no guarantee the guy will meet you off line, or even respond to your email.

But don’t get discouraged. You can still have fun shopping online for a date, just make sure your expectations are in check. If you’re ready to purchase, but he’s not ready to leave the store, move on. Sometimes we think we know exactly what we want. We’re craving a big, juicy steak, but wind up with the pasta primavera and couldn’t believe we didn’t order it in the first place.

Okay, so I’m mixing a million metaphors, but you get the idea. Have confidence and standards (a shopping list, if you will), but keep your mind and heart open. The process may seem long and frustrating at times, but don’t give up. Eventually you’ll be ready to check out.

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