Online Dating - When and How much do we open up?

I recently was interviewed by a writer on regarding the email communications between prospective online daters. It made me realize how our dating society has changed. In my dating days, I remember the difference in how men communicated with me after seeing my online dating ad. Some jumped right in and gave me their life story in the first email, while others remained strangely aloof. I remember one guy who gave me a 500 word essay email and I replied back with a short response, but told him I was interested. A few days later when we tried to plan a date, he had already met someone else that he was "crazy" about. That experience taught me to watch for the love wannabes - people looking for a relationship not a person. A few of these jump in and out scenarios left me a little cautious when opening up to new prospective dates. After learning my lesson, I saw how single men are so easy to read through their email communications. I could always tell the womanizer, the shy guy and even the desperado looking for love with every person dating online.

Since online dating can be a scary thing, women often try to avoid getting too personal until they get to know the person. But is overcaution causing them to miss out on a great available single guy just waiting to meet the right person? When is it appropriate to open up and how much? My rule of thumb always goes back to my intuition. It has never been wrong. Not to say I didn't meet my share of jerks when dating, but that was because I ignored my intuition because the guy was cute (my downfall). Instead of opening up, I would put on my mask and pretend I was cool and into whatever they liked. I watched myself to avoid getting into too deep of a conversation. It seemed like I was getting closer to my dates, but I was actually building a bigger wedge between them and the real me. My dating story always ended the same way, being rejected for the persona I was expressing because the guys can FEEL when you are faking it. They might not know exactly what is wrong, but they know that something is off so they walk away.

After years of struggling in the dating world, I joined Great Expectations as a last ditch effort to find love. I was not really excited about it, but a friend of mine worked there and pushed me to sign up. As I pondered the questions and the dreaded "video" they have their single clients perform, I decided not to put on the mask anymore. I felt like I had nothing to lose, so I was just going to lay it out. I was real, honest and even a little sappy. I wanted a spiritual guy who was into personal growth, I wanted a life partner, I wanted someone who was real. I didn't stretch the truth about my interest in sports. (In Colorado most guys want a girl who can hike a fourteener, ski or snowboard, etc.). I was just being me and it paid off. The very first guy to respond to my online ad was the love of my life. We spoke for about an hour before we met and immediately connected.

Two years later, we are planning big dreams together and it is the healthiest relationship of my life. I do not know think it matters how and when you open up to another person, as much as knowing you are finally ready to be real. You are the only person that can tell you when the time is right and whether the person is right. It doesn't matter if you use match, great expectations, or even those find a rich guy sites. The important thing is to trust your gut, take it slow, and in the end... you just know.

If you need help opening up, I have a great relaxation self-hypnosis program called "Healing Heart" that helps you heal old wounds so that you can be open to love again.

Author's Bio: 

Debra Berndt, CHT has been in the healing arts since 2000 working with clients on emotional, physical and spiritual issues. She is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (Cert. #104-078) and a member of the Colorado Association of Psychotherapists. In addition to hypnosis, she has been trained in NLP, Massage Therapy, Healing Touch, Energetic Healing and Reconnective Healing™. She is a dating expert and creator of over 50 self-hypnosis products available at

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