How can you take your yoga off the mat and apply it to online dating? In practicing yoga, you gain flexibility, strength and balance. You approach the mat knowing that each practice is unique and the best practices come when you release your attachment to outcome. Perhaps you will be fortunate enough to meet the ideal partner as you are unrolling your mat and preparing to sink into practice. Lucky you! For the rest, you will have to seek alternative ways to meet your match. Here are three tips from a fellow single yogini with some very interesting online dating experiences. Apply your practice to your search and you will likely attain some beautiful enlightenment.
1. As far as writing a profile, there is a fine line between not enough information and too much. What makes you unique? Have you ever thought about the qualities of your ideal partner? What do you have to give? What are your values, and interests? Craft a paragraph. Narrow it to 50 words. Then narrow it to 10. Can you narrow it to one word? If you can’t figure out what makes you different from the thousands of other single men on any particular site, then start asking your friends. They love you. Ask them what it is that they most appreciate and like about you. If you hear all the time that you are funny, let that humor shine through. Don’t be afraid to say what you want. Sure, some readers will be completely offended and will have no problem sharing their opinion. Graciously thank them for sharing, wish them the best of luck on their search and much joy, then block them! Deflect their energy with love and respect. You do not have to convince them. They are not a good and worthy challenge, a battle, someone that needs to be won over or proven unworthy. Let it go.
2. Image is important. Self-portraits of your shirtless torso taken in a bathroom or bedroom mirror are not acceptable! This is especially true when the mirror is reflecting your less-than-stellar organizational skills in the bathroom or bedroom behind you (even worse, the urinals in the gym locker room). Objectifying bodies is done by both genders. I think everyone can appreciate a healthy body; however, unless it was taken by someone else and is outside in a more natural setting (say the beach), just leave those photos off your profile entirely. Show a photo of your beautiful smile. Get some professional photos done by a photographer who captures your essence. It will be well worth the investment. Leave your kids out of the photos. As a parent, you need to protect your children. They may be the light of your life, but you can say that in your profile. Finally, you may have cool toys that you are quite proud of, however, those toys are hopefully not your identity. If they are, perhaps take a hiatus from dating other people and learn who you are first once all the roles and toys are removed. You want a partner that is interested in you, not your toys.
3. Online dating is different from just seeing someone you find attractive and starting with a simple “hello.” You have the potential to see what interests them, what they have to say about themselves, and images of them. Now, obviously, people can write anything they want and certainly far too many people misrepresent themselves. This process takes a leap of faith. Use that yoga warrior’s intuition of yours to see if it feels right or if you are getting a red flag. Show the person that you took the time to read their profile. Show where the common interest lies rather than saying, “I see we have many things in common.” You do not have to write a long email and templates are obvious and sleazy. Be yourself. You are amazing. Let that shine through.
Remember, every person you meet is practice for when you finally find the One. Just like every day you step on the mat is practice for that day you finally can do Eka Pada Sirsasana ( a seated forward fold with one foot behind the head...though if you can do that, do you really need a partner?). Sometimes, you have to get out from in front of the yoga dvd and into a class to take your practice to the next level. You may need to seek out a relationship or confidence coach.Every date is an opportunity to spread love and positivity, your flexibility. Every date is an opportunity to practice leaning into your own boundaries, your balance. Every date, gentlemen, is an opportunity to get to know yourself better, your strength. One day, your practice evolves enough that you find yourself in a whole new realm. Here's hoping this practice brings you the mate of your dreams.