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Articles by Dr. Miller ©
FINDING A SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP ON THE INTERNET
DO'S AND DON'TS ©
 
 

If you are looking for a more serious or long term relationship through the internet, matching sites can provide an opportunity to find a person who does truly match with your personality and interests. But good matches require careful pairing of similarities, and very careful perception of possible problems. Most people are comfortable communicating and meeting new people online, but if you are new to online dating and friendships, here are some guidelines that might be helpful. What you don’t want is to have something happen that is very negative. Here are some guidelines that might be helpful in finding positive and successful experiences.

Research in social psychology tells us that the more significant categories that two people match on, the more likelihood there is for a stable, long term relationship. A good match requires looking for similarities in factors related to personality, lifestyle preferences, accomplishments, and interests. It is a good idea to give careful consideration to the information you are receiving in the first few communications. The following suggestions will help you sort through them for negative and positive indicators.

With regard to negative indicators:

Writing - Look over the information you can glean from writing style, skill, and content. If the writing is not grammatically correct, does not follow a logical order, appears irrational, or has a negative focus, these are all causes for concern.

History - Look over the information that you have regarding the other person's history. Especially in early communications, consider information regarding family background, past relationships, and past experiences. If information is presented that indicates differences, areas of concern, or questions, you may want further information, or— that may be enough to terminate the communication.

Red Flags: Red flag issues relate to alcohol, drugs, criminal history, types of sexual interests, previous relationships, lifestyle differences, and value differences and can be cause for serious concern. If you receive information that causes serious question or concern, you can take the option to stop communicating.

Focus on sexuality - If the person communicating with you focuses on areas related to sex, be sure you are comfortable with the content and extent of the communication.

Subtle cues - Be aware of subtle cues related to problem areas. If you have or sense any question at all, pay attention to your reservations.

Intuition, question, or uncomfortable feelings - In short, if you have any inkling of intuition, any question, or any uncomfortable feeling, either address the area of concern in your communications, ask questions, or take your option not to respond. Pay attention to your own best judgment.

With regard to positive indicators:

Writing - Look for writing skill, creativity, originality, and humor. Most people who are functioning in a professional capacity in their work possess good writing skills. A friend or a partner that is skillful in his or her writing ability may be an important consideration for you, and is likely a sign of educational level, awareness, and experience.

History - It is important to look for shared experiences in lifestyle, family, skills and interests. This will contribute to the ability to bond and to know that you share in many ways. A vastly different history is very interesting, but it might not be as likely to provide a good match. There are exceptions to this obviously, so definitely keep an open mind with regard to history.

Red Flags - Red flags are, as the name indicates, indicators of potential serious problems for a relationship. Past red flags may not be problems if the person expresses what has been learned from the experiences, and how their life has changed.

Focus on sexuality - There often is a focus on sexuality even in early communications online Before meeting or at the time of meeting, sexuality is often discussed. I think it is important that descriptions of yourself and your partner, with regard to sexual interests, are discussed before entering into a sexual relationship.

Subtle cues - If the subtle cues that you have noticed are positive signs, then you can feel more at ease and optimistic in exploring the relationship further.

Intuition, questions, and feelings - If your intuition is positive, you have taken these factors into consideration, and you are feeling excited or eager to get to know this potential friend, then you can feel good about continuing the process, and of meeting. I wish you well in making a serious and careful evaluation. ENJOY!

 

 
 

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