Organic Online Flirting Tips

Follow this advice for bringing clean, non-toxic flirting methods into your online interactions. After all, even the most tech-savvy singles know that you can’t spell “love” with emoticons!

By Barrie Dolnick

ating is a natural part of life. Historically, dating was known as “courtship” — a simple way of getting to know someone before declaring deeper romantic intentions. Today, the Internet has helped make dating easier by opening up many new ways of meeting people, thus giving us more options to find
If you’re out for fun, say so; if you want a life partner, don’t be afraid to claim it.
a compatible mate. Yet these modern methods can also detract from the true process of getting to know someone. Before WiFi access became ubiquitous, your romantic world was typically limited to in-person encounters — often within the confines of your church or village. But today, your options could span the globe — and your first impression isn’t usually made in person, it’s through a monitor or mobile device. It starts inorganically through man-made means, and it happens faster than you can say the word “blush.”

Online dating is one great way to meet people, but it’s easy to forget about the pure, organic reason you’re out there. The same holds true for social media sites, message boards, forums, communities and gaming platforms: Ultimately, all good relationships begin with planting your own healthy roots first.

Here are some tips designed to help you establish something real, healthy and strong, no matter how you choose to meet someone — by letting love grow organically in a high-tech world, no matter what the medium.

Tip #1: Remember that any relationship starts with you, so find your true, organic self, present it to others online — and stick to it!
This is possibly the hardest (but most important) rule to observe: be true to yourself. It’s tempting to embellish your online presence — promising only the best qualities, humorously describing your challenges, and cropping photos to show your most flattering angles. Earnest, straightforward truth is really the most charismatic way to market yourself to others online, particularly when it’s stated with the clear intention to attract love and/or dates. Be candid with your tone, your words and your desires. If you’re out for fun, say so; if you want a life partner, don’t be afraid to claim it. There’s no reason to pretend to be someone you’re not — especially if you want someone to like you for who you are. If you can’t confidently write this kind of stuff about yourself, have your best friend or a relative take a swipe at it (then have your best friend take out any embarrassing bits).

Tip #2: Look beyond any photos you might glance at and let a person’s overall presentation speak to you instead
It’s not always about checking out someone’s posted photos — in fact, real love has little to do with an image and everything to do with emotion. Pictures are hooks — just like a pretty dress, a cheeky remark, or a glance that lingers just a bit too long on someone you happen to find attractive. Years ago, eye contact was a handy way of testing interest; today, a click or two can turn your head for a moment online, but it can slip away just as fast. If you find yourself racing through friends-of-friends or coworkers’ contacts until you find someone single with red hair, broad shoulders, or whatever specific visual cue attracts you to someone superficially, you’re already limiting the organic process of meeting potential mates.

When you come across someone who sounds interesting or seemingly “connects” with your own personality, spend some time researching that person in-depth, if you can. Words communicate more than just ideas; they offer a way to stimulate the senses, illuminate
This isn’t an invitation to be aggressive, just truthful.
some attraction, or simply spur someone else’s curiosity. Photos can be very flat and unfair compared to how some of us look in reality, but words can convey a person’s personality and humor that touches others on a deeper level. A few sentences someone’s written about themselves will probably be enough to know if you want to get to know this person any further.

Tip #3: Develop non-toxic flirtation skills
It takes all kinds of different methods to develop successful relationships online — and flirting can be as simple as posting a “Hi” comment on someone’s Facebook wall or as deliberate as sending a romantic quote or poem via private email or direct message on Twitter. Whatever method you choose is irrelevant; it just has to be real to you so that it can be real to someone else, too.

While online flirting can be limited by the medium you choose, it still offers a chance to convey a little bit about yourself to others, and letting someone know you’re interested in a light, non-obligatory way can help ease the sting of rejection. Ask questions and offer opinions when conversing with others online; it’s OK to stay away from touchy topics like politics and religion, but don’t censor your true thoughts about such issues should they arise. You can just as easily talk about music, books and films, or your family — just don’t filter yourself too carefully, because love is often is born from straight-up truth.

If you’ve found a person that interests you online, reach out with a message that says (in your own words): “You seem nice — can we talk?” Meet for coffee or arrange an IM chat session, and then let yourself take in what’s being said on every level. Long ago, dating meant taking a walk to church together on Sundays, enjoying a visit in the front parlor of your parents’ house, or going on a picnic with a chaperone to keep each person’s reputation intact. Today, we can choose almost any moment to talk with someone we’re interested in — but we often don’t listen to what that person’s actually saying during the conversation. So, follow this rule: Use online chat only for opening conversations with someone, and use your real voice whenever possible; in other words, Skype beats IM, and chatting in person beats a phone call every time.

Tip #4: If you find yourself acting “cool” (i.e., hanging back even when you want to move forward or lying to make yourself look better), you’ve gone into toxic territory
The biggest opportunity the Internet has given modern daters is how easy it’s become to meet people you’d normally never encounter in everyday life. The biggest mistake people make is using that same medium to play games. How will you ever know if someone has the potential to change your love life if you’re not upfront? This isn’t an invitation to be aggressive, just truthful. If you’re worried about moving too fast, slow it down — anyone worth your time will listen and be patient. If you’re not happy about how long it takes for someone to get back to you via email, IM, text, tweet or DM, say so (but do it kindly). If you don’t feel like you’re able to express yourself truthfully with someone, move on. Manipulation is to love what an oil spill is the ocean — dirty and dangerous.

Organic dating is about letting something evolve between two people naturally, without the inducement of synthetic encouragement. Love is the simplest emotion to grow organically, so feel confident in your unique and love-worthy self and let nature take its course.

Astro-coach Barrie Dolnick helps people find love and happiness by understanding their stars and their karmic energy. She is the author of twelve books, including Enlighten Up! and KarmaBabe.
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