February 18th, 2014 by Simone Paget

Why Online Dating is Like the Olympics

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(Marianne St-Gelais and Charles Hamelin celebrate with a kiss after he won the men’s 1,500-metre race at the Sochi Olympics on Monday. (David Gray/Reuters)

It’s safe to say that I have become completely obsessed with watching the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Whether I’m cheering on the athletes from my home and native land – Canada, or equal parts cheering for and lusting after the Jamaican bobsled team, there’s no doubt that there’s something kind of magical about the Olympics. As someone who spends the majority of their day thinking and writing about dating & romance, I can’t help but draw some parallels between the Olympics and online dating. I came up with this list while watching the Men’s luge competition the other night.

Here’s a few things the Olympics and Online Dating have in common.

1. Everyone is there – Just like the Olympics which brings together athletes from all over the globe, the world of online dating is a huge repository of singles just like you. In other words, the whole world is there…online. With online dating you’re bound to connect with people that you never would have in the past. It’s actually kind of amazing when you think about it.

2. It’s nerve wracking – Although I’d never compare the mental and physical stress of competing in the Olympics with going on a date, it’s undeniable that nerves do play a huge part in both situations. In order for an Olympic athlete to do well in the Games, they need to harness all of that nervous energy in a good way. The same goes for dating. Nerves are inevitable, however if you do your best to breathe, relax and focus on the task at hand it will definitely work in your favour – whether you’re on a date with someone new or sliding headfirst down an icy terrain.

3. It’s not about who wins, it’s about how you play the game – It’s true. With both dating and the Olympics, not everyone is going to win gold, silver and bronze. However, what matters most is that you did your best and put yourself out there. Regardless of whether you make it onto the podium, always keep in mind that you’re awesome. Good sportsmanship goes along way both in sport and love. Always be polite and respectful to the people you interact with because good karma is everything.

4. A lot of it depends on chance – If sports like downhill skiing have taught us anything, it’s that sometimes the difference between winning gold and placing fourth is a quarter of a second. Dating is like this too. Sometimes things just don’t go as you expected. You might find someone online that you like…. right before they start dating someone else. Don’t sweat it. Give yourself props for sending them a polite and witty message and keep things moving with faith that the Universe (or whatever you believe in) has other great things in store for you.

With that said, amazing things can happen! Like the Olympics, online dating is full of big surprises. Underdogs become winners. That person you weren’t sure you were going to give a chance may end up being the love of your life – or vice versa, the person you thought was perfect for you may turn out to be the kind of person that wears socks with sandals…shudder.

5.  It’s easy to get distracted – Just like it’s easy to lose your focus in competition, it’s also easy to lose sight of what you really want when you’re dating. For example, if your end goal is to get married and have children, it’s easy to get distracted by that guy who’s just looking for a good time. Although switching up your dating strategy can definitely do some good (hello, hot vacation fling!) always keep in mind what you really want out of online dating – whether that’s something serious or casual.

6. It’s all about taking risks and going for gold – To be successful at the Olympics and at dating you really need to go for it. Yes, it’s scary, but you’re not going to be successful if you don’t put yourself out there. Be present, be yourself and give it your best shot. Hey, you might even win gold! :)

Simone is a freelance writer and author of the sexy and irreverent blog Skinny Dip. When she’s not writing her heart out about everything to do with love, sex and relationships, she loves wandering her city with a large cup of coffee in hand, in search of the next great story. You can visit her blog, follow her on twitter or catch up with her on Facebook. Skinny Dip

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