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be careful

Recently, Facebook has taken a huge leap into the online dating game by dragging cupid into their services. Now, users can not only make friends and share memes on Facebook but also find love.

Armed with a guide and confidence, you may decide to give online dating a go. After all, you wouldn’t have to admit to installing a low-rep app like Tinder now that Facebook dating is available to all existing users.

Dearest one,

Although I have shared with you a guide on how to get started, I personally wouldn’t encourage any of my friends to look to online dating for a serious relationship. Not at this age, at least.

Certainly not until you understand your true worth and know that your identity does not lie in how many matches you have, or how many people are interested in you.

Sadly, in loneliness, many turn to dating apps for the wrong reasons and fail to realize that instant gratification provides only temporary relief. So many are blind to the ways these apps dehumanize the dating process, blind to compromises on our worth, our standards.

Loneliness is no reason to subject your self-esteem to strangers. Self-doubt is no reason to window shop for confidence boosts.

Dearest one,

We live in a world where dating is like online transactions. We place ourselves ‘on the market’ for window shoppers to pick out, evaluate, judge. We invest our time, energy and emotions before receiving our ‘order’. Most of the time, what we receive is less than what we’ve paid and hoped for. I do advice you against entrusting your time and energy to someone undiscerning of your worth and undeserving of your heart.

So many of us are throwing ourselves into the waters only to be fished out and dumped back in. So many of us fall into this vicious cycle, unwilling to admit defeat, believing that the next one might be the one. We almost never expect to emerge from this supposedly harmless dalliance paying the outrageously expensive price of heartbreak. Yet, we set ourselves up for pain and dashed hopes.

How do you know if you are being played? If you met them on Tinder, chances are, you are not the only, the first, nor the last. Part of the appeal of Tinder is instant validation. Although fun and non-committal, Tinder is pretty shallow and it is difficult to meet anyone with serious intentions if everyone is presenting themselves as an option. There aren’t many decent people on Tinder.

However, there may be a few gems out there who could potentially blow you away with what seems to be too good to be true. You need to be reminded of your intentions and expectations before agreeing to take a budding relationship further. If your instincts are warning you to stay away, or if you happen across any red flags, do nip it in the bud before you come to any harm or heartbreak.

Dearest one,

I say this in love for you, that you may have a fun experience during your peak years of university and not spend it mending a broken heart.

Starting today, shall we not appreciate our energy, body, emotions, our value? Starting today, shall we not begin to safeguard our hearts, the wellspring of life? Starting today, shall we foolishly allow our feelings to be toyed with?

We don’t have to compromise our standards for those who are sleazy with theirs. Our identity and self-worth are found in those who shape our character. We do not need to seek validation from strangers.

When we are honest, true and vulnerable in our interactions, we are inviting humanity and compassion back into the dating process.

It is time for every woman to believe in herself. It is time for every man to stop hiding behind a false perfection. It is time to establishes our standards, preserve our values, and discover our worth.

I hope you are reminded of your self-worth throughout your dating experiences, be it online or offline. You attract what you believe you’re worth. If you believe you’re worth more than a swipe right or a match, you won’t be a slave to validation from strangers, and you will be at peace with yourself.

Only when you are confident in yourself will you be at your peak to give and receive the blessing you’ve been waiting for.

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