Ready to find out if the guy or gal you’ve met on eHarmony, Lavalife, Plenty of Fish, Match, Christian Mingle, JDate or any of the other online match-making sites can bring happiness to your life for more than a few weeks or months?
The nonprofit PAIRS Foundation, a longtime industry leader in marriage and relationship education, says you can have a good idea if your virtual flame is one who should meet your friends, kids or parents in 60 days by seeing how you both do with 10 online relationship-building exercises.
“Falling in love is the easy part,” says PAIRS CEO Seth Eisenberg. “How you do together in these ten exercises will help you know if you’ve found someone with whom you can sustain love and intimacy.”
Eisenberg says each exercise, based on PAIRS Foundation’s evidence-based classes, will either deepen your connection or let you know where the relationship may need some help. Whether you invest time and effort in those areas or move on to someone else is a big decision “only you can make,” he says.
While these exercises can help you get to know each other better, it’s even more important to make sure you’re following safe online dating practices. The Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect website offers valuable tips for protecting yourself online. Match.com also provides safety tips to protect you, your finances and personal information.
After being sure you’re taking proper precautions and following guidelines to stay safe, PAIRS says learning more about your match through relationship-building exercises will help you consider:
- Are you good listeners?
- How do you both communicate under stress?
- Do you have the staying power to sustain intimacy?
- Are your ideas of pleasure compatible?
- How do you handle each other’s concerns or complaints?
- Can you both connect with your emotions?
- What sets each of you off?
- What’s it like confiding experiences from the past?
- Will jealousy drive you crazy?
- Are you ready for each other’s perfect love-making scenarios?
PAIRS Foundation provides a list of exercises, interactive web apps, and sample timeline on their website.