Article written for Match.com

The true gift of on-line dating is the quality of focus, clarity and intention that’s required to be successful in manifesting our dreams. Most people initially go on-line with very little clarity about what they truly desire in a relationship, and the responses they receive will always mirror their beliefs and confusions.

Anyone can fill in the blanks and post a profile in a matter of moments, and what they will quickly find is that they get a vast array of responses; much of the time you’re left wondering, WHY did this strange person respond to me? Because your profile was vague enough that they could see themselves in your picture, after all they like sunsets too. Who wants to wade through the muck of confusion that will inevitably come your way as a reflection of your own?

What does it say about a person who begins the profile with a statement like, “Well, I don’t know what to say about myself, it’s really hard to post 200 characters”? Or, “My friends tell me I’m a really nice person.”

What would a relationship with them be like? The first one has no sense of themselves; the latter is defined by everyone else. Scary.

Then there are the folks who start off saying they’ve been finding a lot of liars on line and they really want honesty. Why is it that they’re attracting a rash of liars? Clearly there is a resonance within them that broadcasts fear, lack of trust or victimization. Very scary.

There is truly a vast array of fish in the global on-line sea, and your clarity and discrimination are required to attract the ones that are nourishing for you. Take time with yourself to meditate on, envision, or journal about what is essential in relationship for you before you even write the profile. Make sure that you’re writing from your heart as well as your head or your lust. Try “wearing” the vision you’re conjuring and see if it really fits and feels like it lifts your spirit and opens your heart to a larger experience of love. Write if off line first, tell it all to yourself, and then pull out the ideas and realizations you wish to share.

Each time you discover an important aspect of yourself that you left out of your profile go back and rewrite it. The process itself helps you cultivate clarity; your profile will shape and define your intent, desires and relating skills as well as what you attract. Notice that each time you change it you will attract different feeling people, that’s just how the universe works. When you tune your dial to a particular radio station you get a different feeling music. The clearer you are, the less static and dissonance you receive. Remember that the clarity you want is about the essence of the person, not necessarily the costume they happen to be wearing. Our costumes will change and wrinkle as we age, we’re in relationship with the person inside.

Keep in mind that on-line meet and greet is a virtual reality. What gets said in profiles, emails and phone calls is inevitably going to be skewed. Everyone wants to play nice, if not seduce you into liking them. Everyone is speaking to the great unknown and the blank mirror is bound to be filled with projections, and fantasy, and fears, yours and theirs. If you feel safe with this person, and are genuinely interested set up a short, public meeting relatively soon, and read the vibes in person. Our intuition is a primary source of information when we’re sizing up a situation, and intuition is much less loaded with fantasy when we’re sitting in each other’s energy fields.

What does your heart say about this person? What is your gut saying? Do you feel confused or less clear about yourself when you’re with them? Or do you feel genuinely seen and felt and heard? If you’re struggling in their presence recognize that there are dissonant energies between you and you’re probably contracting your relationship with yourself in their presence. Find a friend with whom you feel at ease, open and curious; one in whose presence you can relax and feel genuinely met. The odds are good that if you’re feeling this, then they are as well; this is the person to invite back for a second date.

Cherie Byrd is an internationally recognized holistic psychotherapist, author, healer, speaker and educator specializing in body/heart/mind/spirit integration, spiritual emergence, and sacred sexuality. She has been in private practice in Seattle, WA for 30 years and is a pioneer in the field of Energy Psychology. Cherie is the creator and facilitator of trainings on sacred sexuality and the embodiment of high frequency states of consciousness, including her internationally recognized Kissing School. She is the author of Kissing School, 7 Lessons on Love, Lips, and Life Force, and has been profiled in print, screen, and audio and internet media around the world. Cherie can be reached at www.cheriebyrd.love