Jan 28, 2015 09:45PM
by S. Alison Chabonais
Jill Crosby, owner and founder of the Conscious Dating Network, has focused on spiritual development and meditation for more than 30 years. Working as a director for the granddaddy of the original onsite photo/video dating companies, which included interviewing 6,000+ singles, sparked a desire to create a venue for spiritually conscious singles to meet. So, 15 years ago, she created her flagship online dating site, SpiritualSingles.com. NaturalAwakeningsSingles.com, launched two years ago as part of the network, shares the same database of members as SpiritualSingles.com and many affiliated conscious dating sites in the network.
Today, the Conscious Dating Network is the largest of its kind. From Mount Shasta, California, Crosby leads a team of specialists that care for members’ needs and provide a loving, inspiring site for singles to meet their beloveds.
How has online dating continued to evolve, and what trends do you see now?
The stigma about meeting someone online has completely dissolved as success stories have become so common. It’s like shopping online—you can look at many different varieties and styles to find exactly what you are looking for, rather than physically searching store after store hoping to find something you like.
Technology has made a tremendous difference in price, accessibility and reach. Today, members post selfies as headshots, shoot their own videos and can access potential matches anywhere in the world.
I used to think long-distance relationships didn’t stand a chance. However, with Skype and a willingness to relocate, many of our success stories start as long-distance connections. Video chatting is a great way to assess common values and get to know someone on a deep level before traveling to meet in person.
What distinguishes conscious dating sites like NaturalAwakeningsSingles.com from mainstream sites?
Natural Awakenings Singles is a niche dating site for those that are conscious, spiritual and green. Singles with specific interests, passions and lifestyles usually prefer niche dating sites because they allow for more targeted search results, provided that the member database is large enough. Our database of more than 90,000 members globally is considered large for a niche. Mainstream sites may have more members; however, they require far more time and effort in sorting through profiles to find those with whom we might have something in common.
Natural Awakenings Singles is also much more generous than conventional pay models, in that free members can read and reply to personal messages and live instant messages sent from subscribing members. Most mainstream sites make members pay to read and reply to messages. Our primary goal is for our singles to become couples—to facilitate the tremendous amount of success our members experience, we do many things differently.
Have you seen any overall differences in the success stories the Conscious Dating Network facilitates?
Yes, our members usually connect on a deeper “soul-to-soul” level and tend to understand that chemistry comes in all shapes and sizes. Our success story couples oftentimes have the feeling that they are destined to be together.
We encourage members to listen to their inner guidance in regard to whom to contact, be grateful in advance and stay in their divine flow. When members tune in and act from this space, miracles happen.
Many of our “destined” couples go on to do amazing projects together, like opening retreat centers, writing books, facilitating workshops, starting intentional communities, creating nonprofit organizations and other beautiful ventures that neither of them would have necessarily done alone. The power of two seems to be exponentially greater.
What have proved to be your all-time favorite tips for online dating success?
By healing past traumas, loving and forgiving ourselves, and embodying our divine presence as much as possible, deep-seated feelings of unworthiness fall away and we emanate our true radiance, thus magnetizing a partner equally empowered and awake.
When we are in a place of personal power, there is no being shy or procrastinating. Imagine how it would be once you have met the love of your life, and focus on those feelings while browsing and reading profiles. When you notice a strong inner nudge to contact someone, do it. If it’s not mutual, that’s OK; don’t take it personally. That’s part of the beauty of online dating; the pool is large, and when the feeling and knowingness is mutual, you might just be starting a life together.
“In-joy” the process, be positive and choose to make it a fun adventure!
Joining NaturalAwakeningSingles.com includes access to all members of all the Conscious Dating Network sites.
S. Alison Chabonais is the national content editor for Natural Awakenings magazines.