Tips For Success

After dating online through several websites (and at times going completely offline for a needed break) would I recommend it to others?  A resounding YES.  I ultimately found the right person for me, who is now my lovely wife (ironically, we lived only half of a mile apart, yet would most certainly be strangers today had we not ventured into cyberspace).  Were there bumps and emotional bruises along the way?  No question about it.  Here are some strategies that resulted in my best online dating experiences:

  1. Try multiple online dating sites.  Even with the most popular websites, you are at some point limiting yourself to the same group of people.  Also, unless the website is primarily advertised as serving a demographic that doesn’t fit you (for example, ‘Wiccan Relationships dot com’), ruling out a dating site based upon blanket assumptions about the clientele can eliminate the chance to meet someone who is right for you.  In my case, I met my wife on a local alternative website that we each joined only for a short period because we believed we were too conventional for the typical users of that site!

  2. Resist the temptation to post outdated photos of yourself.  We all want to put our best foot forward and make our online profile attractive, however creating false expectations by posting a photo from six years ago when you were training for that half-marathon will set you up for disappointment.  By posting only recent photos of yourself, you will not only avoid surprising your prospective match but you will be far more relaxed heading into the first meeting instead of fearing they won’t be physically attracted to the ‘real’ you.  If you’re not sure that a photo is recent enough, ask a friend for their honest opinion before posting it.

  3. Once you have established mutual interest online, try to meet your prospective match in person sooner than later.  Otherwise you may invest a lot of time and energy writing emails or talking by phone, only to find that the in-person chemistry is not there for one of you.  Also, remember that, like yourself, the other person is keeping communication lines open to other prospective matches, not to mention singles they may meet elsewhere in-person.  It can be draining to invest too much time and hope communicating with a prospective match, only to part ways (for whatever reason) either before or right after that first meeting.

  4. Keep the first meeting low-pressure.  Arrange something casual, such as meeting for coffee or taking a stroll through a park.  As tempting as it may be to impress her on the first date or to graciously accept his invite to a spendy restaurant, avoid more than a casual meeting for the first date.  This way you are committing to only a limited time period together from which you can easily part ways.  Also, you both have expended limited time and money should it not work out.  If a spark is there, you can follow-up with more exciting plans on a future date. Your prospective match will also appreciate this low-key approach!

  5. While dating online, do not abandon other avenues for meeting singles.  Keep all opportunities open because you never know where you might meet that special someone.  Knowing that you have other potential avenues will help you stay relaxed and better weather online dating’s ups and downs.

Online dating is a fabulous opportunity because it allows you to a) reach out to people whose basic profile is compatible with you, b) find others who are actively seeking a partner, and c) to find someone who you probably wouldn’t ever meet otherwise.  If you go about it with patience and some savvy, you will give yourself the best chance to meet your soul mate and, until then, enjoy your experiences along the way.