Online dating success means different things to different people. Whether you’re on a mission or taking things slow, these little bits of info will help you rock the online dating world.
Dating in general can be tumultuous for some, but online dating can be a whole other ball of wax. The time it can take will add up to another full time job if you let it, but it is a lot of fun. There are quite a few sites out there for whatever or whomever you might be interested in, so it is important to do your research and know what kind of vibe you’re getting into.
A fascinating phenomena with online dating is the amount of either distrust or dishonesty that arises in some way with the people you meet—and how absolutely open you must be, in order to be successful with it.
Online dating is a fast paced dynamic where you will quickly attract, on some level, a mirror to yourself. There is the appearance of competition, but in fact, there are just a lot of folks trying to sift through the enormity of the opportunity.
People don’t always craft their profile, nor do they always completely read yours, so it’s imperative to have a very recent picture. Believe it or not, it’s less about what you look like (trust me, there is someone out there who is going to like exactly what you have going on) and more about confidence. You want a current picture that shows you looking right into the camera, saying “Hi there, I am glad to meet you!”
Because online dating relies so much on the vibe that people get from your picture and profile, it’s worth it to take the time to present yourself as you are, completely. Remember, what you are attracted to online not only tells you about the people you’re attracting, but it tells you quite a bit about yourself.
Here are the pros and cons of online dating as I see them.
For the person who gets attached easily, online dating will surely break you of that, which is truly a good thing. The more you can enter into any sort of communication honestly while feeling relaxed, the easier it will be. I’m sure however, some of the biggest online dating weekends are around holidays, with millions of people getting online because they may be feeling sad or lonely. I know the first time I got on an online site was a month after my Mom died.
It is a common reaction to trauma (that includes a break up), to want to break out of your normal routine and reach out to other experiences and people; but I can tell ya, it wasn’t a successful experience. (She says with a chuckle and a shake of her head.) Your goal in online dating is to interact with as many people as possible without any attachment at all.
If you have an amazing conversation and the person never reaches out again, it’s okay because there are 10 more just waiting to take their place…if you’re open. If someone isn’t really your style, that doesn’t mean they are not a good option for someone else, and likewise for you. Online dating is a numbers game and the only kind of dating where there are so many options.
Honesty is imperative, as is trusting your gut. Be truthful about yourself, your likes and dislikes, but keep your personal information to yourself. Not everybody out there is looking to date you, they may be looking to scam you. Yes, it’s a harsh reality of online dating, so deal with it head on. A guy once told me that he was 20 years younger than his actual age!
Be willing to Google and background check your prospective date, and be open with them about doing it. In the very beginning, I had a fabulous conversation with a guy online, but I just felt he wasn’t being truthful; so, in the process of our conversation he told me: the physical description of his home, a fake name and pieces of information about his career and education. From all of that I found: his address, his real name and his dissertation. It started with a reverse phone number look-up and a Google.
Now at the time, I didn’t tell him I was doing it and after a few conversations I found that his motivation was likely that he had been taken advantage of before, but I decided that he had way too much going on for me. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing—or are up front about what they will and won’t share in the first few meetings. Often, it is the one who gets upset and feels intruded upon with the gesture of research, who is lying through their charming little teeth.
It’s common to lie about age, current weight status and sometimes marital status. Obviously, at the very least you need someone who is comfortable in their own skin, open hearted and un-partnered. I know some of you would like to argue that that sort of distrust breeds that sort of dishonesty, and I hear ya. However, how people deal with the truth tells a lot about their character, and anyone who needs to lie in the online dating process, probably isn’t ready for any kind of real relationship and anyone who would spend time with them, probably isn’t either. Finally, you want to know, before you meet someone in person, that they are the person that you are expecting.
It’s true, being open to the online process is paramount to your success. Filling out the questionnaires and profile as they are written was done purposefully for your benefit, so play the game…and have fun with it.
Keep in mind that online dating can easily take enormous amounts of time, so schedule it in. Think about (in advance) how much time you can afford to put into this, that way it won’t overwhelm you when people begin to respond to your profile.
Clarity is also important. Whether you are clear about what you want, or clear that you are not clear about what you want. Either is okay, so that you can be honest with prospective dates about wanting a casual friendship or connection, or something commitment minded (don’t mark all the boxes).
The last and final thing, and this one can be tough, do your best not to take your last relationship into your new connections. Having fun getting to know people is the thing that makes someone successful at online dating.
Most of all, as you embark upon your online journey, use it as an opportunity to get to know yourself better. Keep notes on things you like or about things that may have triggered an emotional response. Success has a lot of different meanings for different people. Remember that.
Some folks are looking for a commitment and therefore will treat this like a job and not waste time on things they don’t want, while others will spend a lot of time in situations that make them feel uncomfortable just to work through their feelings. Both are successful based on what they want. Use your judgement as a gauge of what is right for you and what is not and do your best to enjoy the process.
[image: via shutterstock]