Internet Dating: 8 DOs and DON’Ts
My sister Jaime came into my office today and told me that one of our clients called and she needed to speak with us. I dropped everything, dialed her number and put her on speaker phone. Prepared for a serious conversation, Jaime and I grabbed our notepads. She answered and we began talking business, but we quickly realized that she was not calling for business purposes but personal. She bellowed “I think you and Jaime should teach classes on internet dating. I’m starting to get on some dating sites and don’t know what to do! HELP!” We all laughed and started to answer questions based on our experiences.
This is the 6th part of Breaking the Dysfunctional Dating Cycle & Find Love series. Reading the first 5 articles would be a great idea in order for you to be current on what this article contains. Click here to read the previous articles.
The potential for meeting someone and falling in love through one of the various internet dating sites is huge. Naturally it is not the only way to meet someone, but dating sites have opened up a whole new world to thousands of people all around the world who are looking for love. My sister Jaime and I are living proof.
Jaime met her husband on match.com. After a few months of dating and weeding out men that were not a fit for her, she went out on a date with a man one evening who three years later became her husband. Jaime’s goal was to meet someone gentle, kind, loving, honest and compassionate. Her husband has all these qualities and more!
Next: 8 Dos and Don’ts of Internet Dating
After watching me go on hundreds of internet dates, Jaime came to work one day and proclaimed “I found a great guy for you on match.com.” She kept telling me that he was absolutely perfect for me and that I needed to look at his profile. We went onto her account so he could not see that I was checking him out and looked at his profile. He was tall, handsome and most importantly his profile read so beautifully filled with spiritual insights and wisdom. I thought, “okay maybe this one is different.”
Now here is the unusual part of the story. The next day I received an e-mail from this man. Neither Jaime nor myself sent him a message. He picked me out of the thousands of women my age on match.com and sent me a message. Two years and two months later we were married.
The moral of the story is that internet dating does work, but there is a way to do it so you do not have to spend hours and hours on the computer and too much time with just one person who may not be a fit for you.
Jaime and I came up with a list of “do’s and dont’s” for internet dating. This will make your process easier to navigate.
1. Make certain your picture is current and honest. I have heard more disaster stories from mostly men how women will put photos of themselves 50 pounds lighter and 20 years younger. If you are uncomfortable with your weight then find a way to lose a few pounds before going on the site, but do not mislead someone. They are going to meet you and will only be shocked when they see that you look nothing like your photo. Being who you are is crucial, so make sure you embody all the qualities that you are seeking in a partner. If honesty is one of them, then be honest.
2. Think about what is important to you and what you want people to know about you at first glance. For instance, it was important for me to put on the table right away that I was spiritual and was looking for someone who had similar beliefs. Keep your profile and comments about yourself simple and concise. The long overly exaggerated profiles are boring and most people do not take the time to read them. When looking at profiles keep in mind the list of qualities that you do want in a partner. Remember the list we created in part 2 of this series? Keep it by your side while perusing profiles, but do not list all the qualities you are looking for in your profile. Perhaps just a few important items. Listing everything can be intimidating for potential partners.
3. If you are seeking a long term relationship and want to be married someday, it is important to put that in your profile as well. You do not want to date someone who is not looking for the same kind of relationship that you are.
4. When you get to the point where you decide to message someone, once again, keep it short and sweet. Something like “I saw your profile and thought you looked interesting. Tell me something about yourself” or you can ask them something about what they wrote in their profile. If you are contacted, keep your reply short, sweet and open the door to further communication if you are interested. If you are not interested, it goes without saying, be kind and gentle and just let the person know that you do not think that you are a match.
Next: 4 More Internet Dos and Don’ts
5. Do not spend hours communicating. If you have started to write back and forth to someone and you are interested, do not spend days writing back and forth to one another. This will keep you tied to the computer instead of getting out there and meeting the person to find out if they are a match for you. And please do not get too intimate via e-mail. I have a friend who would get so emotionally involved in the e-mail communication without ever having met the person. I have heard stories about this behavior over and over again. After the second or third e-mail suggest a phone conversation. I would not stay hooked into e-mailing back and forth too many times. Make certain to not get emotionally hooked into a fantasy about a person you have not even met. This happens too often with internet dating. Keep it real not in fantasyland!
6. Once you have decided to talk on the phone, have a nice chat, get to know one another lightly and if you are hitting it off, then hopefully either they will suggest to meet, or be bold and state…”let’s meet for coffee.” Do not make dinner plans or even lunch. Meet for a 20 minute coffee date in a visible public place. When I would meet for coffee, even if I liked the man and wanted to see more of him, I kept the first meeting short.
7. If the two of you decide to see each other again, make certain to continue meeting in a public place and do not give out your home address until you feel extremely comfortable and safe with the person. Be smart and safe!
8. Another option to internet dating is to have a very close friend, brother or sister look for you. Sometimes it is helpful for an objective eye to do the searching for you. They might find someone just perfect for you that you would normally breeze over. Remember, not everyone can write captivating profiles and someone else might pick out details that you did not notice at first glance. It was successful for me!
Have fun with internet dating! There are thousands of single people out there looking for love and someone out there looking for you!
Until next week…see you for part 7.