Online dating, hate it and love it, but we are all giving it a chance when time has come to be single again. It is not a shame or a sign of romantic failure, but could be instead a smart way to find someone, and in my books, it can work the same way as the good ol' matchmaking, except that you are the one who needs to browse through the profiles. I personally love those sites where you can be actually virtually matched and showed those singles with a similar profile as yours. The rest, is a matter of luck, fate and careful consideration of the candidates.
Especially if you are a freelancer the chances to meet a work crush and to go to after-work parties, therefore, all you are left with is to open an account on many of the online apps and, start swiping - right or left, depending of what you see in the front of your eyes.
But it is important to do it right, especially if you are new into the scenery. For the skeptical and the beginner, but also for those who are not sure what they did wrong - if ever - there are books to deal with and experts to ask. Brent Louis Miller is one of them. Author of '101 Protocols for Online Dating', he is sharing with my readers some advice about how to find your half in the virtual world.
- How much dating changed after it was upgraded to the 'online' level?
Kismet is an old fashion term related to "fate" when it comes to finding love...online dating made "Kismet" easier for more people. No longer did men and women have only their local "pool" of singles to consider, but suddenly, anybody in the world. For those living in a small town, that is a game changer! Also, the information you include in your profile and others include in theirs, based on nudging from the online dating sites makes it easier to "narrow down" options. For example, if smoking is a deal breaker and someone includes that they are a daily smoker, you can swipe left and keep going.
- What would you say to someone skeptical to enter the online dating world?
Give it a try! If you travel and you're out of your hometown area, then you can experiment with how it works without the fear of "running into someone" you know, if you aren't quite sure how it all works at first.
One of the greatest benefits of trying is that people on a dating site are interested in dating, and many sites even give you an idea of their intent—whether marriage-minded or something more casual. You aren't having to wonder, as you do when you first meet someone, how interested they are in finding love, or at least a great friend.
You get to learn, by reading the person's profile, quickly, what their priorities and intentions are - which would be awkward to ask immediately of a stranger in many social gatherings when you stumble across someone who is intriguing.
Online dating profiles offer a myriad of information about each person. Pictures (is it a selfie, is the person looking professional or half dressed, etc.) and a personally written introduction provide a glimpse of their personality, priorities, and interests—far more than you would learn during a mere chance encounter.
- What is your advice for someone testing for the first time the waters of this kind of dating?
Start out slow, but don't necessarily turn into a pen pal either. Exchange some emails through the dating site.
- Does the person seem to have a grip on the English language?
- Does his story make sense or are his messages to you super generic like "You're Beautiful. I am honest man looking for a woman to treasure."? (real guys don't write messages like that - nor do they write like English is their second language!) -If you see this pattern, it's probably a fake profile. Just move on and check out the next profile.
If you are interested in someone after some emails, maybe you or he will suggest a phone call. Talk a bit to see if you still think he's interesting and you have some things in common. Don't hand out your email too quickly - or set up an email that you only use for online dating without identifying information - such as your name - in the address. Your cell number is OK to give out after a few interactions. Generally women don't give out their last name before meeting and feeling pretty secure. Gentlemen who are hypersensitive to understanding women need to feel safe, generally will share their last name before meeting.
If you want to meet after this, then choose a safe place. Most seasoned online daters decide that a coffee date or lunch during the day or early evening is a great way to test the waters in person. If he's suggesting going for "adult beverages" or meeting at at a place you've never been - probably not a good situation. Watching next time you're in Starbucks and I'll bet you'll be savvy enough to notice now that there are some "first dates" from online dating sites that are taking place - all different ages. And, just let a friend know where you are going and when.
Unless you are looking for a "hook up" then don't put yourself for several dates in a situation that could imply that - don't invite him into your place and don't go to his place, just as you wouldn't someone that you've just met somewhere on your own.
If you follow this protocol, then you're on your way to seeing if you may be a good a match in the real world.
- What are the main risks?
Depending on your personality and how quickly you "fall" for a guy, take it slowly so that you don't get ahead of the situation and imagine the two of you "walking down the aisle" after a date or two. Be open to a new relationship, but don't run the risk of getting too invested too quickly. Dating sites are for people wanting to find their perfect match, but aren't filled with people desperately grabbing the first single they meet.
Use common sense, just as you would in meeting someone out and about. Keep your personal infomation (last name, address, where you work) private until you get to know someone pretty well. (A reg flag should be raised when some ask too much personal information). Meeting in a public place for the first couple of times and then safety should never be an issue.
- What matters the most to have an attractive yet genuine online dating profile?
Your photos should really reflect who you are. It's impossible to stress strongly enough how important good photos are! Your photo is your first and best shot of capturing someone's attention as they are flipping through their potential matches whether on Tinder, Match.com or Plenty of Fish, etc.
Some good choices for photos include one of you smiling, in action doing what you like to do (on a tennis court for example), showing more of you than just your face so that men can get a real sense of what you look like - they may well meet you in person, so don't act like you are an emaciated 92 pound girl, if you have a normal body (or larger - there's a match for everyone)
It is your profile pictures that entices someone to click and read more about you. Your dream date will never get to know how wonderful you really are unless your smiling face motivates them to click.
And then, share a bit about yourself. A ridiculous number of unimaginative people write that they'd like to walk hand-in-hand on a beach at sunset - but come on, who does that in real life consistently?! If you're a woman who likes to watch sports - put it in your profile, guys like it - if you don't, just don't mention it. If you stay fit by hiking, playing a team sport with your friends, or work out, by all means mention it. If you are worried about catching the attention of men who are just wanting a physical relationship, by all means include "Not on here for a hookup" - you'll see that some men post that as well.
Be who you are as you want to meet someone who is attracted to you as much as you are to them. Remember, you wouldn't interview someone to work with you only with the intent of getting them to accept the job offer. Same thing with dating, you want to be sure that the "candidate" is someone you want to spend time with as well.