I’ve been single for a while and I really want to try online dating. Do you have any advice? – Amanda, 28
Good for you that you want to take the adventurous step of trying online dating! I know at first it can be a bit out of your comfort zone to try something new.
The first question I have for you is do you believe online dating ‘works’? What I mean is do you have personal friends in great relationships or marriages who have met through online dating? Or is there some part of you that is somewhat cynical and suspicious of the process? Because your answer to these questions will greatly affect your experience.
USA Today reports that one third of marriages started through online dating.
If you don’t personally have friends who met online, then try to seek out examples of colleagues, or friends of friends who have met online.
You need to have a real world example, and a strong belief that this process will be beneficial and effective.
If you don’t believe it will work, then there is no point in trying.
Here are some tips to become an online dating rock star!
Choose The Right Photo
The photo is especially important for women as men can’t help but initially be attracted visually. Make sure to upload the most flattering photo of yourself as possible. Take it on a day when you look and feel your best. Make sure to be looking into the camera and smiling, no hats or sunglasses, and no other people in the photos with you. Add two to three more photos, one of you how you would look on a date, another casual, another full body. No bikini or sexy pics please!
Keep It Simple
Keep your profile short, sweet, and to the point. Stay away from negatives such as ‘Can’t Stands’ or complaining about dating. Describe yourself without using lists of adjectives. Lists are boring. Speak in feeling centered talk. For instance ‘I love the adventurous feeling I get when exploring a new city’ is much more engaging than ‘I like to travel.’
Respond, Don’t Hunt
Are you the type of girl who walks up to a guy in public and asks him out? If not then don’t become the hunter online. Assuming you want a masculine type of guy, avoid making the initial contact. Men don’t need your help in reminding them to ask you out. Responding to guys who are contacting you is a good way to stay centered in your feminine. It’s okay to ‘wink’ or ‘favorite’ or ‘like’, this is similar to smiling at a guy you’re attracted to in real life.
Just Say Yes
Start routinely saying yes to the top one to three offers you have per week. Offers for a phone conversation, offers for a date. Anything to begin moving away from the online chatting and starting a real life relationship. Remember it’s just practice. Saying yes to your best offers will get you out in the world to practice your dating skills.
Too many people think online dating is ‘different’ from dating in the real world. It’s just a vehicle to meet a new person. After you have connected with someone you’re interested, please treat them like a normal human being and not an online dating monster from outer space.
Know Your Dating Style
Decide what types of dates you’re most comfortable in. Are you a casual drinks or coffee type of girl, or is an intimate dinner date preferred for you? Everyone is different. Just know what you are comfortable with and that you don’t have to accept dates you wouldn’t enjoy. I have friends who hate dinner dates but love unusual dates such as meeting up for a bike ride or spinning class.
This is a process, it could take many online dates before you meet someone you’re interested in. Part of what makes online dating so great is the sheer volume of available people, and that’s also what makes it so daunting. There are moments in the dating process when you may feel discouraged or depressed. Keep your expectations of the dates low so you don’t get burnt out. Like mentioned before this is good practice. Aim to have an enjoyable time with a new person, not to size him up to find out if he’s your future husband.
Even after you’ve met a great guy and had one or two fun dates, it may not turn into a relationship. Keep your profile up and continue to accept your best offers weekly so you don’t accidentally give exclusivity away without being asked to.
Now you’re ready to go out there and practice your dating skills! What are you waiting for?
Anthea Kerou is a Certified Holistic Health Coach based in Santa Monica specializing in dating coaching. She is available for private coaching sessions, email email@example.com. Alternatively, visit heartfacewellness.com or facebook.com/heartfacewellness for more information.
• Do you have a dating question you would like answered? Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.