Ah, the online dating world! I can tell you that I came into it rather reluctantly as I was pretty sure that I was going to meet someone the old fashioned way. Ha! Two blind dates and then a 6 month lull convinced me I needed to bridge the waters of cyber-space dating. Being fairly introverted by nature, I had to gear myself up; I read a book about what to expect and then headed to my best friend’s house where we set up my profile over a glass (or two) of wine. It was a fun way to ease my mind and I felt a bit more prepared 🙂
Here are the lessons I learned about online dating:
- Paid dating sites do some of the vetting for you. You are much less likely to get requests for threesomes and hookups on the paid dating sites. And hey, I figured if I was paying to be a part of a dating site, so were they 🙂
- Chat for no more than a week without suggesting to meet. I quickly figured out that you could chat with someone for 3 weeks only for them to cancel the date on the day of because they “weren’t ready.” There really is no point in communicating with someone who shows that level of non-commitment right from the start.
- Suggest coffee as a first date instead of dinner. First off, you are in a much better position if the date is not going well to wrap things up earlier than sitting through a lengthy dinner; if the date is going well, nothing stops you from chatting for a couple of hours. Secondly, there is always the issue of who pays for the first date; coffee just makes it easier all around.
- Use your instincts. Pay attention to the red flags; if their profile said non-smoker and you can smell smoke when you meet them, heed that warning. I quickly learned that I could often tell on a first date if the person seemed compatible and I didn’t feel obligated to a second date when they asked and I would politely decline.
- Don’t take things personally. This is a tough one as we are more vulnerable when dating. But the reality is that in your online dating life, you will get ghosted (all communication stops), people go back to someone else they were dating, people end up still having feelings for their exes, people are dating when they are not ready to. All of the above is not about you. The online dating world just makes it easier for people to walk away without considering good manners.
And guess what? Online dating is how I met my partner – a wonderful, compatible and stable man who happened to live 15 minutes away; I most likely may never have met him otherwise. Online dating can work; gear up your confidence so that you can navigate and process as you go along, take breaks when you need to and have an open mind that there are people “just like you” out there. 🙂
Photo credit: http://Photo by Wiktor Karkocha on Unsplash
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