Online dating is here to stay. Some people use it and have great success while others try and only experience disappointment. If you're not a believer, consider this: a recent survey of couples (dating or married) indicates that 19% of all couples met online. This number is higher than the percentage of those who met through a friend (17%,) at a bar or restaurant (15%,) or though work (8%.)
Every single person can’t be successful with online dating but many people can get better results by following some suggestions. Online dating does not work exactly like traditional dating and if you are trying the same things online that work for you "in real life," the results may not be so great. First, let’s dispel a few rumors about online dating.
Rumor Number 1: “Online dating is only for desperate losers.” Yes, there are some desperate losers who use online dating. There are also desperate losers hanging out in bars and clubs.
Your best friend’s brother might also set you up with his desperate loser friend. Regardless of how you meet, part of the initial process of dating involves weeding out the people who you consider to be desperate losers, and this is true with online dating . . . but EVERYONE on dating web sites is not a desperate loser! I have dated a retired judge, pediatrician, medical office manager, business owner, pharmacy technician, nurse, realtor, teacher, and other women who were reasonably attractive, not really psycho, had good jobs, owned their home, etc. I met all of those women online and, but for sites like Plenty Of Fish, those meetings would have never occurred.
“Online dating is only for desperate losers” is the sour-grapes song sung by those who have tried online dating and not had success . . . but their lack of success could have probably been remedied if they had not quit and if they had been receptive to some advice . . . the kind of advice I will give you below.
Rumor Number 2: “Online dating means that your entire relationship is conducted online and you never actually meet in person.” Apparently, a significant number of people believe this but it is absolutely false! Absolutely and totally wrong! Online dating is a way to meet potential dating partners. You exchange a few messages online to assure yourself that the other person doesn’t have any obvious red flags, then you exchange phone numbers and talk once or twice, and then you schedule a time to meet in person. Two nights ago, I met a lady online; tonight, she will be calling me, and within a week, I will ask her for a first date.
Now . . . here are the steps to successful online dating:
1. First, you need to understand why you are dating. Are you looking for someone for a long term relationship and possible marriage? Looking for casual dating/companion? Looking for a friend with benefits, one night stand, or maybe just a hookup? Your goal in dating will guide your selection of what site to use and how to put together your dating profile.
It’s time to confess – at least to yourself – your true intentions. Dude, if you are 27 years old and you’ve actually started to think about being married and having a child, then it's time to admit that you want to find a wife and get married. Worried that it won't sound cool to your friends? Get some new friends who act age-appropriate! Denying the obvious truth won’t keep you young! You don't need to admit it to anyone else, but you do need to admit it to yourself and, if that’s what you want, then do something to make it happen!
2. Online dating does not need to replace traditional dating! If you become active on OKCupid or Bumble, that does not mean that you need to stop meeting anyone by the traditional methods. Online dating should be a supplement to traditional dating. However, as you become older, you will have fewer opportunities to meet available members of the opposite sex and you may rely more heavily on online dating.
3. Pick the right dating site. Some online sites cater to a particular crowd. Christian Mingle appeals to a certain sector and if you will only date another Christian, you should investigate that site. If you want a Jewish partner – alright, already! – check out Jdate. Tinder has a reputation as being a hookup site; maybe you can find a serious minded partner there but you will probably have better luck on other sites. On the other hand, if you are looking for a friend with benefits, Tinder may be ideal for you. Other sites seem to be geared towards older people, or specific racial groups, such as Black People Meet.
Look for reviews of dating sites and read them carefully. Remember that there are many people who meet their future spouse on these sites and there are others who never get a single date, so consider each reviewer’s possible bias. Don’t rely on just two or three reviews to shape your opinion. Also, consider the age of the reviewer, if that information is available. eHarmony may be a great site for someone over age 50 but lousy for people under age 25. Also, look at how long ago the review was posted. The quality of a dating site can increase or decrease over time, just like a restaurant, so rely more on the recent reviews that you read.
Find a website that gives you a higher likelihood of success at finding what you are truly looking for . . . or use two websites to increase your odds of finding good candidates for dating. Do some internet research, read reviews (and pay attention to who operates the web site that provides the reviews) and ask your friends for recommendations.
4. Paid vs. Free? Some sites offer free access with an option for a paid membership that offers more possibilities for communicating, and the costs are not prohibitive. What you are seeking is too important to worry about saving $50-60 (unless you just don't have $50-60, in which case you need to be thinking about how you can afford to date at all.)
5. Take a "sneak peek." Before you create a profile, use the option of perusing a site as an unpaid guest, especially if you can view profiles. This may sound weird, but . . . after you have looked at some profiles of the opposite gender, look at profiles of users of YOUR gender and orientation. Know what your competition is. If most of the guys on a site look like stoners or drunks just looking to get laid . . . you need to know that. If most of the ladies post pictures of themselves in lingerie . . . you ladies need to know that. Maybe this is the site for you and maybe not.
6. Don't pick a stupid username. This is not a good time to demonstrate your sense of humor. Here are a few examples of ladies’ user names currently being used online:
Sexylove might be a great name if you are wanting to get laid tonight. Awful name if you are looking for a husband.
PurpleWitch1956 is a, uh . . . why would you call yourself a witch?
Puppylove666 makes her sound immature. OR does it mean she prefer the doggy position? OR does “666” mean she is a religious fanatic OR is she making fun of Christianity?
Ladies aren’t the only ones picking stupid user names.
IFartALot . . . seriously, how many of you ladies are interested in a guy that calls himself IFartALot?
Choose a username which is either neutral – like ColumbusDude or LouisvilleLass – or which gives a complimentary reference to your character or your interests. A username like HonorableMan might get the interest of many women in their 50’s and 60’s but be ignored by younger women. Think about what will be appealing to the opposite gender in your age group.
STAY TUNED FOR PARTS 2 AND 3!