As the first decade in the 21st Century is coming to an end, most people have finally gotten over the “online dating is for losers” stigma. This could be because more people are online now, people’s lack of success in the traditional dating arena, or because there are more sites offering this service (some for free) now.
Whatever the reason, there are more people using the internet to find a romantic partner now than ever before. A Harris Interactive survey recently found that 19 percent of couples who recently married met online-more couples met online than through friends or work. Despite the increasing popularity of internet dating, many people I have interviewed have reported trouble finding any dates online or expressed dissatisfaction with the people they ended up meeting face to face. This article offers some simple tips to improve your online dating experience.
Consider Your Goals and Then Consider the Site
Evaluate why you’re looking for a romantic partner and what you really want from a romantic partner before you sign up for any dating services. The type of people that frequent each site looking for love varies greatly, as does each site’s ability to match people based on compatibility.
Are you just bored and looking for anything to help pass the time? Try Craiglist, Myspace, or Plentyoffish. All of these sites match people based on limited compatibility criteria but all are free so there will be more people to choose from. While these sites are attractive because they are free, accounts often get flooded with spam and people often do not initially know if a response or ad is from a real person. Also, these sites have limited compatibility screening services so the determination of whether it’ll work with the other person is largely up to the end users. If you’re not picky or are strapped for cash, these sites may be for you but you might find that the money you spend on bad dates would have been better spent on a higher quality pay site.
If you’re semi-serious but not looking for a spouse just yet, try Match. Looking for a spouse? Try eHarmony. If you have a very specific criterion that a potential suitor must possess, try some specialized dating service that caters to such criteria (e.g., JDate, Christiansingles, etc.). You can also try nontraditional online dating services such as free chat lines and professional matchmakers. Keep in mind that different types of people frequent each site. The paid sites tend to have more educated people with higher paying jobs (I’m not trying to be a snob here, but it’s true).
Adhere to Grammatical and Spelling Rules When You Compose Your Profile
Don’t write your profile using the parlance of text messages (U, 2, cya, etc.). You have access to a full keyboard when you compose your profile so being too lazy to properly spell out words makes you look like lazy and ignorant.
For you single men out there-women love men who know how to communicate. If you are able to have a grammatically sound profile that properly communicates who you are and what you are looking for, they’ll know that you possess such skills and will be that much more inclined to contact you. If you’re not a good writer, have a friend review what you wrote before you submit it. For added bonus points, use some uncommon words in your profile text.
Keep the Rules of Supply and Demand in Mind
Women, if you’re attractive, you don’t need to post a provocative photo to go with your profile. If you do, you’ll find that your inbox is flooded with too many emails and many of the men who are interested will be interested for the wrong reasons (if you’re looking for that, then ignore this suggestion). Post a natural photo that doesn’t try too hard. Don’t worry, the men will notice you.
Men, realize that women receive at least ten times more inquiries than men do on online dating sites. It’s just the way it is. Chances are she will not respond to your initial inquiry unless you make it very interesting, humorous, or she sees something else that piques her interest. Unless you’re really interested, there’s no need to send another email asking about the first. Move on.
Talk on the Phone Before Meeting
You might be able to have many engaging chats with a potential suitor. You may mistakenly believe that because your chats and emails are interesting that you’ll click in real life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Talk to her on the phone before you make that dinner date. You’ll be able to gauge your potential compatibility much better on the phone than in email or chat. Sure, it’s more nerve wracking than email but that’s part of the fun.
Realize not Everyone is 100% Honest
If people in bars lie to hook up, you can imagine the temptations for embellishing or inventing certain truths in the online dating arena. If someone lists their income at $150,000 per year, he might make $90,000 a year. If someone states they’re divorced, she might be separated. Everyone feels insecure to a certain degree and they will tell white lies or, in some cases, huge lies, to vie for your attention. I’m not saying everyone lies online, but most do at least a little bit…you might want to use a 100% honesty gauge to judge potential suitors (it will certainly narrow the pool to a reasonable number).