Thursday, January 23, 2014

5 Tips for Online Dating

Many of you know that I met my husband online.  I was 23 and he was 21.  We were asked so many times, "Why would such young people need to look for love online?"  Well, to be honest, I wasn't meeting anyone anywhere else!  I could (and probably will) write another blog post about the benefits of online dating, but I'll save that for later.  In the meantime, here are my 5 tips for online dating.  

1.  Take your time, but don't overthink
Filling out profiles can be daunting.  Companies like eHarmony ask you a ton of detailed questions in order to create your personality profile and select your best matches.  I think it took me two hours to complete my eHarmony profile.  It's very important that your answers be your "gut" response.  You want to make sure that you're not skimming the questions and going through them too quickly, but if you take too long analyzing the question, you might give an answer that isn't true to yourself.  

2.  Be authentic
Don't give answers that you think will attract a certain type of person.  Don't give answers that you wish were true.  Don't describe yourself how you wish you could be.  Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, wants and desires.  Otherwise you run the risk of matches that aren't the best for you.  

3.  Use pictures to show multiple sides of your personality and interests
"A picture is worth a thousand words."  Not all of your photos have to be glamour shots.  Take this opportunity to show your personality and things that you are interested in.  I included pictures of me with my family, me on various overseas trips (including one where I was holding a boa constrictor around my shoulders), me with a baby goat, and me wearing a "Lilo and Stitch" hat.  I wanted my matches to see that I loved my family, travel, adventure, and silliness. 

4.  Don't be afraid to ask tough questions
Online dating is unique in that it kind of speeds up the process.  You have the opportunity to find out these people's core beliefs and values, which, under "normal" dating circumstances might take weeks or months to discover.  I also used this as an opportunity to filter the pool, if you will.  I asked questions about gender roles, financial planning, sexual history, and, just for fun, global warming.  Anyone who was too uncomfortable talking about these subjects was not for me!

5.  Keep an open mind
Online dating opens your dating pool to people all around your city, state, country, or world!  You have the opportunity to connect with people from every background imaginable.  Don't be afraid to start a conversation with someone who isn't your "type."  I met the most interesting, genuinely nice people that I might not have considered dating otherwise.  

Bonus tip: Don't lead people on
If you aren't interested in someone, let them know and close the match!  Don't keep talking to them if you truly aren't interested.  You don't want to waste their (or your) time.  Most of the guys I was corresponding with were very gracious and sweet when I told them, "I found someone else and we are going to correspond exclusively."  Just as you're filtering through many matches, so are they!  

Now, go have fun with online dating!  Your "Happily Ever After" awaits you!  I already got mine. ;)

So what do you think?  Any more advice you'd like to add?


Thanks for reading. I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a comment!