You’ve probably heard some horror stories about online dating, but falling in love online today is much safer than ever before. Plus, if you follow this step-by-step plan, you’ll be able to protect yourself and find the person of your dreams…almost as easily as you’d buy a book on Amazon.com!
Strategy #1: Choose a site.
You have a wealth of options available to you when it comes to online dating. You can choose from any of the regular dating sites like Match.com or eHarmony.com, you can choose a site for boomers or seniors, or you can choose a site that has nothing to do with dating at all! My husband and I fell in love online without ever going to a dating site, so one of our favorite tips for singles today is to join a web site with a paid forum that focuses on something that really matters to you. It might be a hobby you enjoy or a cause that you believe in, but you definitely want to make sure that there are members of the opposite sex in the mix.
Strategy #2: Create a compelling profile.
Your profile on any web site should reflect the best version of you. Avoid talk of the negative and focus on the positive. And let your personality shine through. Too many folks today get bogged down in profile questions and end up answering profile questions like they’re applying for a job. Instead, make your profile sound like you by first reading the questions aloud, then answering them aloud. Then, write down what you just said, exactly as you said it. Make your profile answers sound like you when you’re speaking, and people will get a more authentic sense of you and who you are.
Strategy #3: Consider who you’re attracting.
Another part of creating an intriguing profile is knowing what you want in a partner. Are you looking for someone who needs a mommy figure? If not, then leave the word “nurturing” out of your profile. Consider how you’ll come across, and who you might attract. Better yet, ask a friend or two to look over your profile answers without telling them they’re yours, so they can be honest about their reactions. Ask them to describe the person they’ve just read about and see if that sounds like you. Also, ask them to describe the kind of person who might be attracted to the person they’ve just read about, and see if that resonates with you.
Strategy #4: Engage in conversation.
First conversations can be tricky, but here are a couple of tips for making them less awkward. Start out by chatting online. Typing at someone who you can’t see sometimes eases the burden of a first encounter, and allows you to engage in conversation easily without worrying about how you look or come across. Remember that the text-only medium can seem overly chilly, so don’t be afraid to use emoticons like:) to warm things up and make comments seem friendlier. Ask questions, be cautiously open, and have fun!
Strategy #5: Safety first!
Be very careful about giving away sensitive details like your phone number or home address until you’ve really gotten to know the person. You should move your conversations to the phone and/or video chat first (Skype is a good resource) so you can see the person and get to know their gestures, facial expressions, and nuances. And don’t be in a rush to meet them in person (my husband and I didn’t meet in person until about six months after we met online!). You should never feel rushed or pressured. And when you finally do schedule that first meeting, arrange your meeting to take place in a public location, make sure people know where you are, and schedule some “safety check in” phone calls with a couple of friends.
Online dating is a wonderful way to find prospective love matches without the hassle and expense of date after date that just doesn’t work. Leveraging the power of the internet allows you to weed out any prospects that aren’t a match so you only spend time on interests that have the potential to grow into true love.