Online Dating: Rules For Survival & How To Make It Work For You

I feel like I’ve hit a low in blogging. My writer’s block is so bad that I can’t think of topics and have instead turned to pinterest for ideas on posts. I’m sure I’m not the only one who does it, but I sorta feel like I shouldn’t have to. Like… if I want to write for a majority of my life, it should come easy right? Or at least easier than it has?

Maybe. Maybe not. I’m sure those who have been blogging for a while will tell me that it’s okay to turn to other people for inspiration. That it’s not uncommon for the creative well to run dry when it comes to post topics. But I can’t help but feel like I’m cheating when I use them. C’est la vie though I suppose.

But while browsing this very extensive list of blog topics, provided by Gigi at kludymom.com I cam across one idea that kinda hits home for me.

578. Online dating. Have you done it? How do you feel about it?

Having been a child when computers and the internet just started taking off, I’ve gotten to experience a myriad of things that today’s generations haven’t (I think MySpace is still around but does anyone seriously use it anymore? And what about PureVolume?). But also having grown up with it, I feel like a few of my social skills were stunted from the newness that was the world wide web. I won’t say I was addicted to it, but it definitely intrigued me more than it probably should have.

Either way, I’ve always felt like the best way for me to initiate contact with someone was through a virtual setting. Maybe it’s the ability to hide behind a screen that I find comforting. Or the ability to just stop talking to them without feeling mega awkward if you don’t gel. Whatever it is, I’ve done my fair share of online dating. PlentyOfFish, OKCupid, EHarmony, Match, VampireFreaks (the gothic version of MySpace), MySpace itself… you name it, I likely made a profile on it.

If used correctly, I feel like online dating can be very successful. The method you use to determine the “correct” way to use it is your own. There isn’t one set way really because everyone is different and everyone is going to want different things from whatever site you choose. But I’ll give you a few tips that I used during my adventures in online dating.

1) Determine What You Want From Your Experience On The Site.
Do you want a steady relationship? Do you want flings? Do you want to find “the one”? These are all things you should determine before you even consider creating a profile. Once you know what you want, be very open about that on your profile. And for God’s sake, don’t say you want one thing when you really want another. Nothing sucks more than meshing with someone only to find out that they really just wanted to sleep with you and not actually be with you.

2) Give Direction For First Interactions & If Whomever Messages First Doesn’t Follow Directions, Don’t Communicate Further.
When I had a profile, I stated very clearly in my “about me” section, that if you only said “hello” or “what’s up”, I wasn’t going to answer you. So if that’s all the person said, I didn’t give them a second thought, no matter what they looked like. Ryan Gosling could have messaged me saying “hey girl” and I still wouldn’t have answered him (though, damn, it would have been hard not to). I also used my “about me” as just that… I told people about me, so it really shouldn’t have been difficult to come up with conversation topics. Likewise, whenever I messaged someone, I tried very hard not to simply say “hey” or “how’s it going”. I’m not that hypocritical.

3) Don’t Get Discouraged.
The male to female ratio on dating sites is poorly balanced. The women far outweigh the men and even those men that are on there aren’t always the best picks. There are a few quality guys out there, but they’re even more out numbered. You may get a thousand messages from guys who just didn’t care to read about you or who cared to read about you but you weren’t initially attracted to, but they’re worth that one message you’ll get from someone who cared to read what you said and who you care to get to know.

4) If You’re Not Attracted To Someone Who Messages You, Tell Them.
I ran into this problem a lot. My only requirement was that you put some thought into your first message to me. It deterred a lot of guys, but a larger number than I thought actually put thought into their first messages. I answered every single one of those guys because they put in effort. However, if I wasn’t attracted to them (physically, emotionally, mentally) in the first few messages I told them straight away that I wasn’t feeling it but would still be friends if they wanted. Some appreciated the honesty. Others quickly started calling me names and told me I was missing out. That certainly didn’t change my opinion of them.

5) Don’t Try To Force A Physical Attraction If There Isn’t One.
This is the most important tip I can give you. Some people will think I’m encouraging being vain, but I can’t tell you how incredibly true it is that if you’re not physically attracted to someone, it’s never going to work out. They can have the greatest personality in the world, but if there isn’t a physical attraction to go with it, it’s not gonna happen. It doesn’t matter how much of an attraction there is, but there has to be something. Otherwise, it can’t grow as you get to know the person. Passing on talking to someone as a potential romantic partner because you don’t find them “cute” or “hot” does not — in any way, shape or form — make you a bad person. It makes you a human being. If anyone tries to tell you differently, they clearly don’t need to be in your life.

6) Be Your True Self.
This should go without saying, but I can’t tell you how many times I had guys present one thing online, only to be something totally different when we finally started hanging out and going on dates. When it comes to me, what you see is what you get. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t portray myself as anything but what I am because I don’t want you to be disappointed that I didn’t meet your expectation later. I like to get the same thing from whoever I talk to, romantically or just friends.

These are the key things that made online dating a successful experience for me. I met my husband on one of those sites. He was one of those messages I answered because he gave his initial one thought and he was one of those guys I thought to myself “you’re kinda cute… let’s see what happens”. We talked on there for a week then met for coffee one afternoon. We sat outside that coffee shop until well after close talking and haven’t stopped since. So if you use it wisely, and stick to yourself, online dating can actually be a pretty good thing.

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