Looking for Love Online: Tips for Finding Someone Special
Looking for love online can be a daunting, but exhilarating task. There are the obvious ups (you get a wider range of potential mates to choose from), and the upsetting downs (you fall in love online, but in person they are not as charming). For anyone interested in what the online dating scene is all about, below are some tips to having a successful online dating journey.
Step 1: Have Realistic Expectations
Before you decide on which dating site you will participate in, it is advisable that you take some time to think through what you want from all of this. You should seriously consider not only what you would like in a mate, but also your reasons for entering the online dating scene. Online dating, in some ways is similar to traditional dating, but with many differences.
You must go into this expecting that one of the greatest obstacles you will face is not having physical cues from the other person to make meaning of what they are saying. How many times have we mis-read a person’s sarcasm in an e-mail? It is one thing to know what you want from another person, but it is an entirely different thing to have realistic expectations about the medium you are using to find a potential mate.
Step 2: Creating the Best Resume – Your Profile
Once you have found one or two suitable dating websites, it is time to create the perfect profile. The best profiles are ones that give insight into who you are. Truthfulness is truly the best policy here. Do not sell yourself short by downplaying some of your most important features (and this does not mean physical features). Here is where you may need a trusted confidant who can provide useful feedback about what makes you unique.
This is your chance to promote yourself where you might otherwise feel embarrassed to do when you are with someone in person. For example, you can boast (flatteringly) about your successes without coming off as being prideful. In its essence, your online profile is much like a resume where you have to attract people through your writing skills (and a quality picture does not hurt either).
Step 3: Cast Your Net Wider
Attracting people outside of your usual circle may increase your chances at finding a mate online. This may seem like a no-brainer, but for many people they usually do not cast their net wide enough to catch suitable respondents. This is an exercise in understanding what makes good relationships last.
Many times people put unreal expectations on a partner like how much money she or he should make. Financial security is a great goal to have, but you may have to re-define what some of your goals look like. Many people have passed up excellent potential mates because their income level was not “satisfactory” at that present time. Remember, salaries can and do change through the years.
Step 4: Be Pro-Social
Dating through an online medium helps eliminate much of the stress involved with traditional dating. Not being pro-social is often what makes online daters give up. Eliminating the stressful and awkward position of asking someone out on a date actually makes online dating quite fun. You can “ask” several people and during those “rejection” moments, you do not have to feel like you should hide and never show your face again. Yet, because of people’s fear of rejection, many try only a few times to interact with others online and if they are met with rejection, many resort back to old habits of running away and hiding. Yes, there is “rejection” in the online dating world. Though old habits die hard, it is important to remember that the world of online dating is a place where those horrible feelings of rejection do not have as great of an impact.
Step 5: Have Fun, Be Safe
We hear these words all the time, but it is amazing how many people find online dating as an experience to loathe rather than looking fondly upon the journey. Many people measure the success of their online dating by whether it produced a partnership. Successful online dating can also be considered a success when a person enjoys their time meeting new people, having interesting conversations with others, and experiencing those fun, flirtatious moments.
Furthermore, it cannot be stressed enough that safety should be your number one concern with online dating. Personal safety is important and there are a number of resources and websites to guide you through your first meeting with individual you have fallen for online. There is also another not well talked about issue of online dating that you should be aware of – identity safety. With identity theft on the rise, do not give out information online that could compromise your identity. Addresses, places of employment, and other personal details may get you unwanted attention. If the relationship is going to work out in the long-run, then trust-building needs patience.
This is not an exhaustive list to make your online dating journey successful. Instead, this is a general composition of experiences and suggestions that have made others’ online dating experience frutiful. Whether you follow one or all of the steps above, understand that every person’s online dating experience is unique to the person and their situation and that love can be found in some of the most unlikely of places.