Looking For Love: Online Dating Tips For Women
In 2010, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, I decided to try online dating. I opted to used eHamony.com because I knew two happily married couples who had met using this site. Unfortunately, I didn’t make a lasting love connection with any of my eHarmony matches. I did, however, learn much about myself, as well as certain dos and don’ts of online dating.
The first thing you should do is spend time thinking about what you want in a relationship, what you have to offer another person, and why you have decided to try online dating. There are many valid reasons for using an online dating site; these include looking for someone to marry, as well as looking to meet new friends and potential boyfriends after relocating. However, it may be unwise to try online dating because of pressure from your family to find a husband or because you are frustrated with your job.
Once you’ve decided to try online dating, you should determine what you are looking for in another person. This doesn’t have to be a long list of “must have” attributes—and, indeed, overly specific lists may hinder your search because you’ll too easily dismiss a worthy man who is slightly shorter and older than your “ideal” man—but it is nonetheless helpful to know what you will and will not compromise on. These qualities will differ somewhat between women, especially with respect to spiritual beliefs and practices, and still many women are looking for a man who is hard-working, loyal, and intelligent.
Be careful not to establish extremely rigid criteria, however. It’s important to keep a somewhat open mind because, even if you are convinced you are only attracted to tall, slender men with blonde hair and blue eyes, this doesn’t mean you should automatically overlook a shorter, dark-haired man who has all the other attributes you want. During my eHaromny experience I passed over a man who loved fishing largely because I don’t like to go fishing. In retrospect, I should have communicated with him more instead of deciding against him so hastily. There was also an upstanding man who wasn’t a strong writer, and, because I value strong written communication skills, I decided against meeting him. I now realize I should have kept a more open mind about him because he had many other commendable qualities that I wanted.
It’s also helpful to know what you are willing to sacrifice for a relationship. Are you able and willing to move if you meet the right person? If you are not, do you expect a man would be willing to move to be with you? It’s possible a man would be willing to relocate under the right circumstances. However, you should never assume a man is willing or even able to relocate for a relationship until he has clearly communicated this information.
Select recent and representative photographs when setting up your account. This doesn’t mean you can’t include a photo of your dressed up as a bridesmaid for your sister’s wedding; it does mean, however, you should use photos which give those looking at your profile a good idea what you look like. I’m not suggesting you take a self-portrait immediately after waking up and add this to your profile. However, if you have gained twenty pounds since the pictures you include in your profile were taken, this may backfire once you meet your matches in person.
It’s essential to be hopeful about the possibilities available through online dating. Especially if you live in a small community, online dating makes it possible for you to interact with men outside your immediate circle. It’s also a way to learn about yourself by interacting online with a wide variety of men. For example, after communicating online with a man who works overseas, you might discover you’ve always wanted to live overseas and simply have never given yourself permission to pursue this dream. Or else you might discover that you have the most in common with men who are at least five or more years older than you. During my time on eHarmony I learned how much I enjoyed learning about new people even if there was no promise I would ever interact with them in person.
There are, however, certain actions you should avoid while using an online dating website. The first is indiscriminately giving out personal information such as your email address, phone number, home address, and the location where you work. When you feel comfortable with the person after enough online interaction on the dating website, then it is time to consider whether you want this person to have such personal information. If you are uncertain whether or not to give out personal information, you may want to meet this man in public to determine how to proceed. While participants on dating websites are typically decent individuals, it’s still possible to meet a violent or even mentally unhinged person. During my eHamony stint there was one man who struck me as overly desperate and aggressive, and a few days later I was sent a message informing me they had kicked him off the site. Nonetheless, there is no guarantee that all suspicious individuals will be booted off online dating websites, and for this reason it is wise to proceed with caution. You should always first meet matches in a public place to help ensure they are trustworthy before you spend time with them in private.
Don’t limit yourself to only the matches you find online. Continue to ask coworkers, classmates, friends, and family members if they know anyone who you might be compatible with. You should also keep your eyes open for men you may want to date at your church, a karaoke bar, a concert, or a book reading. If you simultaneously pursue numerous options, you are less likely to start dating an online match who doesn’t suit you because you realize that there are, as that old saying goes, lots of fish in the sea.
Refrain from being unreasonably optimistic during this process. Don’t simply assume you will make a lasting love connection online because other people you know have met their spouses this way. Making a love connection isn’t simple, and, even though technology can aid this process, the use of an online dating site does not guarantee you will meet a significant other.
Finally, continue cultivating the kind of life you want while you explore the possibilities and pitfalls of online dating. This can mean anything from continuing to advance your career, or going back to school to pursue an advanced degree, or spending every Tuesday night with your favorite girlfriends. Men are generally attracted to women who are striving towards something, and, therefore, by continuing to have goals unrelated to finding somebody to love, you will be more likely to find a man who wants to be with you.